You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. That is one of the oldest clichés around and one of the most truthful, especially when you enter my world, the world of the damned. The simplest everyday things that you take for granted and would never even consider the thought of being deprived of are things that I miss and yearn for, such as a simple cup of ice. I haven’t had ice in so long I’ve forgotten how cold it is. Walking through the grass in your bare feet. Leaning down to pet a cat or dog. The last time I petted a dog was over 20 years ago. The last time I petted a cat was in the summer of 2004 over at Florida State Prison. And as I’m writing, thinking about that cute kitten brings a smile to my face. Someone picked her up on the recreation yard and brought her back into the cell. Three of us guys shared custody of her. I’d take care of her from 4 am until 10 or 11 am. I would lay on my bunk with her sitting on my chest, petting her. I’d feed her tuna fish that I bought from the canteen. It was great, the few days that it lasted. We decided to give her to one of the nurses to take home.
In 2005, back over her eat Union Correctional Institution (UCI) I had a mouse that I named ”Little Dude.” I’d feed him peanut butter, peanuts, cookies and crackers. I caught him several times, I tired to pet him, but he didn’t much care for that. In fact he bit me several times, I continued to attempt to tame him, to no avail. I was finally moved out of that cell and left Little Dude on the wing. But I still have fond memories of that little mouse. He brought me hours of enjoyment and entertainment in a dark and lonely world. There are so many things that I long for. A simple hug, a kiss, human touch. The desire to love and to show love. People think they know loneliness and they really have no clue to the loneliness this place brings. I guess there are certain degrees of loneliness that each person experiences. But this place is like no other. The loneliness reaches down into the bottom of your heart. That’s really the only way to explain it. This is a very different world from anything you may have experienced.
Life is often a daily struggle, not just day-to-day, but hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute. Peace and tranquility can only be found for moments at a time. You mostly dream about the past, realizing the future is lost. For your future is a 63 square foot cage, ‘til death do you part. You think about the loves of your life, moments of joy you found in the arms of a woman, riding your motorcycle, walking on the beach.
I have more regret and sorrows than you can imagine. I live them on a daily basis. I question my own actions. Why? How? And I have no answers. Sure, some was drug-induced stupidity, that’s a given. But even without drugs, I’ve made some poor choices. Why??? I don’t know! It bothers me that I don’t understand some of my own actions. Life is so friggin’ confusing. We go through it chasing the answers to what life is really all about. That’s a million year old question that will never be answered. Yet it continues to be at the forefront of our minds.
Life…what a mess! Mine more than yours because if you’re reading this, then you’re in a better place than I am. I don’t have the answers. Only two people will claim they do; one’s a fool and the other’s a liar. For we are all absolutely clueless as to what life is all about. Yes…I just wanted to share a thought with you.
Whatever you do don’t give up. Fight the fight. Find a cause and purpose for surviving. I know how hard that can be… Oh boy! Do I know! But you can be the difference. Just try. Survival, that’s the key. Or is it? We all have to decide for ourselves. But if I were you, I’d try to use my life in a positive way to influence others. AND I hope that’s what I’m doing here.
We don’t need religion or god to do this. We just need to reach down inside ourselves and do it. Change for the better. Overcome the worst in ourselves. Easier said than done, no doubt! Peace out my friend. Until we meet again….