Murder is Bad.I was on the phone with Joe yesterday and he told me about a large billboard in Boston that had a photo of a young girl on it. Above her, were the words “Murder is Bad”. I have not been able to stop thinking about that. I mean; Are we at a time where we actually have to remind people of this fact? If we are, then why?
As I came across the yard toward the dorm from the phone, I looked around. Guys were dealing drugs (mostly spice), plotting their next assault, or shooting up heroin. I wondered if maybe I should go up to them and tell them that what they were doing is ‘bad’. Would it even make a difference? Most likely they would look at me as if I had shot their dog and then wonder why I would ever say such a thing. I really don’t believe that the greater majority of men here got the memo that the things they are doing, are not good. Unfortunately most of them don’t care.Once I was inside and settled into my dorm, John looked over and could see that I was lost in deep thought. I shared my thoughts with him. He understood everything that I had said, and then reminded me that behaviors like that, are why we treat everyone here on the defensive. That statement alone segued us onto another topic and it was also intriguing.
The overall gist of the conversation was simple; in here, we (John & I) believe that everyone has an angle and are constantly trying to get over on one another. The word TRUST is not in the inmate handbook. It never will be. So because of that, I have to always be stern and somewhat aggressive with the people I associate with in here. That, is not who I am at all. But it is how I must be so that people do not take advantage of me. The reasons I gravitate toward spending all my time with John, on the phone, writing letters, blogging, or at visit - is simply because I can relax and just be “me" when I am engaged in those activities. This may sound completely unbelievable but I never realized that, until John pointed it out. Those activities are another way for me to hold onto my humanity and remind myself that I am an actual person.John proceeded to give me examples of how I interact with others in here:
o When I am walking on the yard, a lot of men will try to talk to me for any number of reasons. They will call my name and I will refuse to make eye contact. Instead, I will say “If you need me, than walk and talk. I’m not stopping.”
o When I am sitting at my cubicle, men will come over to my run and try to ask for certain things. I will immediately say “NO” before they even finish asking their question.
These examples tell me that"1. I did get the memo that "Murder is Bad"
2. I know what people are capable of - and
3. I do not go through life with blinders on and trust everyone that makes my acquaintance.
The crazy part is that I never realized these things until after coming to prison.