Written in Jail 12/25/2002
I feel very alive tonight. I am sipping on my 3rd cup of coffee, probably around the 2 AM morning hour. I am up later than everyone else, and it is so quiet and peaceful in the cell block. Out of 22 people, I think I am the only one left awake. Everyone else is away and free, traveling in their dreams. I am the last physically-awake one in the room, yet I am mentally dreaming about my life which I am trying to put into words.
The normal day in the cell block is incredibly noisy. Men are tense and normally on edge. Jail inmates are aggressive by nature. These men feel like their situations are out of their control, and there’s little hope left.
I have been in this environment for long enough now so I understand how to keep a low profile and remain in my defensive isolation state. We recently had an obnoxious, 20 year old young man in our immediate area. His name was Brandon. He had been incarcerated for 9 months and was going to be released in less than 30 days. Time must have been getting to his bran because he was an annoying jerk to all the men he was around.
His attitude was, “I’m pissed off, so I’m going to make everyone I am around angry.” I sat patiently in my bunk, observing his actions. At first I felt hate towards him, but as time passed, I realized he was just a pathetic, lost, soul, and I started to feel sorry for him. He didn’t know what he wanted, or how to cure his problems. He simply thought doing jail time and being tough was cool.
There is one path for a person like this: They’re on their way to prison, and will get there sooner than they’ll find the answers they seek. A long-timer once told me, “It’s not the time that’s hard, it’s the people you have to do it with that’s the real hard part.”
This is why it’s so gratifying and relaxing to stay up late and enjoy the night. It’s quiet and I am all alone, and I have all the time I need to explore my dreams. When I am up late, I am doing nobody’s time but my own. I can do this. At times we all need to be by ourselves alone and ignore everyone else around us. It can bring us incredible peace.