They were taking that from me, piece by piece. As I walked back to mycell, that feeling of deserving it came back to me. I'd broken a lot of rulesall my life and I'd gotten away with it, by and large. Maybe this wasjustice. Maybe this was my past coming back to me. After all, I had beenwhere I was because I'd snuck out of school.
I got my shower. I got to walk around the yard. There was a patch ofsky overhead, and it smelled like the Bay Area, but beyond that, I had noclue where I was being held. No other prisoners were visible during myexercise period, and I got pretty bored with walking in circles. I strainedmy ears for any sound that might help me understand what this placewas, but all I heard was the occasional vehicle, some distant conversa-tions, a plane landing somewhere nearby.
They brought me back to my cell and fed me, a half a pepperoni piefrom Goat Hill Pizza, which I knew well, up on Potrero Hill. The cartonwith its familiar graphic and 415 phone number was a reminder thatonly a day before, I'd been a free man in a free country and that now Iwas a prisoner. I worried constantly about Darryl and fretted about my54other friends. Maybe they'd been more cooperative and had been re-leased. Maybe they'd told my parents and they were frantically callingaround.
Maybe not.
The cell was fantastically spare, empty as my soul. I fantasized that thewall opposite my bunk was a screen, that I could be hacking right now,opening the cell-door. I fantasized about my workbench and the projectsthere — the old cans I was turning into a ghetto surround-sound rig, theaerial photography kite-cam I was building, my homebrew laptop.
I wanted to get out of there. I wanted to go home and have my friendsand my school and my parents and my life back. I wanted to be able togo where I wanted to go, not be stuck pacing and pacing and pacing.
They took my passwords for my USB keys next. Those held some in-teresting messages I'd downloaded from one online discussion group oranother, some chat transcripts, things where people had helped me outwith some of the knowledge I needed to do the things I did. There wasnothing on there you couldn't find with Google, of course, but I didn'tthink that would count in my favor.

I got exercise again that afternoon, and this time there were others inthe yard when I got there, four other guys and two women, of all agesand racial backgrounds. I guess lots of people were doing things to earntheir "privileges."They gave me half an hour, and I tried to make conversation with themost normal-seeming of the other prisoners, a black guy about my agewith a short afro. But when I introduced myself and stuck my hand out,he cut his eyes toward the cameras mounted ominously in the corners ofthe yard and kept walking without ever changing his facial expression.

But then, just before they called my name and brought me back intothe building, the door opened and out came — Vanessa! I'd never beenmore glad to see a friendly face. She looked tired and grumpy, but nothurt, and when she saw me, she shouted my name and ran to me. Wehugged each other hard and I realized I was shaking. Then I realized shewas shaking, too.
"Are you OK?" she said, holding me at arms' length.

"I'm OK," I said. "They told me they'd let me go if I gave them mypasswords.""They keep asking me questions about you and Darryl."55There was a voice blaring over the loudspeaker, shouting at us to stoptalking, to walk, but we ignored it.