About three weeks ago, I went to see Joe. I have a friend who wanted to go to Nashville to see the end of the Cumberland River. I had told her that if she had a Sunday off, I’d love to have some company on the long drive. She had off that weekend and we planned to drive to Nashville. She was going to wait in the car while I visited Joe because I was only approved for an hour. She said she’d just sit there and smoke. That should have been my warning sign because you can’t smoke on the premises of the prison compound. So we drive to Nashville. Everything is going fine. We are talking and laughing and we are excited to go eat in downtown Nashville. We pull up to the prison and as we are approaching the front of it, there is a “roadblock” right before you get to the parking area. So a cop walks up to the car, her car, and asks if I give permission for them to search it (I was driving at this point). I say, “no problem” without hesitation. I’m just excited I get to see Joe. They can search my butthole if they need to. So they make us get out of the car and send us in to an office to get searched. They didn’t search my butthole just in case you are wondering. They just patted me down and looked through my wallet. My friend came in and before they could search her, she pulled out a small little stash of valium that she had brought along with her for the ride. I guess she thought I would need something to settle my nerves after seeing Joe, because I had been a crying wreck after I left the last two times. Like a major crying wreck. Like, I had to pull over and sob because I couldn’t cry and drive at the same time. So I guess I can see why she would think I needed a gift like that, but I have never in my life even taken a valium or any other kind of drug for that matter. I just deal with shit the way I deal with it and if that means I have to cry my eyes out at a rest stop and sleep for an hour before driving home, that’s basically what I do. Needless to say, they weren’t prescribed to her and they were wrapped in a guilty looking contraption taken off the top of her cigarettes. So they read her her rights and they were going to arrest her, but by the grace of God that didn’t happen. My visit was cancelled for the day, of course, but I didn’t have to bail my friend out of jail (even if I was a little confused as to what would even make her think it was ok to bring any kind of substance within a country mile of the police), but she wasn’t even going in the prison. Not that that is any excuse, but this is real life and lots of people do shit they shouldn’t and lots of people do shit that doesn’t seem like a big deal until it is. But, it worked out. Or so I thought. I was able to see Joe the next week and the one after, but when I called this week to get my new visitation memo approved, I was told that my visits had been suspended for 90 days thanks to that little stunt. So now my day is kind of ruined and I’ve called everyone at the prison to explain my side of the story, not that it will probably make any sort of difference, but I haven’t received a call back as of yet, so I’m pretty sure that my Nashville trip for this week is going to be cancelled and I’m kind of bummed about it, not mad, just deflated again. Things seemed to be going so good and then this, but I guess maybe it’s just the devil playing his little tricks so I lose faith or give up. When I told Joe’s brother, Michael, what happened, he told me not to worry about it and he told me to “let go and let God.” I’ve never seen such faith. So I will take his advice and not let it get the best of me and I will wait for a call back that will probably never come.