18 May 06
Through The Eyes Of A Killer
“How’s your mother and father doin’?” Two Tonys asked.
“They’re good,” I said.
“I only saw your parents by chance when I was outside Medical. I was thirty foot away from them in an eight-by-ten cage separated by two fences with razor wire. As corny as this may sound, I could see they were nice people. They smiled and waved, and I said, ‘Welcome to America.’ They were both nice people who loved their boy. And it’s because of them you are who you are.”
“I think you’re right.”
“I know I’m right. And a lotta people ain’t as fortunate as havin’ family like that. Have you guys always been a tight family unit?”
“Growing up we were, but after my sister and I graduated from university, we left home and travelled overseas. I ended up this side of the planet, and my sister ended up on the other side, in Japan. The distance drifted us apart somewhat, but my arrest pulled us back together again.”
“Then a good thing came outta your arrest. I can tell you were well-raised. That you were nurtured by people who cared about you. To stay alive in here, I hafta read people upon meetin’ them. Some I hafta be around a little while to figure out, some I hafta be in positions of adversity with. Others I look for controllability and wind-upness, so I can send them on missions like those eighteen and nineteen year olds Dubya’s sendin’ to Iraq. My point is this: I’m a good judge of character. You’re not perfect, Jon, but I can tell by talkin’ to you, trustin’ you, and discussin’ things with you I normally wouldn’t with others, I don’t detect any malice, greed or deceptiveness from you. You seem to be genuinely interested in my life. You seem to be real honest. And you’re outta your environment here. You know that.”
“Being in prison?”
“Yeah. But at the same time you’ve managed to maintain yourself and nobody really fucks with you. That’s because of the way you carry yourself, not like a swaggerin’ tough guy like Ogre who wants to cave skulls in 'cause you didn’t buy him a jar of coffee. You seem to have a knack for stayin’ out of people’s business.”
“Thanks a lot for saying that. It means a lot to me coming from someone with as much respect as you.”
“I think your blog readers would be interested in seein’ Jon through the eyes of a person such as myself, and I see you as a good guy, a compassionate person. I’ve come to you several times lookin’ to vent about some motherfucker or other. I’ll say somethin’ like, ‘Hey, Jon, so and so is a piece of fuckin’ shit, and you, in a roundabout way, usually say, ‘Hey Two Tonys, if that guy’s no good why are you wastin’ so much mental energy on him right now. He doesn’t know you’re hating on him like this. Why let him control your mind?’ And I think about it, and realise what you said makes sense. Then you told me to read Viktor Frankl’s The Doctor and the Soul, and already I’ve found somethin’ very profound in it."
“Frankl recommended that you find happiness in the simple things you do each day. You may not be environmentally free, but you do have a degree of freedom that starts with the decisions you make each day. You can decide to stress yourself out over people you dislike and release negative hormones into your system, or you can relax, read some Wolfe or Updike, and make the most of the circumstances.”
“I think I’m too much of a fatalist. I sit around and sweat myself over shit like gettin’ some new motherfucker for a celly who I might hafta get into it with and end up in the hole or in the hospital. Shit's just like that in here. It fucks up your plans.”
“So you’ve just gotta go with the flow of whatever comes your way otherwise you’ll drive yourself nuts worrying about things that’ll never happen.”
“I know. I’m slowly comin’ around to that. You’ve taught me that.”
“Look how happy you were the day I wrote the blog about you, the Two Tonys Day.”
“It’s nice to have a person around like you who I can sit down and kick it with in a refreshin’ way. Too many people here only want to talk about the great robberies they did, and how many kilos of coca they dealt, or how many show broads they banged when they went to Vegas with $100 bills plastered all over their foreheads. It’s good to be able to sit down and have a normal conversation. There’s motherfuckers in here, I’ve been around for years who I walk with and I don’t even make eye contact with. I don’t ever wanna speak to them.”
“So you don’t think I’m standoffish because I keep myself to myself and rarely leave my cell?”
“In here that’s not a bad trait.”
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