I originally wrote this fictional epistolary piece for the DPChallenge: Shift Your Perspective, until I re-read the challenge and found out that you had to write about blogging. I decided to post this story anyway after reading Professions for Peace’s posts about forgiveness and stumbling and Tracy’s post about letting go. I also think it applies to Mirth and Motivation’s post FOCUS: PEACE. I apologize for any offensive language; I was trying to portray the character as realistically as possible.
I hope this letter finds you well. I know we haven’t spoken in sometime now, but I recently heard about your incarceration and I wanted to reach out to you. I know everything about the case, and I wanted you to know that I still love you. I will help watch over your kids until you get out.
If you want to write back, here is my new address:
199 E. Pearl Ave Gate #7
Harmony, Ca 93435
Hoping to hear from you,
Funny getting a letter from you, especially when you failed to show up at the court case when I really needed someone on my side. If your letter is just to relieve your guilt, then forget it. We both know that you abandoned me in the past. I’m no angel, but things could have been different for me if you had stood by my side.
Not much you can do for me now. If you really want to help, put some money on my motherf#*@kin books. Or better yet, track down those punk-asses who set me up, so I can take retribution when I get out. They didn’t know who the f*#%k they were messing with.
I don’t even know why I’m wasting my time writing you.
I’m so happy you wrote back. I miss talking to you. I want you to know that I have always been by your side, even if you don’t feel that way. In response to things being different, I hope one day you will see that everything happens for a reason.
I’m sorry, but I am not able to give you any money at this time, but I heard the food in there is not bad compared to other prisons around the world. I also won’t be able to help you take revenge. In fact, I would advise you to do the opposite. Maybe you can forgive those who have done things you think are unjust in the same way that others can forgive you for what you might have done.
I hope you are taking this time to reflect on how lucky you are to be alive.
P.S. You know I love you just the way you are, but can you refrain from using language that is derogatory towards others. Some of your brothers and sisters don’t appreciate being called names. Thanks.
I hate that “everything happens for a reason”
shit trash. What was the reason for Dad beating the crap out of me when I was a kid? Where were you when that was happening? As far as I’m concerned nothing happens for a reason. Everything happens because we make it happen. It is easy for people like you to tell people like me that everything happens for a reason. You got everything. I got nothing to look forward to but four years of “rehabilitation” in this rusted cage.
The only thing that keeps me going is thinking what I’m going to do to the people who put me here, and I’m not just talking about those snitches. I’m going to make the DA and the judge pay for the way they treated me. Don’t they know who the hell I am? Well, they will know when I get out of here. Society has gotten its revenge on me and has taught me that the only way to rehabilitate people is to punish, punish, punish.
I realized the other day that you are the only one on earth who sincerely cares about me. No one else has even written me a letter. I want you to know that this means a lot to me.
Thank you for your letter and kind words. There are many people who are on your side if you let them. I really wish you would drop this whole revenge idea. I know you better than anyone else, and this is not who you are. Remember what we learned in Sunday school–do unto others as you would have them do to you? Your desire to punish others is creating your own punishment. Let it go.
On the same note, maybe you can start treating others the way you want to be treated. Maybe start with the people who are in prison with you. I know that prison can be a tough place, so maybe you can brighten up the place with your attitude, compassion, and goodwill.
I got a new bunkie a few weeks back, so I decided to try what you suggested. I treated my new cellie as kindly as I am capable without letting down my guard. It turns out that he is a really cool cat. His name is Tad, but we call him Mastermind because no one can beat him at chess. I don’t know why he is in protective custody cause he is definitely not a dropout from the gangs.
He often sits in the cell and just meditates. He even missed rec time because he was meditating. It almost seems like he likes it in here. He said that this is the first time he was truly able to devote his whole day to reading and meditation. What a tripper.
Anyways, he said something the other day that made me think about you. He said that there is nothing worse than being locked up all day with the person who put you here. It took me a while to realize that he was talking about me. I put myself here. Even if I didn’t do everything they said I did, I definitely treated people poorly. Those people I hurt wanted to hurt me, so they lied on the stand and put me here, but it was me who made them want to lie. Do you see?
Mastermind also said that he and I suffer from the same disease–the “don’t you know who the hell I think I am” disease. He said he’s trying to be nobody, whatever that means. I kind of get what he is saying. Half the times I do stupid things because I think people need to recognize how strong, smart, or clever I am. Isn’t that funny? Doing stupid things to prove to people how smart I am. Mastermind said that he was going to show me how to meditate, so that I would stop worrying about what others thought about me.
Keep the letters coming. I am so grateful for your love and guidance.
That is so funny. I was just thinking about how I used to call you that when we were close. I am so happy you have found a friend in there. Tad seems like a a pretty unique guy. I don’t think that it was pure coincidence that he became your cellmate.
I hope you are starting to realize that your journey into prison was a necessary step to become who you were meant to be. You have so much to offer the world, EG. I can’t wait to hear what you are up to next. Maybe you can start writing down your experiences to share with others.
Thank you for your strength, courage, and compassion.
Dear G. Osborne-Dufresne,
E.G. Osborne is no longer at this facility, so we are returning this letter to the sender. We have no record of where E.G. Osborne is at this time.
Texas Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
“Is there a place for the hopeless sinner who has hurt all mankind just to save his soul? Believe it. Onelove.”—Bob Marley
Virtual hugs to anyone who can figure out who these characters really are…?
Thank you for reading, sharing, and/or empathizing.