by Katie Becker Colón
Standing in his orange jumpsuit, socks, and plastic slide sandals, the young man shared with me that he played the Red Rubber Ball game while he was in solitary confinement. It was his tool to fight boredom.
The Red Rubber Ball game was one of the first games I taught the group of 8 young men I met with every week. We gathered together in the Detention Center gym – me in my approved street clothes and shoes, them in their jumpsuits and sandals – and for two hours, we worked through theatre games and exercises as a security officer watched from the sidelines.
I pulled an imaginary Red Rubber Ball out of my back pocket and held it up for all of them to see, "This is a red rubber ball."
"No, it's not!"
"There's nothing there."
"You are crazy."