Prison Pete

Wednesday, August 18, 2004
  Dark Horse.
Well, let us get into some of the meat of my existence here at Club Fed.

I came across the enclosed quote while reading. It tells of the two ways I have certainly "done my time". The existence thing is the no letter writing/phone call type zombie thing.

Like one of the current country songs says: "I breathe in, I breathe out! Put one foot in front of the other." You’ve got to love those country lyrics.

But when I have hope, I reach out to people. I put my thoughts on paper and look for a connection with another human being.

Dark Horse
By Tami Hoag

"Hope" is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And songs without words
And never stops - at all
-- Emily Dickinson

I didn’t want to have hope for myself.
I wanted to simply exist.

Existence is uncomplicated.
One foot in front of the other.
Eat, sleep, function.
Living, truly living, with all the possibility of both success and failure.
Every emotion has a counterbalance.
Fear cannot exist without hope, not hope without fear.
I wanted neither.

I had both.

Now I am back at work after surviving the 4:00 PM standup count. In order to get an eight hour day in, it takes me three times, that is six round trips, from the dorm to the library. I have printing to be done and also the "will I ever finish" correspondence classes I am taking. But hey, writing to you is much more fun.

First of all, it was great to get your letter so soon after the last one. But I am a captive audience provided that I feel a part of the experience. That is what is most important in that your letters not only share what you are doing day-in and day-out, but they acknowledge my humanity if you will. Thanks again for being there for me. Better you being there than being here, Ha Ha Ha.

Your books are becoming a welcome addition to our library and we have even put a few of them into a special section that is tracked more carefully to be sure the books are actually returned.

It's 6:42 PM, and damn I am hungry. I had lunch in the chow hall today and then treated myself to a pint of sherbet. Actually it was a quart, but I split it with another inmate.

Anyhow, I thought I would skip dinner and trap myself down here until 8:30 PM and then go back and sleep without eating. Well, as my friend Dave says, we need some "happy food". I did buy one Milky Way bar today as I did last week. This is way down from my ten or so candies a week, but up from my last two months of no-candy dieting.

OK, now 7:19 PM and I am going to head back to the dorm. I hope to catch Boston Public on Fox at 8:00 PM. It’s a very interesting show, have you ever watched it? It deals with a lot of current issues in not too shabby a way, considering it is TV and FOX at that.

OK, I came back. I made some rice and mackerel with garlic, and am probably going to eat the one candy bar!

I did plop in front of the TV and watched Boston Public. So it is now 9:49 PM. I spent the last twenty minutes proofing this letter and it is still a lousy typing job. But I hope you get the thoughts! I will send more words soon!
Pete, I read your blog this afternoon when it popped up on blogger.com's blogs of note list. I found it very interesting but couldn't help but wonder what you did to get yourself in prison. I know you had 'an' answer on your blog but, of course, it was a total evasion. It is significant because you write quite a bit about the conditions you live in and the way your case is handled, essentially painting yourself as a sympathetic character. The question is do you deserve sympathy. The answer in my eyes depends on exactly what you did and why. Not knowing that I can only assume that whatever you did was pretty bad (fed and state charges) and that it had a profound effect (maybe even was aimed at) your family (my siblings want nothing to do with me). Oh, well. I hope you get what you deserve, though no one in blogland can be sure of what that is without konwing what you did to deserve it in the first place.
I've been reading your blog, and I just wanted to take a moment to say that I think that what you're doing is great. Not only is it something to keep your mind occupied (and your hands busy), which certainly helps pass the time, I'm sure it also helps to keep you feeling "connected," in a sense, to the Free World. Pass on my thanks to Jennifer for opening your world up to us, bloggers on blogspot.com. ;)

I have quite a bit of sympathy (as well as empathy) for the incarcerated, as two of the people I love the most in this world are currently residing within "gated communities," as you so cunningly put it. My ex-husband, who really is innocent of what he was put there for (and we're working hard daily to prove that), and my best friend since junior high school, Derek, who is most definitely not innocent of what put him within those walls. My ex won't be released until 2010, but Derek is scheduled for release in June of 2005.

I have some book suggestions for you, if you're interested..."The Prince of Tides," by Pat Conroy (and also "Beach Music," and "The Lords of Discipline"); The Key trilogy by Nora Roberts ("Key of Light," "Key of Knowledge," and "Key of Valor," -- awesome books, if you like Nora Roberts, which I most certainly do!); and "Peachtree Road" by Anne Rivers Siddons (also, "King's Oak," and "Outer Banks"). You also said you've read "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown...have you also read "Angels and Demons?" If not, that's another great read.

Good luck to you, and I think I will periodically check in on you...ignore the naysayers who will post to your blog...they are clueless. Feel free to write back through your editor, if you like. Any comments, questions, or concerns can be directed to me through my blog at: http://www.chaosad88.blogspot.com

Good luck to you!
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