Michael Alig: Oh James James James, I don’t even know where to begin.
James St. James: What’s the matter, honey?
Michael: Well, how much time do we have?
James: We have as much time as you want.
Michael: James, you have no idea what’s been going on; I mean, like, drama after drama after drama after drama, and it’s always some, like, crazy life-or-death situation.
James: Well, the last time I talked to you, you had protection from someone, from some prison gang or something, and there was some crazy black guy banging on your cell trying to get your stuff.
Michael: That was the last time you talked to me?!
James: Yeah. It’s been like two months.
Michael: Oh my gosh, that was just after I got here to this facility!
James: And you were telling me how much you loved it. Tell me again how much you love it.
Michael: Well (laughs), not any more.
James: You were saying it was like the Roxy, that everyone walks around with their shirts off.
Michael: Well, yeah, it is like that. We get a choice to go to the gym or the yard every night – or the field house as they call it. It’s like this big auditorium, like the size of the Roxy dancefloor.
James: And there’s music and stuff?
Michael: Well, they’ve got those huge video screens, like the kind that are like…
James: …the Palladium ones?
Michael: Exactly. There are three of them and they each play a different kind of music: one is disco, one is rock, and one is rap.
James: High-energy dance music in prison, yay!
Michael: That’s where the weightlifters are. So there’s all these weightlifting machines, and, like, all these topless, shirtless, muscled, tattooed, Puerto Rican… All sweaty and glistening… And then they’re listening to Sylvester! (both laugh)
James: And they all love you and you are just the belle of the ball, right?
Michael: Well, some of them think I am, and some of them think that I am not.
James: In your last letter, you were telling me about being transferred to this new place, and how you finally were able to reconnect to the love of your life, Mike. Now tell me everything. When did things start to go wrong?
Michael: Well there are like eight “blocks” here. I was on “C-block” and I knew that Mike – my old boyfriend – was on I-block and I wanted to get moved to I-block. And it just so happened that the day after you called, the sergeant comes to my cell and for no reason, it was just a random thing, he says, “pack your things, you’re moving to I-block,” and I thought that Mike had it set up or something, but it turns out it was just a coincidence. So not only do I move to I-block but I move right to the company where Mike is! There’s, like, thirty-seven people in a company and I moved FOUR cells down from him!
James: OMG – what are the chances!
Michael: Yeah, so Mike and I are thinking this is, like… gotta be fate that we keep being thrown together like this.
James: And you hadn’t seen him in, what, seven years?
Michael: Yeah, yeah, A LONG TIME. And so you know, I was paranoid thinking, Oh God, he’s been, like, hanging around all the straight guys, lifting weights, he’s not going to want to associate with me! We’re going to have the same fights we had at Downstate, where he wouldn’t say “I love you” in front of other people, because YOU KNOW how I am.
James: The black hole of need.
Michael: Yes, and we would get into the biggest fights at Downstate because he wouldn’t say I love you at the dinner table, you know?
James: Hmmmm. But do you really NEED somebody to say I love you at the dinner table, when you’re dining with murderers and thieves?
Michael: JAMES, you know that I do. (Both laugh) So anyway, we made this code that he would scratch his eye at the dinner table. And that would satisfy me you know? So anyway, the first time I saw him walk by he looked at me, he gave me one of those looks like “Don’t you dare say it!” and he scratched his eye right away, which calmed me down, so I didn’t embarrass him in front of his friends.
James: So did he know you were moving to I-block, or did he just walk by and see you?
Michael: No no no, he saw me when I was moving in.
James: Oh, OK
Michael: So we became even closer, you know how the reunion is – you become closer because you have a past now. We became really really really close, and he dropped all of his friends so that we could spend all of our time in the yard together because he was going home on May 23rd. So he said every single day we could spend the rest of our time together. Well, that didn’t go over so well with the rest of the inmates because it was like really really obvious from the way we looked at each other, like, well, you know how you look at each other when you’re in love. And here we are sitting in the middle of the gym, oblivious to everything going on around us.
James: Making goo-goo eyes at each other.
Michael: Making goo-goo eyes and sneaking, you know, touching hands, and stuff like that, you know, and it wasn’t long before the (lowers voice) leader of the Bloods approached us and said that he wanted… Well, he split us up first of all.
James: And he can do that because…
Michael: (Lowered voice) Because he’s the leader of the Bloods.
James: (Not getting it) …and that’s because you’re a Blood?
Michael: (Whispers loudly) No, no, he can do anything he wants!
James: (Still drawing a blank) Was Mike a Blood?
Michael: No no… He just said he wanted to talk to me and Mike. He split us up because he wanted to talk to Mike first. So I see them talking, like, across the field house and I’m seeing hand waving and he’s telling Mike he’s got a razor blade and he’s going to cut me and Mike right now, tonight, if Mike doesn’t have me send five hundred dollars to, like, this address…
James: Just like OZ!
Michael: So Mike was like If I go to him with that, he’s just going to sign in to protective custody and then you’re not going to get any money and he’s going to be gone and everybody loses. So Mike says that I’m sure we can make some kind of arrangement, like maybe if he had something he could give me, like drugs or something, maybe I would be more agreeable to sending money to someone.
James: I can see why…. Uh… This will not be on the blog (both laugh) This will be in Page Six.
Michael: I’m not going to finish the conversation if you’re going to be like that.
James: KIDDING. I’m kidding. OMG.
Michael: So Mike comes over and talks to me.
James: So basically Mike just brokered a drug deal.
Michael: Not really. Mike only said that in order to stall the guy. He figured he was going home in a month and wanted to buy us a little time. If he would have said, Sure, Michael will send five hundred dollars, and then I didn’t send the money – because I DON’T HAVE that kind of money – then we BOTH would have been cut. This way Mike was basically allowing ourselves – or at least letting them THINK we’re allowing ourselves – to be extorted. Mike figured by the time this guy came back with a deal, he would be going home and I’d be back in protective custody.
James: This is too insane.
Michael: Just wait. So anyway, a couple of days, um, we’re coming back from breakfast and we’re waiting in the hallway for them to open all the cells and all of a sudden we hear a commotion, and it’s that guy, the leader of the Bloods, and he’s like cutting some guy’s neck with a razor blade and blood is gushing all over the place like a scene from Dawn of the Dead – like blug blug blug – and the guy has his hands on his neck trying to keep the blood from coming out and everything… and he’s going crazy, and the guy who just cut him starts running up and down the company cutting other people like at random, you know….
James: OH MY GOD!
Michael: …like screaming and going amuck, and he’s coming closer and closer to us and I’m thinking – Mike and I are standing against the wall, pressed up together against the wall – I’m thinking this is going to cost me a FORTUNE in plastic surgery if he cuts my face.
James: (Laughs) Of course.
Michael: So Mike – I love this part – stands in front of me, and the guy goes running by, and the cops tackled him and everything.
James: How many people did he cut?
Michael: He got like five or six people, but there was blood everywhere. So I’m standing there terrified, pale as a ghost, and the cops are on top of the guy, and Mike turns to me and says, “I’ve got a raging hard-on right now.”
James: THAT’S SO HOT!