My Life Is Not Boring.
Perhaps as I am typing this there is already a letter from you on the way.
I have been really slow in writing and have been struggling with the futility of it all. The “all” being my life as it currently exists and the lack of any hope for a future for myself. It is funny how one little thing you say in your letters can stick in my mind and cause me to deal with a whole bunch of different feelings at one time.
The latest was your comment about how your life and my life are boring. First of all, as you should notice from some of my letters your life is not boring to me. I certainly enjoy hearing about your daily triumphs, struggles, and even the assorted sly looks from members of the opposite sex. I have been known to expound on an issue or comment you pass on to me in your letters, so keep them coming.
I have been coping with my state of feeling blue by reading. I have kept up with the Times but that is about the extent of my "work." I still go to my maintenance job and while my carpentry and other skills have been improving, the actual time allotted to work (basically 90 minutes each morning and afternoon) allow such little time to make forward progress, I just want to give up.
I was keeping a close eye on my fingers over the last two days as I fitted the dado blades on the table saw. I managed to design my own jig for guiding the wood over the dado blades.
When it was time to hand in the tools yesterday afternoon I had to remove the dado blades and reinstall the regular saw blade along with the safety guides which I have to remove to use the dado blades. It was the first time I had used dado blades on a table saw. While it was certainly many years ago (in high school) we used a radial arm saw to make the dado cuts for book shelves.
A few weeks ago an inmate was severely beaten. His neck was broken and he lost several of his teeth when a dust pan brush was used to smash his mouth. This attack occurred in one of the dorms which is a six month substance abuse program and most of the inmates taking the program are within six months or less of going home. One would think that those inmates would be on their best behavior and not want to do anything that would affect their chance of going home!
My life, from my perspective, is certainly not boring, and here one must always be on guard so as to not end up being the victim of some unwanted dental work.
While the current funk I am in has all but wiped out any desire to follow up on my appeal, the next chance I have to get out would be the parole board in another three years. If that is indeed the next chance to get out, and I live that long, and while it would seem impossible for them to not let me go after serving fifteen years in jail, there is certainly a real possibility that they could turn me down and hold me for at least another two years. That does not give me much to hope for as far as a future, but should I throw in the towel now?
So boring my life is not. Empty, loveless, lonely; yes, that it is. But boring it is not. Please understand that I owe you a lot of love and do certainly appreciate all you have done and continue to do for me. I am honored to be your friend and do not want you to read this letter as a complaint as respects your efforts.
The issue becomes one of who am I. Yeah it is great to correspond with you and my pen pals, but when no mail arrives, and Mom and Dad do less than they were doing, well I begin to ask myself am I really doomed to a life of emptiness? There is absolutely no way to get any sort of validation of my value as a human here. Okay, yes I can work on being my own best friend, and that is where the burying my nose in the books comes in. But even that fails after a while.
Okay so your next letter will do a whole bunch to raise my spirits. But it is unfair to build my whole sense of worth on you.
I have been spending some time with the C++ book and am in the area that talks about Classes and Structs. I understand the theory, but the application is driving me nuts. I still want to see how far I can get without access to a computer and hope to surprise you one day soon with a C++ program for you to compile for me. But at this point do not hold your breath!
I have plenty of things to keep me busy, but feel very much like my old self in that I am capable of many things but am not willing to apply the effort to move the possibilities from dreams to reality. Just like the letters of late where I gave up using the memory to type a draft. It was taking too long to proof and reprint, but the lack of proofing is certainly easy to see. No proofing equals second rate work.
I did manage to get a custom card done for Dad's and Mom's birthdays. I still owe you a card. Another one of those old Pete issues.
One of the young guys just came by to see if he could get "something sweet" to put in his pancakes. After turning him down I reconsidered and gave him one of my last five Hershey bars. He does not go to the store till next week so he will not be able to replace it before I go to the store. True, one candy bar is not going to end my life, but when it is all I have to look forward to... I told him I could lend him tuna, tomato sauce, pasta, all items I am willing lend out. But when it comes to the chocolate, even if I buy a couple extra, there is never enough to make it through the two week period.
I know: suck it up. I am in prison. I am willing to accept all that the state throws at me. Yeah, like I have a choice. But it is in trying to build up a "resource center" to take care of me that the lack of places to pull from becomes a problem. And let us not even get started about the hypocrisy I am surrounded with.
Well I now have three double spaced, double sided pages to proof and reprint. The dorm will be leaving for Rec yard shortly so it means I have 90 minutes to proof and print this letter and get a shower before the 10:00 count. Off I go. More to follow.