Free Manny

by Sharif Elzein

Approaching Essex County Correctional Facility, the first thing that strikes you is the smell. The pungent odor of chemicals and industrial waste. There is a faint scent when passing over the area on the 78 Highway, but here on the ground, the smell is noxious, filling your lungs, overcoming your senses. You are swallowed in a sea of steel and concrete; reckless 16-wheel big-rigs rampaging in your rearview mirror, industrial factories, warehouses, wrecked-car lots, broken roads, surrounding and leading to the prison. ┬áThe overall brutality of the area is overwhelming. The sparse shrubbery and scant trees lining the street look depressed and out of place, ornaments alongside factory fences, not sure of their role in the sprawling industrial complex. Continue reading “Free Manny”