Saturday, April 11, 2015

‘The Character of People’

Sunday, March 15, 2015

I spent the entire day yesterday at visit with Kevin and it was a really good day. We sat outside, being that the weather was beautiful, and casually discussed a great many topics. At some point, he mentioned that he had noticed that I was speaking of certain affiliates here less and less. He was very curious as to why that was. My answer, as complicated and perhaps even judgmental as it goes, was this: The more time that I spend in prison, the older I become and the less I want to associate with the people around me. For some reason, their negative character traits have become so increasingly clear and apparent to me that I simply choose to have no association with them, if at all.

Somehow, (and mind you, I hate to admit this…) I have become incredibly judgmental toward certain character traits within people. I think many of us are this way, but it’s just so difficult to really admit it. It’s easier for all of us to simply state how we are not judgmental. Personally, I think its critical when selecting various friends and associates, but you may of course, disagree with me on that. There will always be things that are important to me that may not be important to the next person. And that’s okay. In fact, I readily accept that. Similarly, there are things that are really inconsequential to me that may e very important to another person.

In my opinion, these are the most prevalent negative character traits of an inmate in prison. (There are exceptions, but the following list most certainly represents a sizeable amount of the prison population.)

A lot of guys, still after being here for years, refuse to accept any type of authority. They remain only devoted to themselves and can be very disloyal.

Everyone lies, both in and out of prison. Some lies are mundane and unimportant. Others can be very damaging and harmful. In prison, it can be life threatening. The levels of deceit that some of these guys go to accomplish what they want is scary. Because they do so, I realize that there are no boundaries with these men.

I believe that this behavior is conscious and that we, as humans, should be kind to one another. Unfortunately, I have witnessed cruel and unkind behavior from one person to another even before coming to prison. Within my stay here though, I have been hard pressed to witness any authentic act of kindness from most inmates.

I cannot speak for everyone, but I don’t see how allowing oneself to be manipulated by other things or other people can be a positive thing. To me, it is a clear cut sign of insecurity and weakness. When I meet people like this, (and there are many here in prison) I become very nervous. Is it so hard to self direct your own life?

This is the last, but worst item on my list. I suppose that because it hits home in such a way that I judge people the most on it. I myself used to blame everyone for everything in my life. All the while, I never stopped to look in my own mirror. It’s a tough thing to be accountable and responsible but, we need to be in order to evolve, grow and better ourselves. If we are unable to do that, then what’s the point of living a life in which we try to be productive?

There is a certain amount of leeway that needs to be afforded to men in prison however, and I am the first to say that this life is NOT easy, in any way. What bothers me is that so few have any desire to better themselves, to change, or at least, be accountable. Instead, the majority of inmates come into prison to pick up new negative character traits and/or habits. It is very disturbing when you look at the big picture.

Look – no one is perfect. I am certainly far from it but, I do judge just as others judge me. I am not entirely sure if it is something to be seen as a weakness, or a negative for me, but it has certainly evolved over the time I have been in prison. At the moment, I am not too sure if there any way of getting around that.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

‘My Current Play List’

Sunday, March 22, 2015

People are always interested in the type of music that I listen to. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I have my headphones on 90% of the day and my CD player on my hip. (There are no MP3’s here…) Still, I realize that music is a way of telling a lot about a person. 

My current CD collection stretches pretty far in terms of decade and genre, so I have no idea what you might ascertain from it, but here it is nonetheless. 
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
*Alice Smith
Katy Perry
Robin Thicke
Myley Cyrus
*Calvin Harris
Jennifer Lopez
Claudia Lette (Brazilian Beyonce')
Nick Jonas
Sam Smith
Ariana Grande
Chris Brown
*Jessie J
Nicky Minaj
Tamar Braxton
*Toni Braxton
Kesha Cole
Selena Gomez
Donnel James
Mark Ronson
Izzy Azalea
Azealia Banks

*Clean Bandit
Ricky Martin
Trey Sangz
Deborah Cox
Nina Simone
Patti Smith
Janis Joplin
Etta James
Kelly Price
The Gap Band
The Commodores
Earth Wind & Fire
*Patti Labelle
Anita Baker
Luther Vandross
*Deneice Williams
*Mumford & Sons
Lilly Allen
Luke Bryan
Little Big Town
*Florida/Georgia State Line
Swing Out Sister
Romeo Santos
Jenni Rivera
Icona Pop
Scissor Sisters
Michael Buble
Lady Gaga
*Kings of Leon

There you have it: My incredibly diverse taste in music. I have placed an * by those artists that have become my favorites. I am always open to new recommendations though so feel free to let me know if you have some suggestions!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

‘Just another food visit’

Sunday, February 22, 2015

It is 4:00 AM here in Florence and I’m awake, coffee by my side. My goal was to slowly go through some questions that I have received by readers but instead, I have gotten distracted in thinking about the enormous amount of food mom will be bringing me today during our “food visit”. (For those unfamiliar, the prison facility designates certain days of the year where visitors are allowed to bring in more healthy, and tasty – food offerings.)

Since a lot of people are curious as to what she brings… The menu for today’s food visit is below:

Starbucks coffee
Whipped cream coffee topping with Grand Marnier flavoring
Homemade banana pancakes with Nutella
Homemade Pan Perdu (Stuffed French toast with marmalade and cream cheese)
Sausage Links & Bacon

Spinach salad with fried calamari, red onion and cherry tomatoes
Cheesy garlic bread
Homemade meat lasagna
Bacon wrapped scallops
Homemade lobster macaroni n’ cheese

Lemoncello cake stuffed with mascarpone and raspberries
Homemade cream cheese brownies


‘The reality of closing doors’

Saturday, February 21, 2015

I have only loved one man romantically in my life, Mark. I loved him then and I love him now – only in a different way. (At least I tell myself that) I mean, a man in my position cannot maintain a healthy relationship from here – even if I tried. Being with Mark – again – was a possibility a few years back, but I thought it best not to let history repeat itself. He may be the same Mark that I fell in love with all those years ago, but today, I am a very different David.

No matter how many times I have contemplated it, Mark + David simply doesn’t add up.

In acknowledging that, our friendship grew exponentially with me as an adult. What we have now, is healthy, rewarding and ‘safe’. When he visits, the energy is positive. Yes, I still find him attractive but that is not generated from my loins, but rather, an ephemeral place. When we speak on the phone, the conversation is interesting, educating and jovial. I look forward to the sound of his voice and the way he makes me focus on the bigger picture of life.

This past week, I learned that his boyfriend will be moving into his home. I was congratulatory, excited even, because Mark deserves to be loved, and well, ‘happy’. It’s something that I want for him and yet later on that evening, I cried for over 30 minutes in the shower.

Reigning in my emotions was difficult because I couldn’t assess the situation clearly. Was I jealous? Angry? Sad? If I was… then why? It made me feel incredibly selfish and immature. Then I realized why I was having these emotions: a door was closing.

Life is continuing and people are growing and evolving. I am doing the same, but – in here. I’m in here, in this place and I subconsciously do not want any doors to close. My heart and soul are simply not ready for that. 

Unfortunately, life doesn’t much care about any of that.