Table Settings with a Spork?

A spork is a spoon-shaped eating utensil with 3-4 small fork tines on the end. It is a hybrid of a fork and spoon. I may of used a spork in grade school at some point but I don’t have any true memories of them, just a familiarity. I never thought they would be the only utensil I would touch for five years.The sporks in prison were a very hard orange plastic and the tines on the end were very small as to prevent stabbing in the cafeteria, I suppose. I always thought they would make a great shiv if it was smuggled back to the cell for some filing. I never did see one weapon made of a spork though.

I did begin to wonder if we ate with sporks for safety reasons or for degradation. The first time I went in to the cafeteria to eat in the beginning of my incarceration, we were lead in a single file line to the fine dining establishment. The cafeteria was a square building placed on each yard. The walls were made up of brick from the ground halfway up and then shatterproof glass to the ceiling. The outside of the building was aligned with an L-shaped enclosed gate that we were to line up in like cattle. The entrance to the cafeteria was a double door with a huge fan above it blowing deliciously cold air onto an inmates head as they passed under it. This was the only delicious thing in the cafeteria.

There was an opening in the wall to the left that an inmate would receive their tray of food. This tray was made of the same plastic as the sporks. It was the shape of a rectangle and had five food slots.  We would then proceed down the line a try to pick a clean  spork and a small yellow drink cup. We were then told to find a seat and eat. There is no talking or wasting time. I felt like a monkey in a cage while the rest of the women were staring at me through the windows waiting for their turn to eat. I wrestled with my spork, most food dropping and the tiny tines unable to cling to even a little piece of lettuce. It was awful but even worse was watching the women give up and use their hands.The guards would watch us and yell for us to hurry up and get out. I was embarrassed when I noticed a guard watching me, like they were normal people and I wasn’t. I tried my best to maintain as much dignity as possible while shoveling food into my mouth with my ugly orange spork.

Needless to say, I will never use a spork again.

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