Mark, who was blessing me with smart, well thought-out emails when he should have instead been polishing his memoir, suggested art as therapeutic.
I've developed an epistolary friendship with a young man in his 30s serving a life sentence. He has graciously allowed me to share aspects of his life on this blog. What follows is my fractured placement of his words:
A lot of people don't know the benefit of having someone to just talk/write to I have my GI Bill still a non-profit organization in Texas, they in turn sent us 87 pounds of yarn go outside to rec to run race is a huge problem in prison it causes more violence than anything else Kids in the Loop of incarcerated parents my mom got to participate they got hats & mittens made by us here my friend's daughter got one of the sets I made, she hugged me which almost made me cry my last ones (shoes) lasted 3 years I did way too much LSD in my teens I got some really good news today, I passed my test this is the hardest test they have I don't know if I would have done so much if I wasn't in prison he got out of the hole and I have stayed away not the easiest but I would be throwing away a lot just for short term gratification my son wants to be like me -he's not like me I'm glad of that he's thinking about the Army my son graduated and is working concrete I used to save magazines to wrap around my torso in case of stabbings I had that save me once by nature, I'm kind of intense and usually a bit hostile now, I really try not to be like that and try to be patient and kind - sometimes I still flip out progress not perfection my mom is my inspiration this place is the first place I've been that has visits on Easter, so this will be the first time since 2003 that I've been with my parents on Easter prison riots suck I've been in a 350 (roughly) person gang fight, I've also been in a situation where we took over 2 blocks, very scary situation I received a pay increase I'm thinking of painting some I grew up in the city so I didn't really experience allergies, even when I was in the Army the Germanic tribes have a rich and varied history my daughter is doing dance recitals, competitions and dance camp she got out of ballet though she was in The Nutcracker twice jazz, tap, and hip-hop I've not been to segregation since 2011 I have been watching a small portion of the RNC I did the punk-rock thing I signed up for college Monday we have been doing a lot of crochet work recently for charity we're making hats, mittens, and scarves for the Homeless after becoming a part of society that is marginalized and generally hated we have our annual "Day with Dad" this coming Tuesday, I can't wait I was a "colourful" child the kids think it's cool, and a bit weird(that he had a mohawk when younger) I see the parole board in 5 years so it's getting close now no octopus doesn't tasted like chicken it has a chewy texture if done right it tastes kind of the way the sea smells someone killed (him) a few years back he owned a deli, he did a lot for the community I was short on the whole meal once and just ordered the sandwich, he gave me the whole meal he told me sometimes you got it, sometimes you don't, right now I've got it and so do you this prison isn't bad at all, but I've been to some where its bad I've spent 45 in solitary, that was the longest time I've done in seg no windows in some of them, and no lights I would actually love to help guys do the right thing if I ever got out my daughter plays violin and the guitar and paints she has drive I'm very proud of her I am conflicted at times because the person I was and the person I'm becoming are two different thinking people