Maniac Mike and i had a visit tonight. although our visit went well, it was also clouded by a snippet of conversation from the table next to ours. a large (tall and fat) white woman was sitting at that table with her young son. her boyfriend, the child's father, was a small, short black man. the woman looked sour and the child was distracted and fidgety. i think it is too much to ask a kid to remain sitting and quiet for a two and a half hour visit. he did not once misbehave. infact, i didn't hear him speak much or engage in any meaningful way with his father (or his mother for that matter). at one point, the woman spoke loudly to her boyfriend, " you have five other kids. how are you going to take care of mine?!" the man smiled widely and spoke, and the woman replied, "i don't care what you do with those other kids! i only care about my son!" at one point the woman cried. through it all, the boyfriend smiled and the little boy kept his head down, played with his laces and squirmed. i felt bad for him. i often see and hear parents fighting right in front of their children, often fighting about their children and about the father's other women and children. why would a parent bring a child for a visit and do and say these things in front of him (or her)? this man did not look like he could bare the responsibility of being anyone's father. even when the woman cried, he smiled and laughed. he tapped his hands on the table like he was playing the drums. he shook a plastic box of card and at one point, started singing to himself. he told the woman he was hungry and the child said that he was hungry, too. mom got up to get her boyfriend a danish from the vending machine but got her kid nothing. she told the kid that they would eat "after the visit, on the way home". the visit ends at 8:30! the poor kid had to sit through that entire visit hungry! lady, fuck your low-life boyfriend, feed the kid! he has to wait until 8:30 for his supper? unbelievable. these poor kids always suffer. they suffer in a million ways and it really is the saddest part of prison.