15 Nov 07

Release (5) letters to parents

I spent the eve of the day I was supposed to be getting out talking to friends at Yard 4. During field rec I went down there and paced back and forth outside of Yard 4’s perimeter fence. While we talked, guards yelled, "Keep moving along the track Yard 1.” Yard 1 is not supposed to talk to Yard 4 (as a drug-transaction-prevention measure).

For most of the time I talked to Jack whose mentorship resulted in my first short story "Pee Tested" being submitted to Writer’s Digest and winning the Honorable Mention that raised my confidence and eventually led to this year’s spurt of short story writing. Meeting Jack has been a privilege and an honour, and I intend to help him in any way I can. We hope to co-write a serial-killer novel. I’ve barely blogged anything about him, but behind the scenes he’s been a massive influence on my development as a person and a writer. It’ tragic that such a brilliant mind is stuck in here. I wish I could help him get out, but he has four natural life sentences. I feel a pang, a strange hurt leaving him behind.

I said goodbye to Shane too. How rough he had it in his formative years, and how well he’s turned out. I hope he sticks with blogging. He has a following now, and it’s great that he’s experiencing the feedback and fun of blogging that I’ve experienced. He’ll be out in a few years.

Slingblade trundled across Yard 4, and I yelled, but he didn’t respond. I wanted to say goodbye, and to assure him I’d try to get some organisation or other interested in helping him get out. He should have been released two or three years ago.

Slope came to the fence, happy after reading the latest comments on his Slope and Xena blogs, “I think your readers are starting to like me a little bit. Maybe 'cause I’m a little rough around the edges.”
“And then some!” I said, “or as we say in England: you’re as rough as a bear’s arse.” I had to re-pronounce bear’s arse three times before he understood what I’d said. He replied with a string of hillbilly obscenities that I could barely understand. He’s got a big heart, and I hope he does well if he gets out on parole.

Although Two Tonys wasn’t there, some huge Chicano came to the fence and said, “Hey, do you write to Two Tonys?”
“Yes. I will be. Why?”
“Tell him Chicano Bullet sends his love.”
“OK.”
“Thanks.”

And no Xena to say goodbye to. Word is Xena flashed the wasp at the suicide prevention aide working the hole, traumatising said aide.

There’s no field rec until Tuesday now, so there won’t be another chance to say goodbye to anyone else on Yard 4.

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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood

1 comment:

joannie said...

OMG, I imagine that aide will probably be traumatized for life, LOL! We had a small breakthrough this morning. One inmate finally was able to talk about the struggle she has with rage and how it lead to rearranging another woman's facial features. I believe her tears and regret were genuine and she's ready for help. My partner looked at me during the meeting and remarked, "Even when your son is out, you'll still be here, won't you?" The answer is yes. Once you've experienced the quagmire that is the American prison system, you can't help helping the ones caught in it.