Sunday September 2, 2012I should not be alive.
This thought comes to mind at least once a day. Today, the thought is more powerful because there is not much to do. I could workout, read, watch TV, write a letter of simply sleep but all of these seem unappealing to me at the moment. That in mind, I am left alone, with nothing but my thoughts.
It’s noon time and as I look around my temporary home, I see tall brick and mortar walls on all sides of me. This space is long and narrow with random cubicle spaces. By the initial sounds of it, one may think of a relic phone call center, or office space, when in fact, it is a prison. A place built upon conformity. A place that I still cannot believe I am at. A place I must call my ‘temporary home’.
Somehow, I have managed to survive for many years, In fact, I have been a ward of the state of Arizona since 2002. What does that mean? A “ward of the state”? Really, I am just a number. I am now formally known by my inmate number, or simply by my last name. Sometimes I think I no longer have a first name. How crazy is that?
I live a lie in order to survive, but it is what I have learned along the way that has helped me be successful at it. In a realistic situation, I should be able to be as “ok” as I am here. My entire life, belief system and moral compass go against everything prison insists you be. I am not just speaking of the prison administration. I am also referring to the inner prison population.
Before I came to prison, I thought of convicts and inmates much in the same manner that most would; big scary men, murderers/rapists; with tattoos, drugs, weapons, violence, etc. Keep that stereotype in your forethought for a moment and then put this description into your mind: a 31 year old male, of mixed ethnicity, upper middle class, college educated, well travelled, articulate and a career in modeling. Now add to that, the fact that he is a confident, secure and open homosexual. Would you say that he would be typical prison material?
Well here I am.
Believe me, when it comes to prison, no one is exempt. I live amongst some pretty insane individuals and in comparison to their crimes, I sadly also fit the bill. You see, when I said earlier that I should not be alive, well I meant that I should be dead along with the three individuals that lost their lives in the car crash that brought on this prison sentence for me. I see now that it was not the plan, but it could have been. The accident was my fault.
The reason for this blog is to not only educate people on what life is truly like behind those towering walls people see when they pass by them on far away highways, but to also let people know that anyone can be here. In no way do I fit the stereotype of the average prisoner, but it oddly works to my benefit. Over time, I will explain my story, and the story of many others that are a part of my world. I hope that at some point, you can take something away from it.
In truth, this blog idea actually came from my best friend, Joe I had been tossing the idea of writing a book back and forth for awhile and he said “What about a blog?” A couple of weeks later, I discussed it with my inner circle, which consists of my amazing mother, Lyn, my step father Kevin, and myself, of course. I mean; I had to think about what it would be like to really put it all out there. I own my situation, take responsibility for it completely. Telling the world about it, is a whole other story. In the end, I had everyone’s blessings, so here I am.