Biding My Time

As most of my friends both online and off know, my late partner was in prison for most of our relationship.  for the years he was incarcerated, I wrote daily. It cheered him up, and he passed my letters around  to his celly. Somewhere along the line he told me about a website, writeaprisoner.com, where inmates post ads looking for penpals. I thought, well that’s nice, and didn’t give it another thought.  I was active on a couple of support group forums for the loved ones of prisoners, a lot of whom had met through personal ads.

I was feeling kind of glum today, a bit of a pity party I guess. The job situation is bleak, money is bleak, the stress of my family and watching out for my Mom, left me feeling, I don’t know, useless.  So, I went to this website, and spent a couple of hours looking through the ads.  I remember Damon talking about how a lot-maybe a majority-of the ads were just there to get money out of people, and I had no doubt about that. Going through the ads, I had no doubt that what he said was true. Still, I narrowed it down, and came up with two, I thought sounded a bit more genuine than the rest. I wrote them both letters, and stuck them in the mail before I lost my nerve.

Both were in for drug charges. I eliminated those who were in for rape, child crimes, theft, etc. That eliminated 90 percent.  Then I eliminated the straight ads. And then the gay ads, that I thought were written by straight men.  And finally by age. I remember not only what Damon said about mail in prison, but what my ex before him said when he went to jail (if you see a pattern, let me say they were the only two guys who had been locked up).  Having spent some time myself in jail, I wished I’d had letters at mail call.

It made me feel good; that maybe my letter will brighten someone’s day. Maybe it’s selfish to want to feel better, but I can think of worse ways to do that.  I’m also not saying anyone else should do it either, but I think I made a couple of good choices, and time will tell on that.

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3 comments

  1. I hope that works out for you. Some of my closest friends are convicted felons. One of them lost his mind and killed a baby. He’s a very old man with shrinkage of the cerebellum, but he’s one of the cases that led to the development of the emergency intervention systems for psychiatric trouble. Back in the 60s he knew he was losing, kept calling his shrink, and the shrink never called him back. And then it was too late.

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