It's a good day! I made it to 40 years, and I don't want to sound like I'm gloating because there comes a bit of sadness with it as well. In the back of my head I hear the voices of victims' families who say "my loved one didn't get to make it to 40 years of age because you all on death row stole that from us!" and I feel that pain. Sincerely, while I didn't shoot or kill anyone, I do often wonder why I'm still alive when I fully expected to be dead many years ago. Right now, I'm trying my best to make my life count for something; I try to live by actions, and not just words...I don't know how to atone for my own mistakes any other way.
To everyone who sent me birthday wishes: thank you so much! I am blessed with true friends, and the kindness of complete strangers, which has given me the desire to push on and stay in the fight! I smiled a lot on this special day...Some days are filled with frustration, hopelessness, anger, sadness, and utter despair...but it's kindness that pulls me out of those feelings, and drives me forward. Thank you all.
Well, I woke up feeling good. I had a moment where I was like "oh...damn" when I noticed we had the same jerk guard that worked yesterday, working today. I refuse to let him spoil the day, though! It's a perfect, beautiful day and I even get to go outside and get some sunshine which makes it even better. I'm also glad to be amongst friends on death row today as well; one of my closest friends, a guy they call "Big Will" is going to cook me up some tacos, and I can't wait.
Again, thank you all for the birthday wishes. It means more than you'll ever know!
September 12th, 2017
Today I feel "blah". It's crazy how one person (in this case a real asshole of a guard working our pod) can ruin the entire day for 40 plus people. This dude is going out of his way to mess with people for no other reason than it appears to give him a tingle in his penis. A real jerk.
I'm trying to get through it and ignore the chaos he's created, but every time this asshole passes my cell I just get frustrated and angry. What's wrong with some people? I hope he's not working on my birthday. That would blow. I just need to make it to 4pm and some good music will hopefully settle me down.
September 11th, 2017
My weekend was pretty typical, nothing exciting to write about there. I went outside earlier today and it felt fantastic; I was scheduled for a day room inside but when the officer came back and told me there was an outside opening, I jumped at the opportunity. Fall is my favorite season and even though we still have a week and a half till it officially begins, it felt as close to fall as it possibly could in Texas. It brought back a lot of memories of fall in Kentucky for some odd reasons.
I had an interesting conversation about the U.S. jury system with the guy I was outside with. When a person goes on a jury trial it's supposed to be a jury of your "peers" but that is rarely the case. In a case such as mine where there were 6 individuals being tried for the same crime, it wouldn't have been out of the realm of possibility that the actual shooters in the crime could've been given a life sentence, while the non-shooters given death. Jurors are expected to follow the rule of law, but it's only natural that human emotion get in the way. There's a lot of arguments against the death penalty but I think arbitrariness of a jury deciding one's fate - life or death - is a reason why it shouldn't be an option. They're typically not a jury of your peers; they are coming from different social and economic backgrounds, and they're human, they make mistakes. Prosecutors often direct them to decide emotionally. How is that fair?
September 4th, 2017
Labor day and still trapped in the cell. I woke up at about 4:30am when the guards were passing out our "breakfast": two rock-hard biscuits, raisins, a box of frosted flakes and one hard boiled egg. A breakfast of champions, indeed! I tried to go back to sleep but just tossed and turned until 1st shift came on. They did showers and I debated about trying to get back to sleep, but ultimately ended up staying up. Maybe I'll get a nap later on. I should try because one of my favorite music shows is on tonight till midnight. I'll never make it if I don't.
The holiday weekend has been so slow. I think being on a quasi lockdown has added to the feeling. Today is 9 days of being trapped in the cell. I was really fortunate to get out Saturday night for a visit, but other than that I've just been laying around doing absolutely nothing. Happy holidays I suppose...