Prison Diary: Play Us a Song, You're the Piano Man

Every week when David comes to the study he carries a huge folder of paper. It's about an inch thick.

It's full of piano music.

There is a piano in the prison chapel. It's only used for Sunday worship services. An inmate would never be allowed to visit the chapel to play the piano all alone, playing whatever music he wanted.

But sometimes David gets a chance to have the piano all to himself.

During the hours of our study the prison does their evening "count." Counts happen at regular intervals throughout the day. No one can move during count. You stay right where you are--our guys are obviously in the chapel--and the prison takes a census, accounting for every inmate in the entire facility.

Sometimes the count doesn't "clear." The numbers don't match up. So you keep counting and locating the unaccounted for inmates until the numbers are right.

The count can take upwards to two hours if it's having trouble clearing. Which means that, if the count hasn't cleared by the time our study is over at 8:30, the men have to stay in the chapel until the count clears. They might have to wait a few minutes, or they might have to wait for over an hour.

And if that happens, David is stuck waiting in the chapel.

Which just so happens to have a piano in the corner.

That's why David religiously brings his music to the study.

For those precious few moments to sit down at a piano, to pull out his music, and play.

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