01 Feb 08

Question Time

Sweetest Sin wrote: How is life back in the real world and away from the 'safety' of cell block H? Is it everything you hoped or is it a bit of a let down? What are your plans? is everyone stood around waiting to catch you or are they waiting for you to soar like an eagle? Must feel a touch strange for everyone.

Life is a struggle, but when challenged I am in my element. I was knocked down and I am working hard on building my life back up again. Like Doctor O pointed out, I am on a journey down a long hard road that’s going to get me where I need to be.

For the month and a half I have been out of prison, the real world has welcomed me with open arms. The hospitality of my parents, family and friends has exceeded my expectations. Not being subject to prison conditions continues to instill a natural high. The quality of my life ratcheted up, and now I am contemplating further improvements. My plan is to stay with my parents for six months or so, and then to get my own place. Whether I’ll only have the resources to get something in my hometown, or I’ll be able to move to a city is yet to be determined. At heart I am a city dweller. I fancy Manchester or London. I don’t think I’ll feel fully settled until I have my own place.

People who know me expect me to quickly rebuild my life. So far, my mum’s concern that I would suffer a mental breakdown adjusting to freedom appears to be unwarranted.

By concentrating on writing I am hoping to bring my story and those of my prisoner friends to a wider audience. I am giving it my all, and there should be some developments I can share with you soon.

My day revolves around my writing regime. I get up at ten and eat either cheese on toast or beans on toast. Around eleven I start to write, stopping only to eat, exercise, and shower. By evening, I’ve usually reached my writing goal for the day, so I move on to emails and phone calls. I feel lucky that so many people have sought me out to wish me well. Some nights I watch movies or episodes of the Sopranos with my parents. Before I go to bed I listen to lectures from The Teaching Company. I just finished a series on Nietzsche. I go to bed around one in the morning.

I write on the weekends too. But I try to get out and about on those evenings, visiting the local pubs with Hammy and our friends. I do this for a social life. I don’t stay out all night partying hard. Sometimes I go to restaurants, and next week I am going to the Playhouse in Liverpool to watch Kafka’s Metamorphosis.

Many prisoners have no family or friends to be released to, so I am lucky to be able to live in my parents’ home. It is such a different environment than what I am used to, so it does at times feel strange and lonely. I am getting more used to it though. This environment is conducive to writing, and I am dedicated to moving my literary projects forward. By keeping my mind occupied, I allow little space for depressed thoughts. I am forward focussed, and I am pleased with the progress I am making.

Jose in San Diego wrote: Is there any chance at all that you may be allowed a temporary visa in the future to return to the States, say perhaps for a TV interview or an appearance on a talk show? (hypothetically speaking). Please let me know. Thank you.

I don’t see that happening in the near future. I would eventually like to be able to return to America. I am going to email my attorney to find out what it would take. As it stands I am banned for life because I have aggravated felonies. If I returned illegally and I were caught I would have to finish my prison sentence, which equates to doing four more years in the Arizona Department of Corrections. Not something I fancy.

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Shaun(Jon),

Thank you for commenting on my inquiry. We certainly hope in the future that you will be granted a visit stateside. Keep your head up and best wishes. By the way, any word on "Franky the Spanky"? -Jose in San Diego

Anonymous said...

Really glad you're doing so well, esp with your writing
Best Wishes

Anonymous said...

A good write up Shaun. Glad you are keeping busy with your writings, which will be therapeutic for you and a part of healing. They will be fruitful also for helping in a successful writing career. Good also that you are able to have a social life, and having a good home will be a good foundation to build on a future move when you are ready.
Good luck
Terry B

double said...

....then i will come to you---when you are ready, of course.
love, alesia.