Prison Pete

Friday, March 30, 2007
  I have been laughing at myself
how easy it has been even at the ripe old age of 50 to act like a kid again. When things get a little tough, okay maybe very tough, I choose to withdraw instead of reaching out.

I know there is a difference between writing a bunch of whinny crap about life being unfair and woe is me, and being able to write my way through the dark times, but I did not do that.

I have wanted to write a post about "Yes, life is unfair. But it is relative, and remember you can not choose your relatives."

One easy example. We can purchase a set of plastic utensils. This is not even the really strong stuff. It is the type that one might buy for a picnic or other outdoor eating event. The box contains eight each: forks; spoons; knives. Although we only pay about sixty cents for the box, I diligently wash the plasticware after each use.

This is a very simple example but I promise more insightful writing to come.

The temperature here is jumping all over the place and driving my asthma crazy.

I will review your last letter in greater detail and promise another letter soon. Have you mended? Did you get any skiing in? How goes the job?

We recently added the IFC channel to our televisions. Is there an easy way for you to get me a schedule of movies? Try IFC.COM. The NY Times does not include a weekly TV guide in the subscription I get, so I always find out a day too late what movies they were showing.

I would appreciate getting the little blurb about what the movie is about. Can you get specific channels from the NYT website? The local paper that some of the officers get does not list that channel.

Do they still publish TV Guide? Maybe I will just order that and try yet another way to show I am not such a bad guy. Maybe you could send me the necessary information to order TV Guide? Just a thought.

Well that is all for now. Much more to write and this is certainly not one of my all time best letters. Let us get the conversations rolling again. I have missed hearing from you and I am sorry I have dropped my side of the letter writing also.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
  Captain of the Math Team.
I wanted to mention something about your son being Captain of the school Math team.

I think it is important that you recognize the razzing he gets from his peers. While it is okay to point out that his teachers find him to be a superstar, let him know that he should first being doing these things because he wants to.

Being one of the smartest kids in the school will not usually find him with the in crowd, but I think it is important that he not do things just to get teacher approval.

In my case, since I always had difficulty fitting in, I was more than willing to seek the praise of adults. This led to a cycle of doing things for the teachers, and further making me an outcast with my peers.

What should you do? I think you should let him know that he is indeed special, you love him very much and that he just needs to be willing to seek out other kids who will respect his intelligence. Convince him to be willing to continually seek out friends, and that you know it will not be easy.

The danger is that if you do not actively encourage him to keep looking, putting the onus on him to find people while acknowledging the difficulty, he might end up falling into a relationship for all the wrong reasons.

Let him know that his skills make him a great friend to have, and just because a lot of the kids razz him, does not mean he should change to get other kids to like him. He needs to know now (in my humble opinion) that he does not need to jump in head first the first time someone seems to want to be his friend.

The point I am making rather ineptly is that the best message you can give your son at this point is to acknowledge the way he feels. My parents seemed to constantly ignore or trivialize my complaints about nobody liking me. Yes I can still be a pain to this day and true the psychologist told me I should remember that I am somewhat (Okay drop the somewhat) a high maintenance friend.

But the point is that when I am willing to recognize my weaknesses, I am better able to handle the person-to-person interactions. Yes there are some of the civilian workers here that will always give me a hard time, at the same time there are a few that openly recognize my talent and willingness to work and those are the people I should worry about.

The others I still have to deal with but I do not expect much in the way of recognition from them
Monday, March 26, 2007
  Cubicle invasion.
I am not really sure what to blame for the lack of letters. I was sort of waiting of something good to happen, and that was a really dumb idea.

With the exception of one pen pal letter, the only mail I have received in the last month or so was one letter from Mom and Dad, your post card, and a letter from the guy that runs the prison justice web site. I will write to him soon, but I have not heard from anyone else.

Life here is getting to me. Even my usual self lifting tricks are not working. Last Monday I was awakened by the pounding of someone's fist on my head. Think home invasion, but in my case cubicle invasion.

I am not sure what type of macho message is carried by the fact you can attack the least physically aggressive inmate in the dorm while he sleeps, but there you have it. Luckily it was somewhat ineffective in that it did not leave any outside marks, and the officer was not in the dorm when it happened.

I spent the next two nights sitting up in bed keeping myself awake, waiting till everyone else was asleep. I had my trusty lock in sock loaded and at the ready, and also was armed with some jalapeno juice if I got the chance to toss it at a trespasser. I figured the next attack would be more efficient and I would have the bruises to prove it.

By Thursday, one of the older inmates came to me at 11:30 PM and told me that he knew what happened and had put the word out to stop harassing me. The next morning another inmate mentioned that the inmate in the cube next to me also put the word out to leave me alone. The one reason was hey, he has already been attacked twice and neither time has gone to the officer.


I have been here over one year and until now never had a problem with anyone stealing from me. Today I came back to find someone had helped themselves to my ice bucket under my bunk and taken all my cheese and fresh green pepper.

Unfortunately I had left my smaller locker unlocked and they also took a bunch of stamps. Now I have to clean out a space in my large locker to keep the ice bucket under lock and key.

At this point I am really missing the peaceful existence of good old Collins. I need to write more. The attempt to ignore everything and just read books and the New York Times has left me emotionally empty.

I am tired. I need to pick myself up and get back on some sort of track, but at this point I am feeling very much like a rudderless sailboat in the middle of a storm tossed sea.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
  What Happened to Prison Pete?
[Editor] Good question. I don't know. I have no way to contact Pete other than by sending him a letter via US Mail. All I can do is wait for him to write back. The last letter I received from him was over a month ago. As soon as I hear from him I will update the blog.

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