Going back to when I was about 7 years old, I always loved being outside. We lived in a house with woods around us for miles around. I’m not talking about woods that are sparse and thin, I’m talking about dense, dark woods, teeming with life, a place where humans are pretty much non-existent. Except for me, but I always had respect for the birds, squirrels, and the occasional panther.
I would spend hours out in those woods, climbing trees, building forts and tree houses. It was the only place where nothing was expected of me, the only place where I could run wild and be completely free.
Then my mom and dad got a divorce and we had to move with me, my dad, and my big brother. My mom took my little brother and sister.
I wish I could say that even after the split, I still had a happy life, woods to play in, but I can’t. We moved to a little house shaped like an upside-down tea cup. It was like a dome, with one room, one living room/kitchen, one bathroom. Altogether it was maybe 60 feet all the way around. Very depressing.
Then we moved behind a bar. It got a little better, but I was in a mood for total self-destruction, and my own self choices landed me in the situation I am in now.
Now I am in another type of jungle, a jungle of steel, concrete, razor wire, and inmates that are just as wild as animals, with almost the same intelligence capabilities.
This is truly another world where there is very little trust, almost no respect, and constant danger. I am a white man; the black men here believe that the white men put them here, so they attack me. Because I am white makes me a target, but I refuse to be a victim. I can be an animal too, but I can also be human. I care about how people feel, and I try to help people who have nothing—white, black, it does not matter. In the end we all end up in the same ground. Mother Earth is not partial, we all come from the same place, right now we are in the same place. I don’t know why people must have enemies, I guess they just have to make someone feel worse than they do.
There is not much to do to take my mind away from prison. My memories of the world are dimmed by time and stress. The only real thing that helps me cope is music. From music, a lot of other things branch off for me. It gives me the motivation to work out, it allows me to sit down and write sometimes, and it brings back a lot of memories.
My dad is a drummer so I grew up around music. I can tear down a drum set and put it back together again, and almost tune it by myself. Music will never die, and I am a part of music, so therefore a part of me will never die. This gives me a little comfort. I am not afraid of death. It is natural, like the woods, it is a part of this world.