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Friday, May 30, 2014

Just an Ordinary Man

First I would like to thank you all for the kind words regarding my posts on prison and everyday life. By no means am I someone to look up to or thought of in any high regard. I made a terrible mistake that cost me 10 years of my life, but more importantly 10 years of my loved ones lives. I was guilty of my crime and took my punishment as best I could with what I had. I made it through those 10 years because of people on the outside keeping me alive. In saying that I cannot stress enough how important you all are to those I left behind inside.
Look yourself in the mirror today and know that you are what drives them to survive, to breathe, to stay on course and believe. In my writing to you all I seek no “thank you” or “wow that hit home, “ sure those comments truly make my day, but it is you all just spending a few minutes with me that makes me think I have and will survive. It’s knowing I made someone think, laugh, smile, or even cry that is worth any accolades you give me. My intentions are to never make you sad, but sadly they will and it’s because of the love you have for those living behind bars.
It makes you alive in those feelings and that is a good thing. This war is not over, sure you may have lost a few battles along the way, but the goal may be in sight for some and for others that goal, sadly is so distant that eternal hope is all you have left. I’m just an ordinary man who has lived through extra ordinary circumstances by my own doing and no one else’s. I wish I could say I am a hero to some, or even one but I cannot. To me the true heroes are reading this right now with an emptiness in there heart. A hungry that never goes away no matter what you try to feed it.
In prison I felt so lonely, yet was surrounded by thousands, I felt so frustrated by the feeling of helplessness about what was happening in the Free World. I would feel like I was about to explode, and there was no one to really turn to but myself. Mind games helped as did reading, but untimely it was the mind that conquered my demons and ghosts. Those ghosts still visit me even to this day, but they don’t seem as bad and never stay long. I guess I bore them now.
On the outside we on the inside appeared to be tough and ready. We would mask our fears, for showing weakness was like dangling raw meat in front of a lion. In the 10 years inside I never really opened up to anyone about my thoughts and feelings except my trusted note pads. They were my salvation through good and bad. As I speak they are all only a few feet away. Hyperventilation was a daily occurrence for most, Anxiety attacks were as common as slamming dominoes.               
Those inside need to know what is going on outside, but in saying that something’s maybe be better left unsaid for the moment. I remember my very young son writing he missed not having a dad and that torn me up as it still does today. It wasn't his fault of course it was just the words of a 12 year old that brought a 47 year old to his knees. My heart was dying a slow death and there was nothing I could do about it. That my friends is the frustration of which I speak. It bottles up inside and turns into hate and anger. Some choose the easy way, and lash out, while others keep it inside and go on.
I remember all those days like it was yesterday. The seating in the day-room drinking coffee watching the Price is Right, to be followed by The Young and Restless. On the sports TV, ESPN would be going over last night’s games and what athlete assaulted who. Letters would be written and books would be read. We waiting on next hours in and out and the call for lay-ins. If it was store day the tension in the day room was thick. Deals were made and some closed out. Gambling tickets were looked at with great anticipation of winning a few soups and bags of coffee. Life on the inside in some ways is no different then what we are all doing now except for these damn walls. Metal on metal, chain link fence for as far as the eye can see. Slaps of concrete over once areas filled with grass and trees. I often wonder what these places looked like 30, 50, 100 years ago in this exact same spot. Freedom would have been here, I can smell it at times. I used to step on any grass if there was any just to feel it again. I wanted to take my shoes and socks off and risk a case to feel grass under bare foot.
I remember how pale I was when I got out, I remember how hard my body was even at my old age. I remember growing a goatee and my hair long just to say “there I can do this now.” I remember my first drive again and being scared of hitting something. The bright lights and colors, the crowds that smothered me, I was hyperventilating at Wal-Mart in the express lane. The feel of cash and any type of food my heart desired. Why was everyone talking so damn loud and why was this person standing so close to me. The smells came back, smells that I had forgotten. Cigarette smoke choked me and I wasn't even the one smoking. Perfume made me dizzy and the sunshine hurt my eyes.
Why is there so many choices? Where are all the people in white? Why is he driving so damn fast? How come there are no yellow lines on the ground? You mean I can walk where ever I want now, and stop and go the other direction? Shelf’s lined with food I thought only existed on another planet. Why are you making this harder to adjust? It has been almost 3 years since my freedom and it is still a struggle at times. When someone says something I consider disrespectful, but isn't really that bad my old prison mentality comes out and I have to “check” myself.
I have made a long journey back to a somewhat normal life and your loved one will to with your help. Stay strong for them now and more importantly stay strong for yourself. Try not to think too much about things you cannot change. Only change what is possible right now. Listen to your songs and watch your movies, play with your children and go to whatever places makes you happy. Remember the past and think of the future. I’m just an ordinary man placed in a unique situation where maybe I can help or reach one of you through these simple words. For those of you wanted to read some of my older posts this is the link to my Blog…thanks

http://philiplzsmithsveryrandomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Heat is On

                The heat is more than just a small 4 letter word. How can one express heat in a cage with little window openings. Let me give you the feel of a standard cell in the Texas prison system. The cell door is of course made of steel/metal and opens about 3 feet. On this door is 2 grids of mess/screen about 3 feet in height by maybe 5 inches wide. So as you can picture not much ventilation or circulation can pass through these openings. The typical cell is about 10x8 for the everyday offender. Of course those dimensions vary in AD-Seg and the dorms.
                As you enter your cell (depending on the left/right layout) I’ll use the right layout for this. To your right is the can/shitter/toilet. Above that is a steel mirror of sorts that gives one a distorted view of one’s self. There is also a sink. I still remember seeing myself for the first time in 10 years in a real glass mirror lol. So after the toilet area to your right is a writing table and round seat (great for the butt) nothing is padded in TDC. Above this table are 2 shelves, the top one for top bunk and the bottom one for bottom bunk. There is an unwritten code that says the table is divided in 2. Left side closes to the bottom bunk is his, while the right side belongs to the top bunk.
                Next of course are the luxurious accommodations provided by the state of Texas? I would say the bunks are about 7 feet long by maybe a little bit more than 3 foot wide. As you lay in your bunk there is a window that is maybe 4 foot long and 8 inches wide or so. These windows open with a crank type lever. They only open and 4 inches outwards. Oh ya did I mention there is also a screen on the window limiting the airflow. So with that all said you don’t get much relief from the Texas heat. Sure a fan is great at blowing the inferno back at ya, to help we would wet ourselves constantly fooling our self it was cooler.
                I had seen some pour water into the metal bunk rack housing frame and lay directly in the water. A thing that seem to help a bit was drenching your t-shirts and then putting it back on to have it dry again in about 30 minutes. When we received a lay-in to go to medical it was a joy for that area is being blasted with A/C. Strange was after a few hours you looked forward to the thaw out process walking back to your cell.
                Sadly in my “don’t mean anything mind” the state of Texas will never get A/C in the units. One reason and most important to voters and all the “good” people is the staggering cost to install and maintain those units, let alone the monthly bills. We are talking about pods that are 2 stories high. It would be an incredible feat to cool down each pod and 24 cells with a ceiling that high as well as cells where the doors are shut with little air flow. There is heating ducts and vents in each cell but again the cost would be great.
                The average “law abiding” citizen could care less about those behind bars. Another factor some of you may not be aware of is only store bought shorts and t-shirts can be wore in the dayroom. Not all inmates can afford these items and are left with TDC issued tops and pants. Some risk cases by pulling down there pants under the table to their ankles. Some don’t care and go shirtless. For the most part the guards will let it go with a case but will bang on the window of the pod with the “put your shirt on sign”
                By far this time of year breeds frustration and anger which leads to confrontation. On top of all that there will be or already has been a lock down during this time. I guess if I had to give an example of the heat and conditions is imagine the blast of hot air when you open the oven. For those who want to get another view, right now turn you’re A/C off till tomorrow. Go to a small room and open your window maybe 3-4 inches, then lay in your bed and wait for it to hit you. To make matters worse is those who work in the kitchen during summer.
                I worked the Scullery (dish washer) for about a year. That room is about 20 feet long by about 10 wide. On either sides are machines that wash all the trays and spoons. It gets so hot the trays can burn your hands and at times the water within actually boils. Not to mention the steams emanating from the doors. The cooking area is hot as well as most of the kitchen. Then after your 8 hour shift where you received a big fat nothing you strip down in front of about 100 other guys to walk back to your not so hot cell. You do get used to it.
                When you add up all the factors of prison life that I have talked about there is no wonder there isn’t more fights and stabbings. Some guys stay strong and play mind games, some just stare off into space and hope, and some go over the edge. To sit in the day-room and have sweat pour off you just reading, to stare out the windows and see trees, to see the cars in the parking lot. Watching the guards change shifts knowing they are going home to a hot home cooked meal, maybe a beer, the arms of a loved one, to play catch with a son, or watch a movie with a daughter.
                People then wonder why we acting like animals inside. Maybe it is because we were treated like animals, treated sub-human, treated like garbage. I don’t have all the answers hell I have very little of them. All I can try to do is shed light on the struggles that are going on right now as I sit in my very comfortable room, with an overhead fan and A/C blowing, getting ready soon to go to work and actually get a pay check.
                Do I feel guilty? Yes I do in some way, but there is nothing I can do about that. I was sentenced to 10 years and did all 10. I’m not a one big into praying now a days and always have thought that one’s strength comes from within and not a book. I have no problem with those that pray and those who send prayers. I still dream of inside and still can feel it. I taste it in every meal. Today I will drive to work and not put the A/C on, I will have the window cracked some, but I most never forget what it was like to live in hell for 10 years.

                Your loved ones will be OK, write to them and stay positive. Tell them happy stories, tell them of the memories you share. Tell them of the new memories you will share. Tell them to stay safe and stay strong, to stay the course and you need them very much. There are those who are tired of all this and no one will ever blame you if you choose to go in another direction. You have to live your life too. Now your life is on hold if you choose. You are in a sort of coma awaiting the day you wake up and this hellish nightmare is over. Again Thank You all for letting me share my small memories with you.
Count Time

                One of the basic aspects of everyday life behind bars is the dreaded “Count Time” I have learned that on different units, there are different count times. For the most part and as best that I can remember count time was every 4 hours except during rack time at night. Counting was usually done at 6am, 10am, 2pm, 6pm, 10pm, then rack time would be 10:30pm on week nights, 12 midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. After 10pm they would count at 12am, and 2pm. All this does not factor in any “special” counts.
                Count time usually cleared within 60 minutes and the horn would blow signaling that we worker ants can commence returning to “Normal” life. Sounds pretty simple and forward doesn't it? At each count we were counted twice but 2 different cops/screws/guards. If things didn't add up we were counted again. No movement was done during count time. If you were racked (in your cell) you stayed there until count was cleared.
                If you were in medical/work/library/church/commissary, etc. you stayed there until count cleared. The dilemma was as follows. In medical let’s say you were finished but still in the cage awaiting the guards to say “back to the house”. I guess I should clarify that just because you were finish with your medical appointment didn't mean you just walked out the door and returned home. Some guards may allow you to do that and some waiting to release 5-10 at a time. This by the way had nothing to do with count time, but I suspect to many inmates in the bowling alley at the same time.
                For those not familiar with the term bowling alley that is the walk way en-caged all through the unit. Good inmates that we were, we were told to shut up and follow the yellow line while standing inside said yellow line. On the Hughes Unit from medical to my pod was about a half mile walk through no less than 6 doors, and that was just outside. Now if count was not clear you waiting in a 15x15 cage in sub arctic temperatures until the horn blew and the cop opened the cage for the mass exodus back to another cage within a cage to get a shot of gunpowder (coffee) to thaw out.
                Commissary could pose another problem entirely and let me explain. Thing you are at the window getting your store and you hear the “its count time horn” your heart just sank because you are buying drinks and or ice cream for some buddies. Some of you may see the problem already. 3 things will happen and one is real rare. The rare one of course is a cop/guard/screw may if the actual count has not begun allow you to hurry on back to the house, or escort you back. The next 2 more likely scenarios are bad news for those awaiting a cold drink or ice cream.
                Of course ice cream will melt and cold drink will get hot. They either leave you lined up on the bowling alley until count has cleared or bring you to the multi-purpose room awaiting the all clear horn. Either way your buddies are left out. So you eat the ice cream or share with anyone else waiting for the all clear horn. Sure your buds will get the soda drink but it will be warm, but for some they don’t care at all. There were many a time I eat a few pints and nutzo’s awaiting that dreaded horn.
The after hour counts could be the worse. Being waken and asked name and number is harder than you think. Some cellies do not wake easy and it make take some banging on the door by the cop or an inmate to wake him. For the most part we were allowed to pin our ID card to the screen on the cell door. While I was in Kansas City awaiting extradition to Texas they had a unique way of counting by scanning the bar code on the inmate bracelet on his wrist. Kind of like the ones you get at a hospital.
I think of the thousands of times I was counted in my 10 year sentence. The sounds of metal on metal, of keys being jingled, of the static of radios. The screams and shouts from the other cells, and the tension and feeling in my gut. The staring at the ceiling of my semi dark cell, the snore of my cellie. The night shift workers returning from their duty and the shouts from the guard announcing “You got 5 minutes to shower”.
I thought of love lost and lost love. I rolled left and then right hoping to silence my demons if just for an hour so I could return to that wonderful dream I was having of time gone by. I pictured children who were no longer children, but young adults. I thought of what tomorrow would bring. Would it be a good day or bad, would it be so hot, so unbearable that I prayed for nighttime already. Would it be so cold that I would have to wear my jacket to bed tonight? Being stripped down coming back from work in very cold temperatures is not something one looks forward to.
Would I be able to go to store tomorrow or would it be an all-day affair where only stress and frustrating win. Would I get a case for something stupid that will affect my upcoming parole hearing? And do I even care anymore. Is lock down close and do I have enough in my locker to get by comfortably and have enough to read? I feel sick, but know it takes days to be seen by the medical staff so do I tough it out, and what if I get the lay-in on store day?
Will I be asked to mule something back from the kitchen or commissary? Will we be able to go to library tonight? Please someone up there let me get a letter tonight and let me not read anything into it that really isn't there. I’m good, I can make it today, just take it slow even hour by hour if need be and don’t get caught up in any game. Don’t stare at him or walk to close to that one. Be respectful even when those around you are not. Be strong and help as much as you can without appearing weak.
Maybe watch a little TV or read my book, well an in and out coming up meaning a shot of coffee. Anyone want one? The smiles on their faces are worth it. I was very fortunate to have loved ones who supported me for those 10 years and I felt it my duty to help others if possible. If that made me weak or different who cares. To make someone laugh or forget about his life sentence, to get him a nutzo or shot of coffee, to loan a soup knowing you will never see that soup again, selfishly made me feel good.

I miss it at times and others hated it so much. I felt guilty leaving my brother behind, especially those that will never feel what I feel right now. I left a big part back in the units and cells, and there is a big part of that metal on metal and shouts here with me now. There are nights I wake up hoping to hear “Name and number 12 top” It will never go completely away and it shouldn't. I need no prayers or hugs. My mind is strong and clear and I know my course. Thank you all for visiting me today…damn it’s count time “Smith 109....”

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

                                                                     SPREAD

In prison the term is called Spreading or just plain Spread. It involves numerous items purchased at the commissary (store). Items that are key to a good spread consists of the ever delicious Ramen Noodles, a staple for every inmates diet. The prison world revolves around the sounds of soups being smashed against the floor. All heads turn when the process begins because it signals a Spread has began. Other ingredients are pouches, meaning chili's with or without beans, tuna, roast beef, jack mack (yuk) etc and anything you may have "bought" from the kitchen. Cheese and Frito's are added of course and peppers if you desire. The call is made for those to heat up the hot pots. We wait on in and out's to get the hot water and converge in the day room. For those that are not sure what an in and out is i'll explain. "Supposedly" ever hour on the hour a cop/guard/screw comes in the pod and shouts in and out. The inmate then goes to his cell and awaits the other guard/cop/screw in the picket to open the cell doors. A picket is like a tower inside the section that controls the 3 pods doors and all the cells within the pods. So you have about 5 minutes in your cell until the guard/cop/screw comes back for the out. If you go in on an out you may get a case for that. Did I confuse you now? Now at times the "5" minutes turns into a little longer and at times they even forget to come back for the out because they were "busy". In that case a funnel of sorts is made of paper the the inmate in the cell pours the hot water through the grid in his door in the bowl, also meaning he will not eat until he gets out of the cell. If all goes as planned and it usually does, (ya right) the happy eaters (inmates) prepare the rest of the spread in other bowls while the noodles are soaking in hot water. Then the diner is divided and and the meal begins. There are those we shared with that could not contribute to the Spread, either because of no money or on restriction. In most cases they would clean the bowls. In a lot of cases we cleaned our own anyway, but I think it gave them a sense that they helped. Inside we helped each other, a lot of guys didn't make store or as much as others. I would always but as many nutzo's as allowed and pass them around the day room upon returning. Selfishly it made me feel good and I know they enjoyed the treat. We tried to take care of each other inside, we shared pictures and stories of loved one and children. We talked of our crime and the big game tonight. We hated on the Cowboys (haha). We shared books and even played games. Guys inside could be very resourceful and make from scratch a game board. It passed the time and for a brief moment we escaped reality and fell into a fantasy world of D&D. Guys would jump up with there imaginary swords to announced they slashed the bad guy, or Dragon be gone with a spell. For the most part the day room was the heart of the pod, it breathed and gave life to each and every one of us. Our cells were our little worlds were we could escape and confront our fears and demons, but the day room was a hub of activity, busy little bee's we were. Showers were taken and food was ate, coffee was drank as if it were life's elixir for surviving. "Hey can I get a shot on the next in and out" I kind of miss being asked that. I miss spreading with my buddies, I miss the clanking of steel doors and the jingling of keys. I miss the shouts of "Count Time." I miss the intolerable heat of summer, and the arctic temperature of winter. I miss seeing my brothers under the TV with hands cupped to their ears to get a better listen to The Young and Restless. I miss the gambling tickets and the collecting of "good" money vs "bad" money. Oh yes even the slamming of domino's would be a treat right now. I thought today's post would be a little different from those I have been posting in the past. I wanted you all to get a feel of life behind bars and what your loved ones see and do on a daily basis. You all are on all their minds all the time, it's just at times we need to escape that and play the game. Hope this helps some out there.......

Monday, May 12, 2014

I was thinking last night what these last 3 years of freedom has really meant and done for and to me. I had so much hope about my release, so much to look forward too. Some have come true beyond my expectations while others have still yet to be found. I am not complaining in the least, my situation is so much better then the brothers I left behind. Talking about those I left behind, why is it I feel guilty at times that I was granted freedom while so many others were not. Yes I had a 10 year sentence and did all 10 so there isn't much I could have done about that part. But still that guilt remains to this day. I talked with you all before about my ghosts and inner demons and how I still do battle with them on a daily basis. Some of my hopes I now know were unrealistic and I should never of raised the bar that high. It took me a little less than 2 years to get a real job. Every time I would fill out an application and see the "ever been convicted of a felony" my stomach felt sick. Finally someone took a chance and I have been there for almost 18 months now. Along the way I have had support from family members and that is what I starved for, but surprising it was all of you who read this post now, the ones I had never known or been around and it's that support that "hits" me hard. Why do perfect strangers comment with such words about my posts that it is overwhelming at times? I want to stress to family members that that is not meant in a bad way to your posts and support. It's just when someone I have never known nor met comments that "it made me cry" or "it brought tears to my eyes, thank you Philip" That says maybe, just maybe I am doing some good for those who have people on the inside or are just going through a hard time in their own life. I'm no shrink or doctor, but I do have a way to express myself through my own experiences and pain. I am no ones hero nor someone to be admired. I'm just a regular guy who made a very bad mistake costing many people 10 years of love and memories. In the last few weeks I have joined many groups that deal with prisons and those inside. I have posted many thoughts and dreams that many of you have commented on. I honestly want to hear your thoughts good and bad, for I think we learn more from bad comments than good. I have talked with many of you in Private Messaging and have got to see your pain through your words, and how rewarding it is when you say thanks. Most of you are going through more pain than I have ever went through, pain I hope I never know. I see so many positive comments about love ones and wonder where do you find that strength. It encourages me to fight on in my battles, to conquer my ghosts and demons. If I didn't it would be a dis-service to you all and the men I said goodbye to. I see in many of you a strength I admire so much, how you face life on a daily basis and fight the good fight while bottling up your pain and frustration. To smile on the outside while your heart is torn. Most of you fight a battle which many have no idea truly exists, you go to work, you pay bills, you cook supper, and sleep in an empty beds hugging onto an invisible person. There are nights I do the same, but that was my choice, for most of you, you were given no choice, but must live with that now. Some of you see the light at the end of the tunnel and some don't. Some may ask daily "what should I do." Only you and you alone can answer that and upon the answer live with it. Stay very strong and stay your course, never waver from what is truly in your heart, what ever your answer is. Don't let anyway sway you to the left or right, especially me. Look in the mirror today and what do you see? I see a true hero who has faced a very tragedy situation and is winning. In prison I used to say "I'm taking this day by day" then I though "hell I'll just have a good hour then worry about the next." No worries about what's for chow, or will I get that damn lay-in tonight, or when the hell do we go to store. There are so many things in our life we do not control, we control how it effects us. Thank you for listening to me and my ghosts..

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A quick thought before I go to work. What is that one thing? No not really asking what that one thing is that makes you love the one inside, but what is that one thing that flames the memory of the one inside. That breaths life into that memory. It could be a song? A movie or TV show? A restaurant or store? A place or street? A club or season? The kind of thing that makes your heart skip or brings a tear to one's eyes. The kind of thing that one may even dread seeing or hearing. The kind of thing one avoids at all costs or will go out of the way to be closer too. Memories for the most part I would think are free and don't really take up much space, yet to some they are more powerful then the act itself. Some memories are and should remain private for just the 2 to enjoy while others need to share them so they may relive then yet again. Stay strong and stay the course.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

"Ghost's appear and fade away, come back some other day" That is a line from the 1983 hit by Men at Work, the song is called Overkill. Those words mean so much to me and it was if Colin Hay wrote them specifically for me. As most of you know from my past posts I was locked up in 2001 until 2011, doing as we called it a dime on a dime. In that time my ghosts never really appeared, but upon release they attacked with vengeance. The assault came on the way back to Houston from Huntsville.
It started innocently enough when my breathing become erratic, commonly known as an anxiety attack I would say. I stared out the window and watched the lifeless faces pass by not really seeing them. There was a scattering of voices within the bus but to be honest I could not hear what they were saying. My mind raced with the anticipation of seeing my 3 small children who were not small anymore.
In the distance the skylight of H-Town, Houston, Space City, and my stomach churned. I said to myself "oh boy" I was scared to meet the 3 people that meant so much to me. the bus wound it's way, what seemed like for hours and we disembarked to start a journey into the unknown. There were PO's and various groups welcoming us home. I was in Zombie mode so really didn't pay that much attention. My 3 children were nowhere in sight within the bus terminal.
I walked outside to the heat of August and looked left and then right, still no sign. In a strange way I was relieved. Then out of the corner of my eye 3 "Big" people walked over to me. I knew it was them, but it took a minute to soak in how big they were in person. My ghosts had appeared, but would they fade away? To this day almost 3 years after release my ghosts still appear, sometimes they fade, sometimes they do battle with me.
It's an ongoing battle that I fear will never go away, for some it may I would think, for others like myself it is a constant reminder of what can go wrong in the blink of an eye. In prison I had seen so many terrible, horrible things, but some very beautiful and surprising. I witnessed men who may never see a loved one again yet talk with so much love for those persons. I saw hope in the eyes of men without hope, and others who could draw feelings on paper that amazed me.
I witnessed men make a tattoo gun out of everyday items in prison and showed a skilled hand putting ink on skin that showed a loved one's face, that showed memories, that showed hope, that showed ghosts. I saw men transform an ordinary prison radio, into one that received not only the normal am and pm stations, but HBO, Showtime, and even Pay per View channels through the speaker. So many gifted, and yet so many lost. We would read countless books, we would play Dungeons and Dragons, we would escape into a fantasy world where our ghosts faded, until another day.
But we all had, or most of us had one common thing, and that was you all on the outside, our sail in our run away ship. We need you all so much to write and just say hi, there were guys inside that would say "Why does she still stay with me" I have no answer for that...Is it love? maybe, maybe not but whatever it is it is strong and can move mountains, if bottled up and given to soldiers on a battle field no war would be lost.
There are those of you who may not wait, and I'll never find fault in that, we all have our reasons for keeping or letting our ghosts fade away. For me mine come back and at times I even talk to them. At times I even need and miss them for they made me remember of how bad things can be if you let them. I've bored you enough so in closing Stay Strong, Stay the course which ever one you choose, and watch for ghosts who appear and fade away, and may come back another day.

Friday, May 2, 2014

For those who read my Blog and my ramblings should be aware that between the years of 2001 through 2011 I was guest at the finest establishments that the State of Texas had to offer, other wise known as TDCJ, or as us insiders affectionately call TDC still. So in 2001 I was 43 and should have known better but crap happens. I was guilty of my crime and never said other wise. I have always said that those 10 years spent inside have dominated the other 45 of freedom. That may sound bad to some because in those 45 years of freedom I lived a pretty full life. Growing up in Montreal, Canada one "must" play hockey or be deemed weird. I loved hockey and others say i'm still weird so much for that theory. I remember all to well the waking in the morning when daylight hadn't even broke the veil of darkness and trudging through snow on my way to my Valhalla, my Heaven....the Rink. Upon entering one smells the ice. For those who know of what I speak you know what I mean. For those who have never entered a hockey rink it is a smell you never forget, and it's a good smell. Most rinks are cold and dressing room's are sub-arctic at times. Then you walk towards the ice with anticipation of that first blade hitting frozen water (hoping of course you don't trip). I wanted you my reader to get the feel of that so I can express why 10 years in prison dominates that feeling or so many others. Like the birth of my 3 children. These great memories will never be forgotten or replaced it's just that the 10 years was a very powerful experience. The stress level is and can not be measured inside, it's constant and lasts each and everyday, all day. Even if your lucky enough to have "friends" there it is still stressful. Chow times is stressful due to that fact that the chow sucks. Commissary is so stressful due to the fact you don't always make it and some bully their way out the door or in line. The screws/cops/guards make it stressful with their childish games and rules they play with us. Not all guards are like this, as with inmates there are good ones and bad ones. In and outs are stressful because they are not always given every hour. an 8x10 cell with a bad cellie is very stressful and leads to confrontation most times. Mail call is very stressful awaiting word from a loved one with talk of hope and faith. Let me please stress I am not crying, moaning, or complaining. I am just trying to help some people see what I saw through my eyes and mind on paper. Stay strong for those inside, and mostly for you all outside. Write often for that truly was and is for those I have left behind like the blood that flows through your veins, very much needed.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Does anyone ever think about space? Not outer space but there own little space. I was thinking you can be in a small room sitting on a chair reading or surfing the internet yet have the same amount of space as someone in a mansion. What I mean is that exact space you are sitting in. Why do you need 25 rooms when you can only use 1 at a time, 1 chair...Yes I know if you have a big family you need more space but I me you as an individual. In closing I guess space is a mind set, a frame of mind and thinking.