Spent the next two years in lockup. Not a fun place. 'Specially when you're an attractive young man. Don't laugh! I know I ain't pretty now, but back then, I was havin' to beat the girls off with a stick. Some of the guys, too. In prison, a prettyboy gets 'way too much attention from the guys. And, he ain't got no stick handy. That's what happened to me.
Now, before you get any ideas, it wasn't anything sexual what happened. Far from it. Well, maybe just a little. But I didn't know it, at the time. What happened was, I stepped on the wrong toes on my first day. Literally. I was in the chow line, and I didn't notice this little chicano behind me. So, when I stepped away from the counter, I accidentally trod upon his tootsies.
Seein' as how it was my first day, I was scared s**tless that I had accidentally pissed off one of the Big Bosses, so I started apologising like it was goin' out of style. The little guy smiled at me and said it was okay, don't worry about it. Well... he said 'No problemo, hermano,' which is pretty much the same thing, so... yeah, I'll just leave it at that.
Anyway, the guy introduced himself to me as 'Marcos Ramirez de blahblahblahblahblah.' Well, he didn't actually say 'blahblahblahblahblah' but I can't remember the list of surnames he gave me, so I'm just gonna refer to him as 'Marcos' from now on. So, following conversational protocol, he inquired as to my name. I told him the name I always use. Edminster. He didn't seem impressed.
Despite the fact that I was a clumsy oaf, and to show that he had no hard feelings, Marcos invited me to sit with him in the cafeteria. we did the whole 'tell me about yourself' introductional conversation, but he didn't seem all that interested. He was just playing with his napkin the entire time. By the end of the lunch shift, though, I realised what he had been doing. He had folded his napkin into a peacock.
Intrigued, I asked him how he did that. 'Papiroflexia,' he replied, in halting english, 'I teach you, if you like.' So, every lunch shift for the next two months, he taught me everything he knew about papiroflexia, which I later learned to be the Spanish version of Origami. In looking back, now, it seems pretty obvious that he was flirting with me. I mean, the way he patiently tried to explain the basic concepts of an inside reverse fold, the way he took my hands in his to show me how to fold, and the way he listened to me when I complained about not being able to do it.
So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when he tried to kill me. Well, to be fair, he did have provocation. It wasn't just a random act of violence.
I told him I was getting married, to a girl outside the system.
So he stabbed me.
Right in the eye.