Telling Your Story

“The Real Prison” by Stephen LaValle

Prison is not the way people think it is. I found that only prisoners know the real prison. The real prison is loneliness that sinks its teeth into the souls of people and is emptiness that leaves a sick feeling inside. It is anxiety that pushes and swells and is uncertainty that smothers and stifles. It is frustration, futility, despair, and indifference.

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Childhood, by Anthony Mendoza

While growing up, I was raised by two wonderful, loving, and caring parents who taught me all the good and honest virtues in life. That is, the right from wrong, respect, honesty, kindness, and the best effort in everything.

I was one of four kids, the baby of the bunch. However…

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“My Earliest Memory” by Barry L. Taylor

At the age of two, my mother left her six children behind when she left my father. My very first memories were of waking in my crib with the light turned off and seeing the soft light of afternoon ooze through the window shades. I wanted my mother and cried out for her. She came into the room, told me to lay down and go to sleep, and left the room again.

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“First Date” by Michael Carpenter

I was an earlier bloomer. Unlike most little boys in the second grade, I did not think little girls had cooties. My attraction to the opposite sex began two years prior to kindergarten. During rest period, we would lay on these little bamboo mats, and I will never forget that funny feeling, those butterflies in the pit of my stomach when Melinda winked at me. I was hooked.

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“Adulthood”, by Williams Andrews

This essay is part of the “Telling Your Story” program in which prisoners recount profound memories from different stages in their lives. The audio version of this essay was read by a member of the Prisoner Express staff.

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