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Thursday, January 22, 2015

“Chance Encounter” (part 2)
           
            I glanced back at her business card one more time, “Bad Apple” what the hell does that have to do with a sports bar I thought again. Was she from New York? Was she just a bad apple? One way or the other I was on the case, and I’m not even a cop. Here I was a pretty good looking guy, successful, 44 years old and my stomach was in knots. I smiled to myself at the little autograph I had just handed her son. “To Mommy, from Jake Rutland, your biggest fan”. I wondered what she would think of that. Who was the fan of who…I’m so clever at times?
            I looked over at her table where she had sat and wished she was still there, wished we had more time. I stole a glance at the corner where she and her son had disappeared hoping to see her appear. I took a big breath and order a drink, my next move would need courage. I loved sports and this being summer I was sure a ball game would be on, and I had just the right place to watch. Looking again at my laptop and noticing that I had accomplished absolutely nothing today, but fall in love I decided to Google “The Bad Apple”
            Seems to be a hot spot for tourists and people on the go. Whatever the hell that means. I always thought if you’re on the go why would you sit in a bar or restaurant? Reviews talked of great foods and drinks. I suddenly had a craving for a ginger ale and Poutine. For those of you who are not familiar with Poutine, it’s a Quebecois favorite. French fries and brown gravy mixed with curds of cheese. I looked at the directions and map and knew it was only a few miles from where I sat, my stomach twisted.

            Get a grip Jake I thought. I closed my laptop and walked over to a taxi stand, ok I’m lazy, but rich and famous people don’t walk? Do we? Was I even in those categories? The cab pulled out and away we went for my chance encounter with a Goddess. I looked at her business card again and realized there was no name. Just “The Bad Apple” address and phone number. We pulled up to a building that looked to be 200 years old made of huge stones. Thoughts of a castle or fortress came to mind. In front, windows that must have been in 25 foot sections greeted me. My heart raced.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Just Words, Right?
           
            In my 56 years of life I have been asked many questions, some easy, more hard. Doesn’t it amaze some of you that all answers are really just words combined together in such a way to give rhyme or reason and give those with no hope, hope? Interesting isn’t it. Words we all use every day, man, woman, and child, yet placed in a certain way and order and we feel so much better. There only words, aren’t they?
            We cling to words like its life’s elixir or our last breath, hoping to give us meaning in our life. Some of you may not admit that, but it is true. Some ask the question really knowing the answer, yet want another answer even if it isn’t true. Again some will disagree with me. We in general loved to be self-assured, we love to be vindicated in our choices right or wrong. We hate to be told “You screwed up”.
            We try to do what’s right even when we know it’s wrong, but we don’t want to be told that, do we. We learn from our mistakes or we hope to. At times listening is better than asking questions. There is a great book by Sun Tzu called “The Art of War” inside you will find some of the most amazing quotes that were written over 2000 years ago. A few of my favorites are “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak”, another one and I paraphrase is “Fight your enemy where he is not”. Although these phrases were wrote more or less about war it still applies to everyday life.

            Pick your words wisely and with care, words can and do hurt. They last in us forever and never go away. They can eat at us like a cancer and consume us to do things we shouldn’t do. Words can be taken two ways and that is where the hurt or joy starts. There only words right? Built out of 26 letters in the alphabet, that is all. No more no less. Stay strong as always and more importantly stay your course.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

“A Mile in our Shoes”
            The above 5 words are so simple to write and sound so simple to say, yet too many they never really understand them or get it do they. See those of us who have spent time in jail or prison, or those of you who have had or still have a loved one inside get it. To the majority they don’t care and in some ways I see their point also. I know that may make some of you mad or upset but we are a minority to those that are “good”.
            We all strive to do the right thing and for the most part many succeed, while some seem destined to go back down that road of self-destruction, regardless of countless warnings from loved ones. That would be a very hard thing to accept. To tell a son, husband, father, brother, and of course this applies to women as well, but for the most part I address the men here. Only if I knew and understood what my actions really did to my loved ones.
            Going back to those that really don’t see or walk in our shoes don’t blame or hate on them. For the most part they may have been a victim of crime and see us as all the same. Again I cannot blame them for that. There is good and bad in all aspects of life. There are those who have no one inside yet pick up the flag and banner for their cause. There are those that hide behind pearly gates and refused to think that anyone in jail or prison can be just a person who got caught up in something.
            There are many inside who cry “I was framed or not guilty” some are telling the truth while many more or not. In prison I helped some by going to the law library and filing rites and motions for them. After reading the court transcripts or lack of I was astonished to think they thought they were innocent. Many may not be guilty of this or that crime, but never were caught for so many other crimes. So in a way is it karma that finally caught them?
            The bottom line is you my readers today who suffer the blunt of all this. The stares and whispers from those who shun those inside. It is not your fault for our/mine/their actions. Yes it can be said or argued that some of you may have had “something” to do with it but for the most part I and them should and will be held accountable for our actions. Society in whole has always looked down on inmates no matter the crime or facts.
            Some laws are picky and unjust but they are still the law, and most know that going in. Like the old saying “You sleep with dogs, you’re bound to get fleas”, or “Where there is smoke, there usually is fire”. What I mean is for the most part there is a pattern of behavior with some regardless of the love they receive. You can blame it on up bringing or society, or the government, or the Dallas Cowboys losing (sorry had to put that in there), but all in all we have to man up and face the consequences of our actions.
            Sadly it is you, all the loved ones who suffer most. Many of you ever Saturday and Sunday make the pilgrimage to the various units to spend a few hours with someone who has or still is breaking your hearts. You try to put up a brave face and swallow tears. Words are spoken, but some are not for whatever reason. You leave with an empty feeling and hungry for more. You spend money needed for other things on gas to share a few hours with someone who means so much to you and for that you all are truly the Hero’s.
            You are the silent unknown victim in all this. The mothers, wives, sisters, grandmothers, sisters and so many more. The ones who hurt the most are the kids who can’t or won’t understand why daddy or mommy isn’t coming home tonight. You shield them from your pain because your love for them is unmeasurable. You put on a brave front and smile, while your heart breaks. To me that is strength that if contained or bottled would end any war.
            At times I am at a loss for words to try to explain what I felt and can hopefully turn that into something all of you can relate too. Better is something you can use to help yourself. I’m no one special at all, I guess I have a talent to express my heart and soul on paper and share it with you. I post my writings on my Blog and of course on various groups. At times I may even post on my regular Facebook page. Some of the remarks I get are comical at times “Wow you were in prison? You don’t seem the type or a bad guy”. A smile breaks across my face and really never respond.
            My point I guess is society has judged me forever for what I did in a 2 minute span, my whole life and all the things I did which I could consider good was thrown out the window for 2 minutes of stupid actions. Yes I did do my crime, I was guilty and paid the price which I should have, no crying or belly aching. But in saying that here I will get messages from some saying I’m doing just that or who cares.

            I will never win many fans for my actions, and to be honest I don’t care anymore. I can only do what I can and keep up the good fight and stay my course. Same goes for all of you, stay your course, ignore ignorant people, and listen to your heart, mind, and soul. Some care, more don’t……oh well. In Canadian fashion we had a saying for those who are like that “Get Bent” with a smile of course. You guys Rock and keep it up….Till we meet again.