Prison Pete

Friday, June 16, 2006
  How powerless I am.
It is now 8:20 PM and I just got finished drafting two posts. I am typing this letter direct and will hopefully have enough time to proof and print the posts before the 10:00 PM lights out cutoff.

I will then have to jump into the shower as I have not yet bathed today. Since my work usually finds me getting sweaty and covered in sawdust, I have been taking my showers after work and before getting under the covers as opposed to in the morning.

Generally my mood is pretty much as low as it can go at this point. Your letter was date stamped yesterday but I did not get it until today. While a few of your "Friday letters" have arrived on Tuesday, for the most part they do make it to me on Monday. Why this one failed to be given to me yesterday is a mystery, just another one of those things that remind me how powerless I am in terms of communicating with the outside world. While I have your latest letter, and you had my latest letter when you wrote, it is funny in a way that there is still a lag, as by now you have gotten the news, but yet it was on its way to you as you typed this latest letter.

I went to the store on Tuesday, and luckily I had managed to maintain a balance in my account. Although it has been getting a little lower each month, I still had just over $60.00 to spend for my bi-weekly food shopping. I use parmesan cheese on most of my meals. I sprinkle it on my pasta/tuna salad lunch, and use plenty of it on the pasta for my dinner. I have not yet tried it on the PB&J and think that would not really work out all that tasty.

For whatever reason, Dad did not send my monthly check on time again! Last month I called at the end of the month to see what was up since I had not heard from them in over four weeks. This past month I did get a food package, received 17 days ago, and one letter a few days later from Mom thanking me for her Mother's Day card. Then silence! I could call, and if there is nothing wrong, I will hear the apologies for the lack of letters and the delay in sending the money.

If something is wrong, i.e. death or serious injury there is not a damn thing I can do and truthfully, it would be way more than I can handle right now, so I am hoping that tomorrow a letter will arrive and all will be well! I will probably stretch the "tomorrow" at least through Friday's mail. Your letter was delayed two days. So maybe Dad's letter is taking a few days longer and he was a few days late to start with.

Mom had promised in her letter that the next letter from them would contain the date in June that they would be up to visit me. I am wondering if that is really worth it at this point. Yes, I am hitting the breaking point. Ten years is about the point where I am losing much hope of anything of a future. The situation is bigger than most of my coping skills except for burying my head in the sand.

I have pretty much spent most weekday afternoons reading the paper. Yesterday I spent over five hours reading the Sunday and Monday newspapers. This is a good use of my time to be sure but then once I absorb all the news that is fit to print, I have no place to dump it, process it, or discuss it.

I am not seeking a pity party, but am looking for solutions. If and when I find any I will be sure to let you know what if anything others can do to help. I realize the blog is a great place for me to blow off steam and put my opinions out there and once I sit at the typewriter I do feel better, and certainly writing to you and getting your letters is a very important part of me being able to hold on to what little forward motion I am able to accomplish. I am still hoping to figure out a way to be more introspective on the blog, but not at the risk of exposing too much personal information.

Have you read the Traveling Baseball story in the "PLAY" magazine from last Sunday's NY Times? Now that is way too obsessive for me. Imagine having your pitching arm destroyed even before you can shave as the article mentions! Life is a continuum and this article certainly shows people that are really pushing it way out there. Flying a pre-teen across the country for weekly games and practice. Give me a break. But it does point out that I feel what makes this supposedly such a great county, at the same time shows how stupid we can be, and the opportunities that are missed by others.

Did you read the article about "Wait, Wait don't tell me?" If they keep the dorm lights off and I stand against the outside wall of my cube, I can get the Vermont public radio station on Saturday mornings, and at 10:00 AM it is Car Talk, and at 11:00 it is "Wait, Wait." The bummer is that I have to head up to the chapel around 11:30 AM so I miss some of the latter. You should be able to download the pod cast of the show.

I was doing pretty good answering the current events questions of the show, except when the mentioned the birth of the Joulie-Pitt Baby. Not a top story covered in the NY Times I guess. Tuesday's paper did have a note in the Arts, Briefly section about them selling the rights to the baby pics and donating the proceeds to help African Children.

I am not sure if I can explain the lack of finishing the Killer Angels. I have enjoyed the book as far as I have read, and certainly want to read it since it is one that you specifically sent, but there is just some mental block that makes me want to read something less realistic. Honestly, since I have a rather cynical view of our current administration and its war policy, when I read about the horrors of our own Civil War almost 150 years ago, you have to wonder if any of our current politicians understand our own history and the lessons we should learn from them.

There is a cool jazz band piece playing now. Boy I wish I had better choice of radio stations!
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