Prison Pete

Thursday, September 22, 2005
  Accounting for time.
I received both your letter and your postcard from your vacation. The postal barcode was smudged. Not sure if that was reason for the delay or not. Technology, gotta love it. It was nice of you to take the time to send the card and it will be added to my locker door tonight.

It is 7:50 and I have a whole bunch of stuff to write about and I am not sure how much I will be able to get done, realizing that I need to account for ten to fifteen minutes to properly edit, proof, and print each page.

I would like to mention that again I am accounting for my time this evening only to show that I am still subject to the same tick-tock of the clock. They handed out the commissary sheets during mail call. Between reading your letter and then dealing with the coordination of food on hand and what I need to order, it was after 6:00 PM when I finally got that all finished.

Then I ended up spending an hour reviewing the Family Law book to help one of the other inmates here that just got a letter from child support enforcement division that he owed $12,000 for child support.

He has spent the last two years in prison and the child in question due the support is just four years old. He is a younger guy and has never really held a permanent job or earned all that much money to justify the $12,000 arrears.

Again we are back to the proper recognition of time and how it is spent. I never meant to imply that any of the pen pals should be 'grateful' that I was writing them back. The point I thought I was making and will try again is that I am honored when I receive a letter in the mail, regardless of the length. The fact that you took the time on your vacation to send me the postcard was great!

I was working around what I felt personally, was a combination of a self-esteem issue and a devaluing of one's time. For example, I have a bunch of the old radio shows on tape, but if I am truly listening to them, I cannot be reading or writing at the same time.

I even was trying to type yesterday late afternoon and was listening to the latest news on the Public Radio station. I could not do both.

Each time I tried to listen to a report on the radio, I lost the train of thought on the letter. Each time I concentrated on the sentence I was typing. I missed what was said on the radio. I could not effectively do both.

Back in Club Fed, I would report to work at 7:30 AM each morning and would be able to have the radio in the office area on and broadcasting the news while I went about cleaning and mopping the area. I could do both of those things at the same time.

One last attempt: I now realize I cannot stop the clock. I cannot do two different 'brain-powered' tasks at the same time. So if I am writing a letter or a post for the blog, I cannot effectively also be 'listening' to any type of talk on the radio or even the tapes of the old radio shows.

In the past when you post something from a letter dealing with my moods it is only to acknowledge that I have feelings and that I am responsible for them. In the past I would either suppress my feelings or use the old passive-aggressive type of attitude that would end up sabotaging the thing I was doing. The fun part of posting my moods is that by the time you read then in the blog they are days or weeks old. So please do not cry for me, blog readers.

Also when I speak of 'waiting' for mail, it is again only an expression of my feelings. Some of the pen pals have waited a couple weeks to get a letter back from me. I know all you readers of this blog have lots of demands on your time and the fact that you spend even a few minutes of your day reading my ramblings is a gift you give me that is truly treasured. Those of you that have taken the time to write me are even more treasured.

While the emotional part of me still wants 'instant gratification,' the logical, grown-up part knows that you are not writing to me in a vacuum, and any letter I get is really special and I treasure them all.
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