I've never been in prison. The closest to a jail this writer has come was while I parked in front of the Beverly Hills city clink... waiting for a quick getaway upon the release of my (ex)girlfriend. She was caught driving while intoxicated and spent the night in an unfashionable Beverly Hills jail cell. She says she was in Zsa Zsa Gabor's cell, but I never was quite sure.
There were hundreds of names to click through on writeaprisoner.com. My criteria were... no murderers and no one incarcerated for sex crimes or for harming a child. Their requirements narrowed my search a lot more. It seemed that most guys were in prison for drug possession -- and their sentences were longer than those guys serving time for manslaughter. I'd estimate that 90 percent of men in prison wish to correspond (only) with women. I viewed a dozen names that met my rules.
He was a clean-cut guy. His profile showed his age, younger than me, and he was serving 10 years for auto theft. His entire adult life was spent inside three walls with a barred door cell, he'd be out at age 30. I scribbled down his postal address.
I sent a letter to him the following day. Two weeks later I received his first response. It was quite exciting to open my mail box on a Tuesday... I tore up advertisements and credit card applications, but a letter addressed to me, hand written in big letters across a standard white business envelope, jumped out for my attention.
While the contents of our letters to each other will follow in paragraphs ahead; there is nothing earth shattering, gory, or sexual. These 13 letters were written over a period of seven months they end at the time of Steve's (not his real name) release from prison. What wasn't directly said about childhood memories is clear enough, and certainly no surprise.
The handwritten letters were simply this: Two guys -- who would never meet in person -- experience each other in two different worlds. Behind the state bars in Washington, one writer regrets his mistakes; while another writer regrets the cell he built for himself in a world he no longer fits.
For this article, the [now] former prisoner's name and physical location mentioned have been changed;
grammar and spelling are in their original form.
How are you? I live in New York City, the big apple. No place like it on earth. I'm 39 and I live alone. I have a pet, he is a 7-year-old bunny rabbit. He's the greatest pet really, and I take him on trips with me to Europe and California. He romps around the apartment on his own and is trained to use a litter box.
My grandmother died a few months ago. She and I used to write regularly to each other, and I miss our correspondence, especially since today everyone just e-mails and then logs off. Do you have e-mail in prison?
I must admit that I feel strange writing someone I've never met, or know nothing more about you outside of your internet profile on writingaprisoner.com. Have many people written you? What are your interests, do you like music or sports? Do you follow politics? I'm not a fan of our current administration. So, if you like Bush that will certainly give us much to debate (wink.)
Traveling is fun for me as it breaks up an otherwise monotonous job at IBM. My favorite place to visit is Paris -- a city I hope to someday live for a while. I'm a writer by trade, but I make zero dollars writing... Looking forward to your response.
Thanks for responding to my ad...I must admit like yourself I to find it to be quite awkward writing to someone you've never met. It is a little comforting though I'm not alone. (smile) You're the third person who's wrote and so far it hasn't gotten any easier.
Well, hopefully you'll want to write back... I'm sure it'll get easier after a couple of letters. You sound like a pretty cool dude, I mean from what you've told me, anyhow. (smile)
To answer some of your questions...I am big on music. My guitar is, my baby, it's kept me going all these years! I'm into all kinds of music too... I don't really listen to too much country or rap though. I'm more into the classic rock and new stuff. I'd have to say Creed, Godsmack, and Linkin Park for the new stuff. Journey, REO speedwagon and Bon Jovi for the love songs. Clapton, Eagles, Zepplin... and there is just too many bands that I'm into. Trust me though I love music. It all depends on my mood at the time. I write a lot of my own too. If you let some of my friends in here tell it, you'll see me on MTV. (smile) I'll believe that when I see it.
I'm from Washington state, lived here all my life. I have been to several other states but not to live or call home. In here I do play chess every now & then... I'm also into the scrabble, but most people don't like playing me because I know too many words... mainly them two letter ones. Ha. My time's usually spent on sports... I'm pretty athletic. It's something I'm not only good at but something I enjoy also!
I'm not too big on politics.... I kinda lost touch with all of that a while back. If it matters though I'm proud to be an American, even while incarcerated. (smile) I'm a good stubborn individual though. So, maybe I'll get into it and see how good you are! I'm always willing to learn. By the way I don't like Bush... probably not for the same reasons as you though, personally, he just seems like a shister. He's sneaky always repeating himself and acts like he's holier than thou. His blood is red just like mine though.
About you moving to Paris... if you do get the chance to don't worry I'm just a piece of paper away. I know its not the same as having someone to be there, but its better than nothing. You shouldn't have a hard time meeting people.... like I said you sound cool! At least you're not in my shoes. (smile) See, you gotta always look for the positives about a situation. It could always be worse. That's how I look at life, it seems to work. Well, I kinda inherited this outlook in here!
Well, I'm gonna close for now Jeff, but I hope to hear from you again. Ask questions, I'm easy going nothing to hide. Thanks again for writing.
It was super to get your note. How are things with you? Same humdrum here. Starting to warm up now with Summer on. I took the bunny to the park and he chased the pigeons. He always attracts a crowd of people, and the children go wild as he runs around. I usually try to pick a place behind a fence otherwise all the children want to come up and pet him. He loves being pet, but I never know where those children's hands have been!
What is your day like in prison? Do you have responsibilities, cleaning the showers or cooking? I've never been to prison so I don't even know what to ask you about it, you'll have to forgive me if my questions sound stupid. It would be interesting to know how you wound-up in jail, although I understand if you don't' want to discuss it.
I like the same bands you mentioned. I also enjoy classical music and native music of different countries like Jamaica, India, and Vietnam. We have a couple of radio stations in New York that play music considered out of the mainstream. Plus, the internet now has radio stations from other lands and I love tuning in with my computer.
Have you met some friends? I imagine maybe it is easy when you spend day and night with the same people. I have a few friends at work, but we mostly just instant message each other online and never meet in person. But due to long hours at work, I don't have friends outside. It is difficult to meet people in the first place, and I'm not even sure what people want. I'm interested in seeing a movie together or going out for beer. It seems that anyone I really click with is married and he or she has to spend time with their family.
I've had relationships in the past, those weren't so successful either. I'm not one to label people like society does, gay or straight, I think two people can fall in love no matter what. After all, we are only people, most of us are just barely making a go of it. No money, no real future, and then you see it ends quicker than you thought it would.
eeek. Maybe I sound too depressing. Life is good and bad at the same time, so don't take me the wrong way. I imagine you worry about getting out someday, and that shall be a challenge. I think it would be a mistake, for me, to let on as though life is easy outside. Anyway, I think it is healthy to prepare for every circumstance. So, if when you get out you know you'll have to work your ass off, then you won't be surprised or disappointed, right? (wink).
Hello again! I just got your letter and I'm going to try to write you one in response before I got to go to work!
Uh, yeah... we have jobs in here too. Although our living expenses in here aren't quite like yours. I can understand what your saying. I know its hard out there and to be honest with you that's one of the thing that scares me but I think I'm up for the challenge.
The way I see it is simple... after working for 23 cents an hour no matter what I make out there I'll fee a lot better. (smile)
My main thing is gonna be to never forget this place.... I mean I'm sure its going to get hard for me out there but I got to stay focused because it's be real easy to resort right back to what got me here in the first place. By the way I'm in here for stealing cars. I'm not trying to make excuses, because I know it was wrong. The thing is, where I went to steal a car, I had to break into the home first to steal the keys. I didn't know how to wire a car.
I understand what you're saying about making friends. it's not easy. It seems like everyone is in such a hurry anymore... then when you do think you found or made a new friend you come to find he's looking for either more or something else. It's really hard to find a true friend nowadays.
So, anyways you & I are into the same kind of music, huh? That's cool... I'm pretty versatile, but I do have favorites. Before I rap this up, I wanted to talk a little bit about the label you spoke of so you'd know my own opinions. I got about fifteen minutes left before I go to work so bare with me, okay? (smile)
Personally, I'm no angel... I'm not perfect and most people would judge me based on my spending time in jail. It's sad but that's just life. I really don't care or at least that's what I'd like to believe. As I said in my personal ad, I'm open minded. I don't judge people for what they're into or whatever. I treat others as I'd want to be treated myself. I'm not trying to be placed in a box, therefore I won't put someone else in one unless its my own little personal box. Meaning if you treated me like shit you'll be in my shit box. (smile) I judge people only on how they act or treat me.... does that make sense? I'm in a hurry Jeff, ya gotta cut me some slack. (smile)
As far as being gay goes... that's part of life. I'm not sure if I'm gay or not. I guess it'd be called bisexual because I like women too. This is a long discussion we can talk about in our next letter... I don't have the time right now. Jeff, I got to go buddy... I'll write you again real soon, okay? Thanks for writing and I hope to hear from you again soon.
Thanks for your great letter. I look forward to hearing from you. My week was really tough at work. I'm not one who favors processes, and at IBM that is all we can do is follow processes. I imagine processes in prison are quite strict too, yes? I have a website that actually helps me stay creative and it gives me something to focus on outside of work.
The beauty of using the web is, you can either remain anonymous or show your face to the world. hehehe. I've written several stories about how the Bush administration is tricking society into believing them. Writing these stories gets me into trouble and I wondered how the censors in your place would think about me sending you the stories. (I don't think they'd like it.) I also write about men who have been sexually abused when they were children. I was one of those men too, so I understand the struggle men have as adults to deal with their childhood taken away -- without their choosing.
My sister and I were raped by the same man when we were teenagers, he was a neighbor and a church fellow. The priest stuck by the man, no surprise since the priest was probably in on it -- they all are. The few priests make them all seem like monsters to me. I was raised Catholic but I no longer practice religion. If there is such thing as a devil I believe religion is the devils work, and not that of a good god of some kind.
... No, I really don't have much contact with my family, I don't know my real dad and my mom and I aren't close like that. My little brother never got a chance like me to go to foster care. He is now in jail awaiting trial for killing his girlfriend... |
I think it is healthy to question your sexual being. God knows we don't have a society that embraces one's sexuality -- we just slam anyone who doesn't fit some idiotic stereotype. I've been in love with both sides before, so I know what its like to fight for who you are, while being a societal outcast. It isn't easy having a relationship with a woman, I mean, I love women, but they don't understand men. And guys, they can be pretty whacked, and are usually on the same wave length with me, when they are drunk. But take away the booze, and they are right back to what society wants them to be. At least women seem in touch with who they are, the women I've know anyway.
I think I was born about ten years too late. I think I'd have loved the 60s. (wink) My idea of that period was truly one of embracing one's individuality and shedding the forced societal norms, whatever the fuck that means.
How did you plan to steal a car? I have to admit that I laughed when I read you didn't know how to hotwire a car. Don't get me wrong, I'm not laughing at you... I guess you were just a polite burglar. Was it on a whim, or did you do it to join a gang? I hear that is popular with proving one's ability to join a gang... maybe that is a myth?
Does prison provide support for you? Do they help train you for a job when you get out? Is there any form of psychology to help you understand where you are in life? Well, sorry for all the questions... I'm learning a lot by what you write.
Hey, what's up? Nothing much new here.. I just wanted to let you know that I got your letter. I must admit I'm really not sure of how to respond. I mean you spoke of some pretty personal stuff and I don't want to say the wrong thing, ya know?
To touch on a few of the little less personal subject, you brought up....I'd have to agree and disagree about the difference between men and women. As a man, I could see the point about we all pretty much are the same in our ways of thinking and upbringing. We certainly have an easier time understanding each other as well as respecting one another. Whereas with women, we're constantly trying to figure her out and what makes her act so crazy. See, women are very emotional and expect the same from us, but like you said, we're not and that makes it easier for us guys to get along. We don't expect the next man to be all mushy and shit and visaversa.
However Jeff, not all men are alike... for instance, take myself. I'm not a wussy but I haven't any problem with expressing myself. Like yourself I've had a thing in my younger years that affected me emotionally growing up. As a teen I never had many male friends and no respect whatsoever for authority figures.
I lived in foster homes from age of seven and I only surrounded myself with female friends for the most part and I didn't do it for the sex. Infact I've only had three partner, but most of them were true friends and we had a bond. Though they've moved on in life I still love them all like sisters and have a profound love and respect for women. Yes they are very different from us men but if you ever get to understand them you'll have a whole new outlook. I personally think that if only half of the men today could take few pages out of a woman's life the world would be a much better place.
I can tell you probably grew up a lot like I had to huh? It was hard to trust males etc. No, I really don't have much contact with my family... I don't know my real dad and my mom and I aren't close like that. My little brother never got a chance like me to go to foster care. He is now in jail awaiting trial for killing his girlfriend. More than likely he'll end up with the death penalty for it was very gruesome. I feel bad for him I know that could've very easily of been me in his shoes. I was lucky in that respect that they took me out of my house before it got too bad.
You asked about how I ended up stealing cars.... Well that's a long story Jeff! Basically to make it short, I had to run away, from that home, and was hanging out with a couple of dudes who were on the run too. At first we stole a car to get from point A to point B... we was supposed to return the car, but ended up in a ditch. To save her own ass, the girl said I held a gun to her head, which I didn't and later abandoned the car, but at the time it put me on the run also. Stealing cars became a form of escape and a source for money to get away. Does that pretty much explain it? If not, let me know and I go into more detail in my next letter.
As for as support goes... well Jeff, that's why I got on this computer thing. (smile) As I said, most guys get on it to use people for money, but I'm just trying to make some friends. I've been without money all my life so it doesn't bother me. However one can't live without friends, someone to talk to etc. I don't have family... once I had a lot of friends, but over the years people move on or don't have time etc. Its cool though, I understand... that's why I'm on this website though I'm just reaching out Jeff to those who are sincere cause I don't have anything to offer other than myself, my hand in friendship. I don't know how else to say it.
I am who I am its' up to those if they can look beyond my past, ya know? I can't change it. Jeff... I'm sorry to hear about what you and your sister had to experience. No one should have to go through a thing like that.... I'm truly amazed that you'd tell me for I'm still pretty much of a stranger.
I'll say this much, you aren't alone Jeff. I'm not going to go into it all the detail but I've went through similar experiences from five to nine years old. I'm not one to talk about it though.... I just wanted you to know that I understand and truly feel for you. I know about how the blame gets put on us and how it tears families apart etc.
Sexuality has been kind of a problem for me also growing up but over the years I've learned how to deal with it. I'm definitely not normal in that I deal with my problems myself. I don't do a lot of talking and or counseling.... I've always dealt with shit myself. I've got a pretty good grip on stuff and I've read numerous books about situations and how to deal with them.
Well, Jeff, I'm going to have to close this now for I got to go to work in about ten minutes. Thanks again for writing I look forward to many more letter s in the future from you.... I think we can learn a lot from each other.
How are things with you in Washington? Its been a very hot week here, had to use the air conditioning every day this week. Normally I forego the a/c because it runs up the electric bill so high.
What you've said in your letter was very touching. I think you are a very bright guy, and have a lot of insight. In reading about your brother, I will say that it made my skin crawl. As I'm getting to know you, even in reading between the lines, of course you guys had a tough break. No child deserves to be subjected to parents who don't know their head from their ass. Of course I don't condone behavior that is unbecoming in our society. We do all have to live together and need to follow some sense of rules. I'm sorry about your brother. In my opinion, his rage and hatred inside certainly showed, didn't it?
My grandmother always said, there is no such thing as delinquent children, only delinquent parents. My friend, your story certainly proves such a statement is true. We can't expect a teenaged kid without a family to on his own simply decide he wants to save the world. Our minds don't work that way. We build up our frustrations and when they pop, bam, look out, whoever is in the way, god-help them.
Have you ever read, Mysterious Skin, the book is by Scott Heim. Someone recommended it to me, and when I first started reading it I didn't think I was going to like it. But I quickly got involved in formula, it is the same story told by several people involved, which pulled me through the rest of the book. It is not a story for those easily upset by child abuse, on the other hand, the author nails it on the head. I could relate to everything he said. I'd be happy to send you a copy of the book, just let me know.
I've done a lot of 'soul' searching in my own life, and read many books about self-recovery. Some of the books are silly really, I mean they just tell you what you already know! What is the point of that? I've got to be true to myself. And you know what? That is the fuckingest hardest thing to do.
Spent a lot of time trying to help people, in as much I can anyway. Most of the people I've reached out to have been childhood victims, or women who were raped. Lots of people think that someone's childhood should just be "get over it," kind of statements, but when I hear someone say that I question where they are coming from. Either they had a great childhood, for which I think is grand, and hope that is the case in everyone. Or they have decided the best way to hide their faults is by ignoring them.
I say live and learn from your mistakes. Make a mistake, just don't make the same one again. (wink). Arrgh, sorry for ranting like this. After just coming back from Europe again, I see how backwards the USA is, and that really frustrates me. I hope you get to travel Europe someday, I think you'd like it very much. Maybe you can adopt that goal.
Hello again my friend. I apologize for taking so long to write back.... like an idiot I forgot to buy envelopes the last time I went to the store! I finally got some yesterday so I thought I'd better write before you gave up on me! (smile)
So, how's life been treating you? I got your letter last week and I though about how we pretty much think the same way. That's cool... I mean we've both done a lot of studying. I think we've both handled our situation pretty good and because of others problems which we was forced to deal with... we are who we are today.
Jeff, would you send me a picture? I'm really curious as to what you look like. I mean I feel like I already know you real well, but I don't even know what you look like! (smile.) I'd send you one of me if you'd like. Of course you don't have to... I'm just asking in all honestly. I think it'll be a strength towards our developing friendship. I feel pretty comfortable talking to you now. But I'm drawing a visual blank when I think about who it is that I talking to... does that make sense? I guess it makes us still stranger sand that's not cool you know?
I think its a wonderful thing you are doing.... I mean I've read and heard so much about these priests who can do whatever they want and get away with it. They're ruining children's lives Jeff, we both seem to understand this and I'd love to be a part of what you're' doing. As far as secrets I don't really have many. I mean I don't just go around telling everyone things I don't like or things that I'm not comfortable with, but if I trust someone I keep an open mind and let them read the book on me if they're interested.
Jeff, you can get as heavy as you want in your letters. I might not always be politically correct in my response but I'll listen and answer all questions honestly. I can't promise much more than that so I hope this will do.
I've never been outside of the USA... I've never lived outside of Washington State. I've lived here al my life. I've passed through a few states but that's about it. I'd like to see some other countries.... I love the outdoors and I've seen some beautiful scenery on T.V. the travel channel, ya know? (smile) I don't think I'll ever get to go to any of those places, but its nice to dream.
Who knows, maybe I'll make it big on the guitar one day and get to go places, yeah, right! Well Jeff, I'm going to go for now... I hope to hear from you again soon. Take care my friend.
P.S., Jeff I almost forgot, I never read Mysterious Skin, they don't have it here and I truly appreciate the offer, but I must say No my friend. Please understand there are rules here that I must follow. If you was to send a book it would have to be brand new and come directly from a publisher or book store and I can't let ya do that.
I appreciate the thought but I don't want anything from anyone. I hope you understand. I'm in prison Jeff, I put myself here and I deal with it. I can't accept gifts for being stupid. Thanks though. (smile.)
I took these pictures yesterday. I can't tell you how technology has changed the ability to send pictures the old fashioned way! I have a digital camera, but no printer. Everything I do with photography now is by using my digital camera. So I bought some film and dug up my Nikon camera to take these pictures. The two of the guy are me. hahahaha. And the furry picture is my bunny rabbit. He is much cuter than I am. GRIN.
I love taking pictures outside. I love photographing flowers and the sunset or clouds. I'd love to chase tornados someday and film one touching down and then feel the wind blowing around me. Hail is cool too. When I lived in Texas I missed the big hail storm in Fort Worth, but it was so bad I'm glad I wasn't there.
Do you ever write down your dreams? I do this periodically, but they can so easily be taken out of context. We could write each other our dreams if you'd like. I can start. I had one last night, it was strange because I was feeling in my dream, not just dreaming. I felt good, like happy and peaceful. I was with a bunch of people, none of whom I knew and I was sitting with some guy I didn't recognize, but we were talking and I just sensed his presence was really calming to me. He was like this person I was with for my whole life. What's funny about it, if I saw that guy on the street I think I'd recognize him right away. One of my past shrinks talked about dream analysis and he would say, every character in your dream is you. So he would say that that man in my dream was me, and that I'm at peace with myself. Well, nice thought anyway!
I used to dream about drowning or falling out of a plane, but those dreams don't scare me anymore. Now I learned to control my dreams. If a big tidal wave hits me and buries me in water, I simply keep breathing and I don't drown. If I fall off a cliff or out of a plane, no big deal, I just start flapping my arms and I fly to safety. I had a good shrink once who told me I shouldn't fear dreams but needed to make them work in my favor. Some dreams have been pretty gory, and I've killed a guy in my dreams which was a bizarre feeling to have.
So, how do you buy things in prison? Do they give things to you or is there a place you order from? What do you ordinarily buy? Do you dress in street clothes or do they hand out special suits? (smile) Do you smoke ciggis? I guess you can't buy beer, huh? hahaha.
Hey bud, what's up? I got your letter along with the pictures you sent and I just wanted to say thank you! The bunny was pretty cool... he's just chillin huh? I've enclosed a picture for you also, but unfortunately I don't look as kind as you and the bunny! I apologize Jeff... I mean please try to understand this I am after all in prison and there's not a whole lot to smile about in here. It's the only picture I have at the moment and it was taken a few months back. I hope it's do for now.
... As far as your questions, yeah, I do have a cellie... some guys choose to live by themselves, but I personally can't. I mean I could, but I'm more of a people person... |
To answer your question about what kind of store we have, well, every prison has one. It's a combination of things. We can buy shampoo, soap, chips, smokes, coffee, you name it! I've enclosed a list for you that we got to fill out... it's our store list.
We can spend our money on anything we want. I mean it's not like we make a lot though... I get $31-$35 a month. We get payed 23 cents an hour Jeff. It may not sound like a lot to you but believe me it surely beats having nothing, ya know?
I guess you can save or try to save it for your release but life in here wouldn't be really hard. I mean you gotta have soap, deodorant, toothpaste etc. I don't know anyone personally who tries to save it. I guess you could try though.
I pay $13.95 a month just for cable, so I can watch T.V.... a lot of people in here do so that makes stuff even tighter but that's life. Sometimes around X-mas and b-days my so called friends will send a money order so that's cool. I mean don't get me wrong I'm grateful but you'd think they'd at least drop me a few lines instead. If I'm lucky I might hear from them once during the year. I don't depend on others anymore and like I said I don't ask for anything. I put myself here so I'm the only one to blame.
My dreams huh? Hmmm... that's a good topic. Let's see.... I've had many dreams about being released but I'm sure you knew that. Ya know to tell you the truth... I've really never been able to remember my sleep dreams. I mean not most of them anyhow. A few have stuck but for the most part I can't remember am I weird or is that normal? I'm really curious about how you control your dreams... can anyone do it? Will you teach me how? I'd like to be able to that would be pretty cool.
As for life dreams, that I can talk about! Surely I'd like to be staying out of trouble, have a fairly decent job a place of my own to call home and a family! I just want to enjoy life this time. Don't take nothing for granted... make the most out each & every day. I'll never be able to catchup these last nine years I've spent in here so I'm just going to try to enjoy what's left for me. Oh yeah, I want a dog really bad. (smile) Well, Jeff, so I don't exceed the postage limit I'm gonna cut this short but I'm looking forward to hearing from you again soon. You're a pretty cool dude,
Jeff.... I'm glad I've had the chance to meet you. Thanks again for everything.
P.S. Ya know, I day dream a lot.... maybe I'll tell ya about them dreams if you're interested.
Hey, thanks for the picture. You are a very nice looking dude! Hey, I guess you are the reason they separate men and women in prison or those chicks would be all over you. HA! Whomever you meet someday, I'm sure you'll make that person very happy. (smile) You are a cool dude too, Steve, bright, polite, you express yourself quite well, and I bet you have a big heart.
You are kind little buddy, do you know how few people I can say are kind? I hope you can reach through this paper and feel that I have confidence in you. You'll make a good life for yourself when you get out. When is the last day? Do you know? You can use your life experiences to make sure you don't make the same mistake again. Remember, you have a fan here in New York who is routing for you to win! (wink.)
I'm glad you have your guitar music. Can you play your guitar anytime of day or night? Are you alone in a cell or do you have a roommate? Have you written music or lyrics? I have my writing to distract me from life. I've written some poetry in the past, always around the breakup of a relationship. I love writing essays, making words sing on the page. I like to have someone read my work and feel what I'm trying to say, but in their own scope of emotional awareness. The highest compliment I can think of when someone reads my essays is to laugh or cry. If they read it and think nothing, then I've failed as a writer.
Maybe you can teach guitar lessons when you get out. Isn't that a great idea? Have you thought about other jobs you might like to try? Do you like landscaping? I have some contacts in Los Angeles, I'd be happy to call them for you if you'd like. Don't think I'm trying to step into your life buddy, I can just imagine that some hiring manager who doesn't know you may have a problem with the past and not give you a chance to prove yourself.
When I owned a landscaping company in Los Angeles, I hired a guy out of prison. He'd been in jail for selling drugs. Sweet man he was, a Vietnam vet. And he was a damn good worker. All I ever asked of him was to follow the rules. You know, if that man didn't want to sabotage himself? I could have kicked him, and in a strange way I think he wanted me to. But I had a business to run, it wasn't personal. He disappeared for three days -- his crew was grounded, and his accounts were not being serviced. I gave him one last chance. About a month later, he disappeared for two days. When he showed up to work, I had no choice, but to fire him. It really broke my heart. I didn't want to let him go, and I even pleaded with him to tell me where he'd gone to. But he didn't say a word.
Well, I've gone off on another rant. I hope he has done well for himself since. Like I said, he was a nice guy. You are too! (wink) And I think you're going to do just fine on the outside.
Hey, what's up? I got your letter the other day and I thought I'd write you today since I'm stuck inside all day. It's raining!
I finally kicked a cold I had so I had to go out and do some running around. I try to do something athletic as much as possible to stay in shape. How about you? what have you been up to lately? I'm sending you some lyrics I wrote while I wasn't feeling so hot. [Steve's lyrics will not be provided.]
Hey, guess what? I took my parole class on Thursday... I see the parole guys in January so I'm moving along, ya know? Hopefully by this time next year I'll be out getting my life back together. I hope you and I can still keep in touch even if I do get out... of course its up to you Jeff, but you seem like a pretty cool guy and I don't make friends just to forget them. I'll understand if you'd rather not though. it's cool but just remember if you ever need a friend... look me up, okay? As far as your questions, yeah, I do have a cellie... some guys choose to live by themselves, but I personally can't. I mean I could but I'm more of a people person. At times I wish I had a cell to myself, but in all honesty I'd probably go crazy. I'd start talking to myself. (smile) I don't mind having a cell-mate for the most part its nice to have someone to talk to etc.
I'm glad you liked the picture... I really don't take good pictures but if it was cool for you then that's all that matters, right? Ya know, if you ever take any cool pictures of NY, I'd like to see them. I love looking at real pictures and I'd gladly send them right back to you. Did you take any of ground zero? was you in NY at the time? What was it like? I probably would've been paranoid.
Thanks for the offer to hookin me up in LA. But I need to do this on my own. I hope you understand, I don't want to hurt your feelings. I really appreciate what you said and means a lot to me. But I got to make it work on my own, okay? I still really don't think I understand how to control dreams, but you made me so curious so I'll keep you posted and what I read about them.
Well, Jeff, I'm gonna wrap this up for now... I don't want you to think I forgot about you, because I haven't. I think about you always. Your are a good friend. Sometimes I just get distracted... I apologize. (smile).
Take care my friend, I'm looking forward to hearing from you again.
You've been a good friend these past months. I have only four weeks until I get out of this place!!! Isn't that cool? I can't wait!!!
Thank you for being here for me, and have a Merry Christmas!
I'm never g'oin to forget you.
May you find much love and success in the life ahead of you... wherever you are now, and wherever you go, just remember that someone here believes in you. I am truly touched by your hand in friendship. Thank you,