Sunday – June 22, 2008

Today is one of those days when a million thoughts swirl through my mind and I think to myself: “I need to write some of this shit down.” But—as I’ve learned—once I get to writing, only a small fraction of these thoughts will find their way onto paper. Some thoughts are simply too difficult to articulate, others seem way too random, others will have long faded into oblivion. As I focus on certain thoughts, I will forget about others; and then, of course, there are those thoughts that are called “fleeing thoughts” for a reason. But still I write because it is something that I enjoy doing.

A little over a month ago I received a letter from the Anne Frank Center asking me to keep a diary for a specified period of time and then to send it to them. You gotta understand—you’re talking to a dude that has been in prison for almost 11 years now, with LIFE to go. A dude who grew up in boys’ homes, juvie halls, TYC, and all kinds of state juvenile facilities. A dude who grew up in the early 90’s when gang-banging took America by storm. A dude from the ‘hood! Keep a diary? Hell nah! Diaries are for girls! Now, I’m a man of fairly reasonable intelligence so it only took me a little thinking and reflection time to get past the childish insecurities because, of course, I knew that diaries are not just for girls—THEY’RE FOR GAY MEN ALSO!! So, “NO,” I cannot write a diary. A journal then? I think “journal”, I think of voyagers and academics, of which I’m neither. But still, it would be interesting, I thought, to write down some of my thoughts, ideas, opinions, and feelings, right?

I’m in Administrative Segregation (Ad. Seg.) confined to a one-man cell 23 hours a day. Every time I am taken out of my cell, my hands are handcuffed behind my back, whether I’m going to the one man Rec yard or to the shower. Food is brought to us. So, the point is, it’s a lonely life and—in my professional opinion—when human beings are isolated like that, their world becomes a mental one. That’s all we do in these cells: think, ponder, feel, dream, imagine, reflect, and wonder. Of course, there’s physical activity (if you’re not lazy) but it’s mostly a mental thing. You have to have a strong mind to survive this type of living. Trust me, I’ve seen with my own eyes dudes driven to madness back here (“back here” is how we refer to Ad. Seg.). But, we’ll get to all that later. I’m just trying to show you how, with all the thinking we do, I thought there would be some interesting things to write down.

So why not just write and worry about what it’s called some other time? That’s exactly what I did!

I started writing in the booklet they had sent me. I was writing about anything that came to mind. I wrote about how I ended up in prison, about my family, about my friend, Sanne, about my writing dreams. Everything. I began filling up page after page and I found myself really digging it. It actually got to the point where it was interfering with my “serious” writing (I’m trying to finish a screenplay I’ve started). But I didn’t care. I was enjoying it. Then the booklet was confiscated and I was pissed!

They took it in a cell shakedown and they had no justification for taking it. It was a lot of writing so I thought maybe they’d take it to some office, read through it, look for anything incriminating, realize it was harmless and return it to me. But I never got it back and the Lt. swears up and down he doesn’t know what I’m talking about. I sat down to write to the Anne Frank Center and explain all of this to them and—you won’t believe this shit—I realized I’d lost the damned address!! I would’ve filled up that whole booklet and never have been able to share it with them! Damn!

But I started thinking, why not just use a legal pad and start over? Keep the writings for a year and maybe try to publish them. Or maybe just keep them to myself. So that’s what I’ve decided to do and today is the first day of this year-long project. Welcome aboard. This is not a diary. This is not a journal. These are my MAN SCRIBBLES.

I’ll tell you more about myself tomorrow!


Big G


Monday – June 23, 2008


So that you can see what I meant when I said that a lot of thoughts never make it on to paper: the whole reason why I had the desire to start writing again yesterday was because of some emotional shit I was feeling. I’m not a real sentimental dude but I got my soft spots just like everyone else. This past Friday I received a letter from my dad who hadn’t written or visited me in quite some time. I had sent him two letters and a Father’s Day card and I had a feeling something must’ve been wrong because even if they can’t visit they’ll drop a little note. So Friday, I get a letter from my dad, a three-pager. My dad never writers more than half a page! And he was telling me about some marriage problems him and my mom have been having. Out of respect for them I’ll leave out the details but you gotta realize my mom and dad have been together 30 years!! Marriage problems?? Man, that shit blew my mind.

Later in these scribbles I’m sure I’ll share with you how I grew up hating my dad and rebelling against him. But that was when I was a kid. These days I love and respect my mom and dad like no other two people in this world. So much pain and heartache I’ve caused them throughout my life and yet they have never stopped loving and supporting me. They’ve never given up on me. I have five brothers and a couple of other relatives who may find time occasionally to drop a letter or visit but my mom and dad are the only ones who consistently visit, consistently write, consistently offer financial help and favors when they are able, keep me updated on our family, send me pictures, etc., etc. Without them my life would seem pretty empty. And so to think that they could be on the verge of splitting? That really messed me up inside. My dad said they had actually split up for a few weeks. But the good news is that they are back together and my dad says he is “determined to make [the] marriage work.” Saturday I wrote to both my mom and dad just to let them know I love them and am pulling for them.

All this drama had my mind reeling which eventually got me to thinking about my Scribbles that got confiscated and about starting another set of Scribbles because I knew it would make me feel better, and it did. Notice I didn’t go into any poetic expressions of heartbreak or sadness or anything like that. I just wrote what happened and, for some reason it still has this therapeutic effect on me. It sounds cheesy but it’s true. Whether you’re a girl or gay man wanting to write a diary or a voyager or academic wanting to hold a journal or just a homie from the ‘hood wanting to start a set of Scribbles, I highly recommend it. Maybe it’s just me being locked up alone all the time that has me thinking/feeling like that. Still, I can see myself doing this for years to come. Especially if they keep me in Ad. Seg. (which they will).

There’s so much I need to fill you in on but for now I only wanted to tell you how this all came about. I will write more tomorrow because I am beat. I stayed up all night reading a James Patterson book called Lifeguard. That clever son-of-a-beach keeps each chapter only three or four pages long, knowing you’ll tell yourself, “Just one more chapter.” You keep doing that and soon there are no more chapters but you’ve been up all night reading! But we’ve got no time limit together so—patience! We’ll meet again tomorrow.


Big G


Tuesday – June 24, 2008

I’m not exactly sure what time it is but I’m sure it’s close to midnight and I wanted to write to you a little bit. A lot of stuff was lost in that last set of Scribbles that was confiscated and I kind of dread having to go back and explain the same shit all over again. In that set of Scribbles, I started from the beginning, explained a little about my childhood and how I ended up in prison. I explained a lot about the custody levels (in general population) and the level system here in Ad. Seg. I also explained how I got locked up in Ad. Seg. to begin with. But the difference is that I knew I was only going to keep that set of Scribbles for a few months (AFC wanted it back by September) and so I felt the need to explain a lot of things in a shorter period of time.

Now, with this set of Scribbles, I plan to keep them for a whole year and so I will fill you in on certain parts of my life as we go along. Like I said, I’m not up to all the explaining right now. More than anything, I’m chasing that therapeutic effect and so a lot of what I write will just be thoughts and bullshit.

I will explain to you this Ad. Seg. level system though because you will notice that I am constantly “in trouble” disciplinary-wise and so you should have an idea how it works. In Ad. Seg. there are Levels One, Two, and Three. Level One being the best and Level Three being the worst. Actually though, Level Two and Three are exactly the same except Level Threes can only have one visit a month and Level Twos can have two. Everything else is exactly the same. It takes 90 days to get from Level Three to Level One. But the thing that always gets me is that every time you pick up a disciplinary case, your 90 days start all over again. For example, let’s say you go 85 days with no disciplinary case. That night you get written up for some bullshit. You had five days to go until you got that write-up. Now you have to start all over. A “fresh 90” is the term we use. If 90’s were produce, I’d make a lot of money because my 90’s are the freshest!

Okay, horrible horrible joke.

But I never seem to be able to get a Level One. I do most of my time on Levels Two and Three.

One Level One, you can have a radio, hot pot, typewriter, and other appliances they sell. You can go to the commissary and buy food, chips, candy, sodas, coffee, and art supplies and all kinds of stuff. You go to Recreation seven days a week and can have four visits a month. You can use the unit library to check out books as a Level One also. Another quirk of Level One is that there’s usually at least one female guard (three guards to each pod) just about every day. Hey, we’re men, we want to see the babes!

On Levels Two and Three, Rec is Monday through Friday, unless you are on “Rec Restriction”, which is seperate punishment for different infractions. In that case, you go to Rec once a week. Commissary is twice a month (unless you are on “commissary restriction” then it’s once a month) but you can only buy hygiene and correspondence supplies. You cannot have any electric appliances down here other than a fan (which I don’t have anyway). And we cannot use the Unit Library. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have books. Lots of inmates order books or get them from different Prison Book Projects and so we all read and swap books all the time. I told you I just finished that James Patterson book and I have a Nelson Demille (The Charm School) and Mary Higgins Clark (Moonlight Becomes You) that I’m going to jump into next.
In July of 2006 I had made it to Level One. To me, the best thing about Level One is having my radio and typewriter. I don’t ask my family for a lot of money and when I do, I’m more likely to buy books or magazines. Mostly chess books. As you will learn throughout these Scribbles, chess is my one true passion. I like to write but am I “passionate” about it? Some days I’m not so sure. With chess, there’s no doubt. So think about it. You’ve got a life sentence for capital murder. No chance to get out of Ad. Seg. No serious money to give a shit about commissary. Would “Level One” be all that important to you? I seriously doubt it.

But when I got my Level One in July 2006 and I met this female guard I grew crazy about, my attitude changed a little bit. This chick was beautiful man. Still is. But she was cool, too. We’d talk, joke, talk shit to each other in a silly playful way. That kind of interacting felt good. I hadn’t experienced it in a very long time. I found myself  wanting to stay out of trouble, to keep my Level One just to be able to be around her because on Level Two or Three there are rarely female guards assigned down there. And so I kept my Level One for seven months! For me, that’s good!

But in February of 2007, the day before the Super Bowl, I was downgraded to a Level Two. I let my temper get the best of me. An officer had disrespected me in front of the whole section I lived on so I told him, “First chance I get, I’m gonna fuck you up.” So they downgraded me for threatening an officer. I had made up my mind to get the bastard—but he got me first! In March of 2007, he assaulted me while I was in handcuffs. Damn near broke my arm, too. That sent me into a rage. But I didn’t file a grievance or tell the Rank. I can’t do that, that’s not my style. On April 6, 2007, I got my chance. I was taken out of my cell and the dude was on 2-Row coming down the stairs; I slipped the handcuffs (actually, I had a homemade handcuff key), ran up the stairs, and beat him up. The other guards sprayed me down with chemical agents and got a few cheap punches and knees in on me but it didn’t matter—I’d made my point.

After that incident, I got one bullshit case but for the most part I was doing good, trying to get my Level One back. I needed my typewriter and I also was eager to see my female friend.

On August 23, 2007, I got my Level One again. This time, I only lasted five days. On August 28th, the day after my 28th birthday, a guard was escorting me to the Rec yard and another guard was escorting one of my “enemies” to an adjacent Rec yard. It was an opportunity I could not pass up as I have to make an example out of disrespectful inmates. So much for trying to behave. Again, I slipped the handcuffs and beat the shit out of that dude. But this time I wasn’t so lucky, the guards who came running to the scene beat the shit out of me, too. But again, it didn’t matter. I had made my point. Please understand—I am not bragging. I’m just showing you the “penitentiary side” of me. I sometimes try to explain to people I care about like my mom and dad and Sanne that I do these things only because of the environment I am in. But we can talk more about that tomorrow (because I’m getting tired). Right now, I’m just trying to get you to realize that these are the types of things I am known for here at the prison. I have a reputation as someone who is not to be messed with. Officers and inmates both recognize this. That is not to say that they “fear” me—I would not be arrogant enough to claim such a thing or foolish enough to believe it. But they respect my resolve and assertiveness and would consider it heavily before crossing me or screwing me over. But we’ll discuss more about this and the “other side” of me tomorrow.

Before I close, I need to tell you about the “Big G” pseudonym. It’s really a sort of inside joke. You see, I’m not big at all—5’7”, 152 pounds.

In prison, almost everyone goes by a nickname. Very few people use their real names. My nickname is “Ghost”. Well, not too long ago, I was living on the same pod as another dude who goes by “Ghost”. So when people would call our name, it would get confusing. So I started telling people that I was Big Ghost and the other dude was Little Ghost. That made people smile because the other dude was a bit bigger than me. But they were all good sports about it and they went along with the joke, always grinning that they had to call me Big Ghost. I just took it from there and eventually started referring to myself in the third person as “Big G”. So it was all a joke to make people smile because that’s just the way I am. When I’m not beating people up, I like to make them smile.

I’ll try to make better sense of that tomorrow.

Good night.

Big G

Wednesday – June 25, 2008

I’m tired as hell. It’s about 11 a.m. or so. After writing to you last night, I wrote to one of my homies who lives on another pod. I went to sleep after breakfast, about 4 a.m. I woke up at shift change—6:30 a.m. So I’m exhausted. The whole reason for me waiting until today to elaborate on some stuff was because I wanted to be rejuvinated. It didn’t quite work out that way because they started showers pretty early today. I live in the cell right next to 2-Row’s shower so there will be a lot of traffic passing by my cell over the next couple of hours as dudes are taken one by one to the shower. I was the first one to go. The noise of all the traffic doesn’t necessarily bother me, I just don’t like being asleep while dudes are passing by, looking all up in my cell. So I’ll go ahead and use this time to write to you.

Let me elaborate on my “two sides” so that you don’t go thinking I’m some split personality schizophrenic because it’s not like that. It’s more like a Mob guy or maybe a CIA agent—they have a real, sincere, genuine nature to them: the way they are with their family and kids. Then they have that “other side” of them that allows them to delve into their respective “worlds” fully focused.

Do you accept that explanation? Or do you feel like the families of the Mob guy or CIA agent are being deceived? I hope you accept it because I believe it is the “natural” part of them to love and care for their families. The other part of them is a product—maybe a creation, maybe of adaptation. Do you understand?

I worry that some people will not. I told you about my friend, Sanne. I’ve briefly touched on the topic with her, basically to let her know, “I’m not the same here as I am with you.” But I wonder sometimes “what if” she were to find out about some of my actions here? Even one incident that’s happened since I’ve been writing her. Would she feel like I’ve been deceiving her? Trying to pass myself off as someone I’m not? I hope not because I’m crazy about this woman. Our relationship is more like a brother-sister thing than anything else. But I feel so comfortable with her, like she brings out the goodness in me. I really let my guard down with her. I even confessed to her how I got teary-eyed at the death of Albus Dumbledore! Of course, I swore her to secrecy. But she’s a sweetheart and I’d hate to lose her friendship. It’s something I wonder about though: would she understand?

Now, as for my capital murder charge, there is no excuse or justification for that. That is by far the stupidest thing I’ve ever done in my life. There’s not a single day that passes that I don’t think about what I’ve done. It is something that I truly am sorry for. Not only because I’ve ruined my own life but I sincerely do regret the pain and suffering I caused that dude’s family as well. I remember his wife testifying at the punishment phase of my trial (the State sought the death penalty) and it broke me apart inside to see her like that. In the end, the jury cited my young age (18 at the time) as the reason they did not sentence me to die and I got LIFE in prison.

The next day it came out in the paper that the victim’s family wanted me to die. I called my attorney, Mickey Kolpack, and asked him if there was any way I could write a letter to the dude’s wife. I think now how naïve I was, but I wanted to spill my guts and apologize and explain to her that I never meant to kill him. But my lawyer told me that was the stupidest thing I could do. He said I’d have so many charges and restraining orders brought against me so fast that I wouldn’t know what hit me. I saw his point and I left things as they were. But to this day I think about that shit. I also find myself thinking about the victim’s son (who was eight years old at the time) and calculating how old he’d be today and hoping and wishing that he is on a positive and successful path in his life.

If you’re wondering how it happened: it was a robbery gone bad. I was alone, staking out the store from across the street, watching the clerk close up shop. Quick robbery—take the money, run, and no one gets hurt. I’d done it a dozen times. But I went into the store and there was not one clerk—there were three. And everything went to shit from there.

Big G


Thursday – June 26, 2008

This letter won’t be long. I need to clean my cell and I want to do some reading. That book The Charm School is getting really good.

I told you about Sanne yesterday and—speak of the devil—I received a letter from her today. That would’ve made me very happy but it came along with a “Return to Sender” that made me want to pull my hair out! GRRR!

You see, Sanne is from the Netherlands so it takes a while for our letters to reach each other. So I drew her a nice little drawing on an illustration board and I sent it to her last week so that it would reach her in time for her birthday (July 5) but today I got it back because I didn’t put enough postage! DAMN! I can send it tomorrow but I doubt it will reach her on time. Argggh!

I can’t wait until she comes to the U.S. in August. She will attend graduate school for a few years. My sis gots super-mega-brains. She turned down offers from Harvard and Princeton to go to UC-Berkeley. That will be cheaper for our letters and I may even get to meet her in person. Why would a person like her, with so much going for her, want to offer her friendship to an idiot like me? I wonder myself. Please like me will never understand that kind of goodness.

Big G


Friday – June 27, 2008

I’m waiting to go to the shower since I won’t be going to Rec (I’m on restriction) so I’ll use this time to write to you. And today I will tell you about my love: chess.

I learned how to play chess in the county jail in 1997 and I was hooked instantly. After about a month of playing, the dude who taught me how to play could not even beat me! Just from “natural” talent I fared well even after I came to prison. Then, around 2002, someone showed me a magazine called Chess Life and I was mesmerized by it! I never knew there was a such thing as “professional” chess. I never knew there was national championships and world championships. I never knew about Bobby Fischer or Garry Kasparov or Anatoly Karpov or Anand or Kramnik or Leko. Or my honey-dumpling Irina Krush. I brought three Chess Life magazines from the dude and I quickly learned how little I knew about chess. I lacked understanding of the most fundamental elements of chess: control the center of the board, develop your pieces, don’t bring the queen out too early, castle. I never knew any of that stuff. I would stay up all night devouring every page of those magazines. I soon subscribed to it myself and I began really studying the game and my game improved dramatically. Following the printed games of the best players in the world showed me another side of chess and I just got good!

In Ad. Seg. we have our boards “numbered” (each square) so that we can call out the moves verbally—I tell you where to put my pieces and vice versa. This is how we play back here. As I got better I started beating everyone who played me. In Ad. Seg. there are a lot of chess players—what else is there to do? I started winning all the tournaments (we ran the tournaments ourselves with an entry fee and a prize pot) and winning all my bets (two of three series for $5 or $10). Pretty soon I was making a name for myself and no one wanted to bet me anymore. So what I started doing was putting up 2 to 1 odds. I’ll put up $10 to your $5. That worked for a little while but not for long. Then I was putting up game odds and money odds. I’ll put up $10 to your $5 but the deal is I gotta beat you three in a row. If you beat me once before I beat you three times then you win the $10. That, too, worked for a while but not for long. Nowadays, it’s nearly impossible for me to find a bet. That (chess) is the one thing I am most known for throughout this prison. I‘m a legend around here. What I’ve recently started doing is playing blindfolded. I’ll go to the Rec dayroom so everyone can see I have no chessboard and I’ll play them out of my head. These dudes think I’m a beast! They don’t know what I know: the world record is 38 simultaneous blindfolded games!! I believe it was done by Jose Capablanca though I can’t remember exactly. I remember reading that and thinking if he could play 38 games at once I know I can do one! And I can.

Now check this out: one day, when my Scribbles make it to #1 on The New York Times Bestseller List, and I am being broadcast via satellite on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah is going to say, “Mr. Big G, I’ve investigated your Scribbles and I’ve found everything to be true, your upbringing, your crime, your assault cases, even other cases you didn’t mention. However, you claim to be a good chess player and my investigation has revealed that your USCF (United States Chess Federation) rating is 1465 which is not very good at all.”

So listen up, Oprah. For one, my 1465 rating is not a “set” rating. You have to play something like 26 correspondence chess games to get a real (set) rating. I’ve only played six. But paying a stamp every time I sent a move got too expensive for me and my limited funds so I had to drop out of the tournament, forfeiting all those games. But one day, when my financial situation gets better I’ll sign up for another tournament and see how I really fare against the real chess players of the world.

And that’s all you get for today. A few wimpy pages about chess. What can I say? I love the game.

Big G
(The Chess Monster)



Saturday – June 28, 2008

I had to pry myself away from my book (The Charm School) just to drop you a few lines. It’s just that, although the book has a very serious storyline, the characters have a dry sense of humor—a bunch of smartasses—just like me! So I’d like to share that part of me with you today.

If people are to like me or get along with me then they have to “get” me. They have to understand that I like to joke and talk shit (playfully) although I honestly do try to keep it tasteful by not being vulgar, rude or being an asshole. But sometimes you have to be witty to “get” me and you definitely have to have a sense of humor. Generally, I find that intelligent people understand my sense of humor more than stupid people and so, are less likely to be offended by it. That’s not to say I haven’t offended intelligent people. I remember one time, back in 1999 or 2000, I was pen-palling (pen-pal’ing?) with a woman who seemed extremely intelligent. For some reason though, after months of writing, she would not tell me how old she was nor would she send me a picture. So one day, I asked her to, at the very least, describe herself to me. She wrote, “As for a description of myself, well, let’s put it this way: I’m cute.” To which I responded, “Cute? Baby gorillas are cute.” Never heard from her again. I was only kidding though. Thought it was a real knee-slapper.

My family is a regular bunch of comedians, though I‘d have to say that my brother Jason (27) and my baby brother Adam (20) are the funniest. My dad is up there, too. We’re all smartasses.

Sanne gets me though. She says I make her laugh. And she hasn’t gotten offended so far—even when she told me that her boyfriend was on holiday in Australia and I thanked her for the information since I was soooooooo worried about him. I’m terrible.

One more quick note before I close for today. In this book, one of the characters was thinking that Russia “more than any other country he’d ever served in, changed you. You went in as one person and came out another.”

It was weird reading that line because I’ve always thought the same exact thing about prison. But I’m not only talking about the inmates, I’m talking about the guards, too. Actually, I’m especially talking about them. An inmate being changed in prison is obvious. But I’ve seen it time and time again, a regular Joe gets a job in prison because it’s easy money with good benefits. But they have no ill will towards the inmates—hell, half of them grew up the same way we did, just never got caught. So they treat us like human beings but after time and time again of being lied to, conned, manipulated, snitched on, cussed out, disrespected, these people change. I’ve seen some kind of men (guards) turn into assholes and some sweet women turn into bitches.

Example: one of the nicest women we have here goes to get an inmate to take him to disciplinary court. She could be a bitch and strip him naked, make him spread his ass cheeks and all that but she doesn’t. She cuffs his hands behind his back, shackles his legs and takes him to court. The dude gets there and tells the captain, “Your officers violated rule such and such and didn’t search me. I have a shank on me right now.” They search him, find a shank, gets the woman put on probation and turns her against inmates, period. She’s probably written more disciplinary cases since that incident (about five months ago) than she has in the entire five years she worked here before that. Inmates make these guards hate us and we turn good people bad. I imagine they take that bad part of them into their private lives as well.

I could go on about this by why bother.

Back to my book.

Big G
Sunday – June 29, 2008

Today is one full week that I’ve been writing to you though it is very early in this day. It’s probably around 2 a.m. I was having a dream and I woke up with my adrenaline pumping and my heart beating fast and now I cannot go back to sleep. Besides, breakfast should be here within the next hour and a half or so. Plus, today being Sunday, I will be going to recreation today (as will all the inmates who are on “rec restriction”; today is our weekly rec). So I might as well stay up.

As I was laying there in bed, a few thoughts crossed my mind. One is: I think I know who I can share my first week’s worth of Scribbles with. But I’m not sure if I’m going to do it yet. It’s just that there is so much I have not even covered yet. This is not even the tip of the iceberg. Not even close. But let me think about it some more and I’ll let you know what I decide.

Also, I was wondering if you were wondering what ever happened to that female guard I met back in 2006. Is she still here? Yup. Is she still beautiful? Yup. Am I still crazy about her? Yup.

But still, things are different now. She is a prime example of what I was telling you yesterday about this place (these inmates) making a good person turn bad; although, with her strength of character I doubt she takes the “bad” her into her private life.

Since the time I lost my Level One in February of 2007 until now I’ve seen her only a handful of times and actually spoken with her even less than that. Even my last stint as a Level One (from November 28, 2007 to February 21, 2008) I only got to see and speak with her once. And now that I’m a Level Two I rarely ever get to see her.

It’s kind of funny because she has established a reputation here as quite a bitch. But when we make eye contact I feel as if she has granted me immunity from her bitchy side—with the understanding that I better not ever take advantage of that or press my luck. And she knows I won’t.

You have to understand also that when we met, I was a Level One. A well-behaved inmate. She did not know about my “other side”. She knew what I was in prison for but she probably could not imagine me doing anything wrong because of the way I look. (People often tell me I look like a college professor “or something”.) Now she has seen and heard of some of my more violent escapades and is probably reluctant to get too close (figuratively) to me.

Not that we were ever on a “romantic” level. No, it was never like that. We were just cool with each other. She treated me, not like an inmate, but like a regular human being, like a friend—something their academy brainwashes them into believing is wrong. But I’m a veteran to this shit and I understand that we are on two different paths now and I respect that—gotta keep on rollin’.

I also realize I haven’t even told you about my family. I will do that tomorrow—I promise.

Right now though I would like to write a letter to Sanne. I told you I received a letter from her the other day and I still have not answered it. I think my genius little sister would not be too happy if she knew I was neglecting her for the likes of you! Smile! I will write more tomorrow.

Big G