As I move along with the narrative of this last year + it brings several things into focus, things that, as you have read I was far too emotionally involved in at the time to see through clearly. Even my reflections seem to miss something, but this has been one Hell of a task trying to put into words something that there really was no words for. How do you describe the surreal nature of standing on a porch cleaning a storm door that the wind had blown off the frame getting ready to hang it again when suddenly you have five guys in heavy gear throwing your ass down and holding three assault rifles and a 12 gauge to the back of your skull, for something you did not realize or intend as a “crime”? How do you explain the exhaustion you feel there afterwards as you fail to recover from the shock of it all when the steel door slams on your little 8×12 room that you share with a stranger for 22 of 24 hours in a day? For the first three days I did not even have a number to call anyone, no way to know if anyone even knew where I was. A place that I had sworn to myself and my dead mother I would never go. The pit in your stomach when you realize you failed to keep that promise, I’m not afraid to say, part of me died in the eight days I spent in jail and oddly part of me woke up and fully realized the position I had allowed myself to get into, letting someone else pull all the strings to the point I no longer seemed to even exist, not even to myself. I walked into that cell block expecting to be stared down, only to be greeted by damn near everyone like I was one of their own. In a sense I was, you aren’t human to most of the people watching you in jail, you’re just an animal in a cage regardless of severity of whatever was committed. I became grateful and wise when I learned that where on the outside I saw criminals from inside I saw guys just trying to pass time. reading books, sleeping, working out in the cells, talking through the door to the rest of the block, watching TV. I took up recreational tooth brushing, I mean Hell what the fuck do you fill 22 hours of nothing with? I came to appreciate the personal code they followed. You got your number, I have mine, when push comes to shove it’s all about passing the time on that number you have on that near indestructible wrist band they slap on you. Bartering is the trade of champions, coffee and stamps equal currency, give no shit, take NO SHIT. Talk gets you nowhere inside, it’s all about being able to stand on your own merit and word because that shit is all you have besides two plastic spoons a flat pillow and blanket a mat a couple towels, a couple changes of clothes a tooth brush and a cup. It’s simpler inside than it is out here, and I wasn’t lying when I said that what scared me most about going back, is not wanting to return to the outside world if I do. There is an honesty inside that is harder than Hell to find out here, and a different kind of freedom when you find yourself in a position where all the power has left to threaten you with is more time doing what you may have already developed a routine to cope with. That said, I found the need to control thought inside, because I was finding that even the thought of a tree made me feel like a fucking caged lion and all I wanted, was out. I remember the first time I saw daylight again as a free person and there is really no way to explain what that felt like either accept to say that seventeen minutes later I found myself crying like a little bitch in my Arby’s curly fries, if that gives you any indication.
How do you feel or react when you find out that you have spent your whole Goddamn life trying to do good, compromising yourself because compromise is the spice of harmony. A childhood spent helping my mother clean up the mess after every fight with my father, of never getting in trouble in school even when stopped giving a fuck to do more than sleep when I was there. A young adulthood working three fucking jobs when all you fucking listen to are the old fucks telling you that you need it when I was helping as much if not more at times to pay the bills for my family than my father was doing. Four years waiting hand and foot on a bitch who couldn’t appreciate that I was standing by her side when all she wanted to do was cry about getting hurt in a car wreck just to get high with her fucking asshole buddy and all while I had the option to get up and walk away, before we were married for another eight years of Hell because as soon as I let her crying convince me it was a good idea to move into the trailer she grew up in right next to mommy and daddy and as soon as I had that fucking bear trap on my ring finger, any niceties went out the window, I was always fucking something up or was sure to do so. Every fight leading to half joking make up where I’m told that if I ever leave it would be the death of me. Almost five years of doing volunteer work, and I even had a couple movies under my belt at this point and what do you know, what the whole fucking country knows of me is that I was arrested on some bullshit charge with a trumped up word “terroristic” used to scare people as I got put on blast nationwide by fucking Fox News, no trial, no conviction, no reason to be held up a fucking monster in the eyes of the whole Goddamn country. How do you explain what goes through your mind in the face of that? The looks you get when you first come back after eight days in jail to continue doing your volunteer work. The unmistakable sense you get that people are just pretending that everything is normal, like it used to be and it’s easy to sense when on some level you are doing the same only from a different stand point. How do you explain going to a movie with people who were friends from a cast of a show you did, which was a whole other level of unique to a person who never had the stability in life to have the luxury of having a friend that I grew up with and until my jacket rotted from the inability to keep moisture from getting to it in my time on the streets and the river bank, the ticket stub remained in my pocket, a reminder of a “good time” spent with one person who would go on to try and take my ass out, one who would stick their nose in thinking they were being a white knight, aiding that sad ass attempt at second degree murder, two who said if you need ANYTHING just let us know, only to slam that door when helping would put them at odds with the other party and the rest just gave up, Hell at least they didn’t fuck me over they just STAYED OUT OF IT. For better or worse these were all people who made up my world and my life for a number of years, an extension of the lesson learned as a child when I found that flesh and blood were simultaneously the first you turn to and the first you learn to knife guard your back from.
How do you explain to people in a way that makes sense in a world where people are taught to repress their inner workings that doing so never really saved me from anything, being politically correct and playing good guy, doesn’t protect you from being some ass holes scapegoat when they are the ones holding all of the cards but one, that the reason I opened my mouth to let EVERYONE FUCKING HAVE IT in the first place was because, at least I would go down as me, no more compromises that got me nowhere. At least I would go saying what NEEDED said and not just the same tired ass Care Bear bullshit people want to treat as gospel to hide how ugly status quo has made things. I call myself BIG CAT, 😀 That was MY chosen name, not the one I was born to that I had no control over, it embodies the part of me that can not seem to ever give up even when doing so is a viable option logically, the part of me that dares to TRY and make all this crazy shit that has happened make sense by giving voice to how fucked up this world we live in really is. In reality and perfect honesty, BEYOND the big tough bad ass that can’t be taken down is the broken motherfucker that has gotten the shit kicked out of them for a very long time, who fights just to keep standing because more than half the time I feel like I’m too tired to keep going even as I stand saying what else do you have? I’m not a “professional”, not a hero, Hell I’m not entirely sure what I am even constitutes a decent fucking person anymore. I have times that I swear I feel like I’m just looking for a reason to fucking hate someone just because the poison is still in my veins. I struggle with that side of myself, more so now than I ever did really. Trying to make sense of it all, it’s what I have to offer the world, at the moment it’s all I have left to offer the world and I focus on doing so because maybe, eventually what I do will actually become who I am. That’s my truth, take it however you need or want to or don’t take it, the point is, it’s there if it’s needed by someone else like me.