by Eddie W.
Let me stop hit rewind and take you back in time. It’s March 29, 2016. I woke up at 5:00 am looking up at the bottom part of my rusted out top bunk. Listening to my cellie’s heavy breathing. I share a dull white paint chipped two man cell that’s made out of steel bars and brick walls that nearly broke me.
I was suffering from claustrophobia. A victim, like countless others caught up in America’s addiction. Mass incarceration with no rehabilitation. It all starts with making choices. Indulge in what I thought was best. In my life I’ve faced difficult circumstances.
I’ve been through hell and back. Ignoring the consequences led to what came next. Identified, pursued an’ apprehended by a law keeper. Booked, photographed, fingerprinted and processed into a indiscriminate misuse of power judicial industry.
Jail is not where it’s at. Body trapped like a bird in a cage. Feed, watched over an’ let out of my cage to exercise like an animal in a zoo. Incarceration changed me. Turning my life into a wreck. I’m still dealing with over twenty years of affliction with, “we shall overcome.” It took a great deal of trial and error learning how to cope with others while battling with myself. But this endeavor is continuously happening.
I’m dealing with people who annoy me and those whom I cannot bear. They are intolerant. Always looking to push my buttons. But I feel no hatred towards them. Cause without’em I would never have learned how to be unpretentious and sagacious. Life resembles a battlefield. He who wish to be victorious must learn his weakness first.
Once you know your weak points and cunning enough not to reveal them in public, you then will appear free from faults. But first you must admit you have a weakness in order to know where you are vulnerable. Doing this, you slowly will gain the necessary knowledge and wisdom that will break one’s chain of negative influence.
One must never allow himself to be put in a position that would compromise the integrity of his character which could hinder any inner-outer development. Life doesn’t always go according to plan. Detours suddenly appear, situation come about. And that road I once travelled upon. The one I thought was safe and secure changed direction without warning.
Running wild is how I found myself inside looking out with no way out. Doing natural life without the possibility of parole. Father time ticks with no doubt. Holding back the tears from years of frustration cause the court of appeals won’t hear me out.
I hate life in jail. It ain’t what them rappers keep rapping about. Who cares about visits and commissary. That’s glorified foolishness. Those who rap about it can keep it. Liberation from this modern day plantation would suffice. I gotta solve the riddle of steel first. By forging a mind as sharp and durable as a butcher’s knife.
Hanging tough taught me I took the small things for granted. An automobile where I’m in the driver’s seat. Giving me the freedom to go places and see and do things I probably wouldn’t have thought to do. Having my own personal space, like a home with a wooden door and sitting at my kitchen table eating off a ceramic plate, and using utensils that aren’t made out of plastic. Lying with my head on my wife’s lap while we kick it on the couch. Chasing my kids around the house. Sleeping on a comfortable king size bed and walking into a bathroom with a bathtub in it.
Hopefully someday the impossible will become possible. Things are coming around. I just gotta be ready to execute the moment an opportunity reveals itself. Cause no matter how hard things seem, life will change again. Life is forever changing. I just gotta keep working hard at staying away from bad influence. Let no adversity or adversary pull me off my square.
My advice to the young.
If you want to be respected by others, the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by self respect will you compel others to respect you. Dostoyersky
Look at me now. Twenty years later I can colloquial.
My name is Eddie W. at Menard CC. I would like to express my sincere gratitude for giving me the opportunity to submit my essay to something as constructive as what you are doing.