July 2015 - Randy Halprin

Randy Halprin
 "We tend to see a person in the moment, not as the journey they travelled to get here."  Kat Lehmann

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July 24th, 2015

I am a bit on the depressed side...Yesterday I kind of hurt the feelings of one of my friends back here...It wasn't intentional, but he was quite pissed at me and I haven't been able to talk to him since so...I really hate when you're trying to get closure or some kind of resolution and for one reason or the other you can't immediately. The wait sucks...so here's what happened...

Yesterday I was going to go outside and had every intention of going outside, I mean it is hotter than the hells of Hades, but sunshine is sunshine and I wanted to go. I told my friend because he would intercept the guards before me to set it up. However, I was of the understanding that it would be 2nd or 3rd round of recreation so when I asked the guard if my friend had talked to them they said "Yes, but it will be 4th or 5th round..." I said "That late? Can't we possibly go any sooner because I really don't want to get stuck out until 2nd shift...?" She said that was the best she could do for us and so I turned it down and said I'd just prefer to go to the dayroom and get rec. out of the way. Look, it's not that I would've turned down rec. I would've gone. I don't ever give up recreation unless I just feel depressed. So, if that was all that was open I would've gone, but I hate hate hate being stuck out until second shift. Shift change is at 5.30pm and they're usually in the middle of feeding dinner, so the guards on the next shift do a security check, finish feeding, then count time. By the time they change out the recreations and take us back to our cells I'm tired, I'm hungry, I want to listen to the news and get mail, read, go to bed...The guard went back and told him I said that didn't work for me and he got really mad at me. I felt bad. Still do. I sent word explaining things and said I was sorry but I haven't received word back on anything so the not knowing is driving me nuts. I should've just sucked it up and gone outside instead of leaving him hanging.

I suppose it is a flaw...I can be the most accommodating person in the world, giving, generous...but I have a tendency to do things my way or no way at all. I don't bend easily and I think I need to work on that...I don't intentionally try to hurt peoples' feelings and I hate when I do.

Anyways, I've been up since 5.30am and it is one of those days...Not really sure what I'm going to do for the rest of the day. Just trying to keep my thoughts positive.


July 20th, 2015

It's been an interesting few days...As I write this, though, I'm tired as hell because I had very little sleep last night, and then woke up at 5:15am and couldn't get back to sleep...I ended up just saying "screw it" and went about starting my day. I'll be going to recreation here in a little bit, but I wanted to get a jump on the day and get to writing, even if my brain is firing with all of its neurons. Oh and it feels like an oven in the cell - I actually heard that guys who went to visit on Saturday were visiting their people without any air conditioning...that had to suck!

Last week they had an audit of some sort and it never fails to erupt this place into chaos. They (the administration) wait until the last minute and they send inmate clean up crews to scrub and mop, paint over things and generally make things look good on the surface. It is all an illusion, of course, but the inmates are the ones who get faulted for their incompetence. Instead of doing general maintenance and all of the other general upkeep all year round, they go into this panic.

They also start enforcing all of these stupid arbitrary rules like "no clothes line up from 6am to 6pm" or no property in your cell can remain out in the "open" when you aren't in your cell. Just stupid stuff, and if you don't follow these rules that they HAVEN'T been enforcing all year long well, you get a disciplinary case...as was the case when 10 guys got written up on my pod. I shouldn't be surprised but it does amaze me how they get away with it. This whole place is a house of sand and fog. I hate how retarded it sounds to whine or complain about the stupid things they do, but the place is just frustrating at times.

Speaking of frustration...I'm really fed up with the crazy people that reach out to guys back here - especially the women that go out of their way to have relationships with prisoners or guys on death row in the guise of being a supporter or activist. Don't get me wrong or misunderstand me, I don't doubt the sincerity of those who fall in love naturally and have healthy relationships; I don't think they are groupies or whatever. I believe in love and it "just happening", but let's face it, there are some bat shit crazy people involved in this world.  

Somehow I got dragged into some BS drama between a couple all because I told someone else that the dude's chick wasn't being faithful, and actually thought it was kind of humorous that they were both being insincere with one another and lying/manipulating each other. I couldn't believe it entered into the realm of alternate  realities...."Oh I love you. You're the only one, baby..."  "Yeah, me too" and they're both lying to each other for...what? I don't get it, but whatever floats their boat. What I don't get is the games and charades...even more so when the dude who is locked up tries to control a woman who is in TOTAL control, from the inside of a prison cell!...I don't know.

I really can't get my thoughts together on this issue because I'm tired and frustrated and I really don't try or mean to judge anyone and I'm not questioning any real relationship...love happens. I've been in love back here. It can be real, but dammit if I'm not just sick and tired of the groupies and crazy chicks...I'm tired of the users and manipulators back here...I'm just tired of the craziness.

Also those who play the victim role on either side of the fence. There are real victims and then there are the "everyone is against me, I don't know why this is happening", blah freaking blah. I'm tired of it. Sooooooooooooo tired. I know that I'm getting a bit cynical in this place, but fuck it, I've been cramped up and tied down for fifteen years and you think you've seen it all and then new and wonderful surprises come your way.



July 12th, 2015

It has been so freaking hot... Yes, we have some air that is blowing from the vents in our cells but for the most part as soon as it reaches the open spaces it dissipates, and you end up a sweaty mess. Thank god for the inventions of fans! Texas heat has never been kind.

I wish I could say that I've been up to a, lot, but I haven't. I'm in one of those weird head spaces where I'm not miserable or depressed, but neither am I just all happy-go-lucky. Too many thoughts running around. A big part  of it is just reliving a bunch of old memories that came popping up while I was listening to an all 90's music weekend on the radio. Songs I haven't heard in years, decades really. Crazy that one song, one bar of music can open your mind up like a tuna can and send you crashing back to the past. .

What I really wish I had is photos from my childhood...that would be the best thing ever. My brother, who is in treatment right now mentioned in a letter that he's going to ask my parents for them...The thing with that is, they've not talked to me in 18 years now and I hope they don't give him any resistance in handing them to him. But it would mean the world to me. I had some of my old year books for a while and certain circumstances caused me to lose them about 4 1/2 years ago. What was great about showing those to guys back here is, it would validate some of my stories. In prison, tales come in many forms and fashions, and a great deal of people's 'past lives' in the free world are concoctions...stories to impress those back here. Tales of the gangster life, or whatever...When I tell people that yeah, I grew up in a nice home, went to private school  etc. you can see that "he's full of shit" look in their eyes...I'd whip out the year books, and people loved to see them.

Anyways, I'm in the process of trying to get stuff. We'll see.

I'll try to write more this week. I'm just going to get under the fan for now.


July 7th, 2015

Something told me to get out of bed early this morning. The guards usually begin setting up the day's recreation schedule about 5:20am, and when the guard asked me if I was going and I said yes, she said it would be 4th round, which would have put me out waaaay late in the afternoon. I force myself to go but believe me when I say that 4th round is about the most boring horrible time to go. It borders on shift change...then dinner shows up, then you get stuck out and get a really late shower - if you don't end up getting screwed out of a shower. I laid in bed a little bit longer and then thought, wait! Someone is bound to VR at the last minute and maybe I can slide in the spot. I jumped up, slammed a cup of coffee and brushed my teeth. Well, someone didn't VR, but instead jacked the run and said he wanted to go to F-pod, the disciplinary pod. I think there's some concerted effort to put together a peaceful protest of sorts, because that is the second person in two days to willingly go down there. Regardless, that left the opening and I jumped all over it. I hollared at the guard and said "Hey, if it is open I'm ready right now!" It was cool, quiet, and I knew I'd be able to work out with little distraction for that two hour period. Screw waiting all day for recreation!

Well, it won't be long until death watch is filled up. They're issuing execution dates like goverment cheese. On KPFT news they were talking about Harris County (Houston Area) and its trend of not executiing anyone. Well, someone obviously didn't get the memo about the number of guys who are waiting on dates back here, and that they are from HARRIS COUNTY...!! Like six or seven dudes...Sure, the trend as a whole on death row is indeed fewer death sentences, but Texas is setting a pace to hit a high and it is Greg Abbott's first year as Governor. Go Texas!

I really can't wait until the Mexicans take over. I'm not saying that tongue in cheek either...The fewer crazed white/right wing Republicans we have in this state is the day Texas will be a better state in general.


July 6th, 2015

I've been here for 12 years now and I've seen or been exposed to enough executions to drive a person insane. A friend of mine seems to think we all suffer from some form of PTSD back here, and I don't know if that is true or not. I mean, I feel fine at times, but then I've never been in another environment to see how I react to certain stimuli. Outside of the obvious effects of solitary confinement and my own personal disorders - if they really are disorders - I feel relatively normal. And when I come to know that each execution (or get word that another person has recieved an execution date) is just another day on death row, I'm always surprised at my own reaction when I watch two guards show up to the pod to take a person to death watch...Disbelief, grief and shock - even when it is expected to happen.

I was sitting in the dayroom after exercising, just collecting my thoughts and zoning out, when the guards came for Perry Williams. I've known him for years. I don't know what he did, I don't care what he did. All I know is him back here and he was a good dude. I've seen his family come for years to visit him, I've helped him when he needed it, and he's helped me when I've needed. We've played basketball together, listened to movies on our radio together (well he was in the cell next to me and we'd discuss it )...When they came to take him away I didn't know what to say other than the standard, "Keep your head up." But then it hit me as he exited the door and I just blurted out "I hate this fucking place. I do. I hate it. I hate that as human beings we still think this is the only way to solve something. It isn't about punishment or justice. That is just bullshit to make ourselves feel better. It is pure vengeance and there's no way around it. After thousands of years of social evolution, we still act like fucking cavemen"

Justice...yeah right.  


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