To My Dear Reader(s)
by Elijah S.
Please forgive me ‘cause Im still scratching my head wondering how do I thank you for impeding your own day in order for me to communicate my thoughts to you through this letter while Im here incarcerated on first degree charges.
As an result of an wrongful 50 year sentence, I totally understand the adage that goes:
“Nightmares sometimes come in nice forms.”
I’ll attempt to simplify the above adage/phrase…
Im the youngest out of six kids born by immigrant parents – Jamaicans. Yet, most of my neighborhood peers I attended school with on the far North side of Chicago, they were American. Needless to say, conflict arose then continuously came day after day because growing up, in my household, we spoke in my mother/partner’s dialect. Therefore, when I went with my friends, I was picked on because an accent was present on my tongue. Adding to that, although an mishaps then, I allowed my mind to process and calculate my associates/friends behavior as actions that cause me to believe I was a misfit because of my accent. Futhermore, my internal dialogue constantly reiterated the many jokes that were inflicted upon me, however, socially, I became reserve. Eventually, I employed anger as an weapon to keep those that were pickin’ on me away. Ironically, I accumulate respect then subsequently joined a gang at 12 years old. In retrospect, my thought on life was small. And believe it or not, this was ideal: Respect from your enemies and fast money. Even when my mother, my best friend, died when I was 17, I paid no attention because street money and the cars had me blind. Now 31, I understand that certain forms of life that I previously deemed as nice was actually nightmares. I get it now; yeah, of course due to an 50 years sentence. I found myself once sayin’
“Only if I knew what I know now when I was 18: Nightmares sometimes come in nice forms.”
Fortunately, I am on the verge of giving back most of this time. Everything Ive learned, I will apply going forward.
My main desire is that every youth understand it’s OK being a misfit if that fact is you don’t fit into a negative social circle. Do you. Be real to yourself first. Always think at least 5 years ahead.
Sincere as always,