Eddie and I spent a lot of time together when we were kids. But we spent a lot of time apart too. Like I said, once we started school, we were pretty much separate from 8am until 3pm. And, then, once LuLu finished work, she and Eddie would head back to her house on the other side of town.
LuLu usually fed us dinner before she left. She would never eat with us. When I was a kid I always wondered why; once I was older I understood. She let Eddie and me eat together, though.
LuLu was good to me. And I loved her. I loved her like the mother I didn’t know I missed. LuLu was strict and her tolerance was low, but she also gave kisses and cuddles and called me ‘sweet baby’ and made me feel like a person who actually existed.
After she and Eddie left, though, I was pretty much on my own. Judith didn’t like noise. She didn’t like television. She didn’t like small talk. She didn’t like homework. She didn’t like playing. In fact, she didn’t much like me. So. . .I learned to make do on my own.
I suppose, if I’m trying to justify my behaviour over the years — and I’m always trying to justify my behaviour over the years — that’s why I left. Both times. When we were young, Eddie always had LuLu. And LuLu was the very embodiment of stability and security and love. This time. Well, this time, I guess I just told myself he’d be fine and I’d be back.
What I never considered, what I never really thought about, was that no matter how sad and pathetic my little life was, I had a lot of things Eddie was never going to have. Namely, white skin and money.
The truth is I didn’t realise. The truth is I lived in a world that didn’t tell me those things or teach me about those things. The truth is I didn’t stop to think about any of that.
So, when I was thirteen going on fourteen, I headed off to Birmingham to boarding school. I didn’t look back. School was awful. I had been an outcast in Lee; in Birmingham I was a target. I was a redneck. I was a hick. I was a loser. My accent was wrong. My clothes were wrong. Everything that came out of my mouth was wrong. They were terrible years. But, they were a necessary part of the process. It was all part of what I had to do to get out of Lee. To get out of Alabama. To get out, as it so happened, out of the US.
So I did it. Eyes focussed forward the whole time.
Today has been a hot one and this summer is gonna be even hotter. You said you weren’t trying to ignore me, well I do understand how busy a person can get out in that world. So you do not have to apologize for that. This is the last week in (SAP) for me we graduate May 11th, it will be a good thing for me, because I’m ready to move on to my next project.
I got to give this little speech on rational thinking and the example she wants me to give is my life experience that brought me back to prison. I certainly see a lot of thinking errors that I have, such as (absolutes) believing there is only one solution. (I can’t) justifying giving up on a difficult task. (Awfulizing) overlooking or ignoring the positive side of something. (Have to need to must) labelling something as a need “that is really a want”. (Blaming) holding others accountable, but not myself. Pointing the finger at others for things within my control.
This is just to name a few. For a very long time Billy I have lived somewhat of a objective reality, and I know its not true, but I always coach myself into selling drugs, just like in my past when I would talk myself into drinking and drugging. I know its hard to find a job in a place where there is really no jobs available. But I always find myself going backwards. This is why I felt the need for a trade. I do not want to continue to fall into abyss and die a internal rot of decadence. I have truly came a long way and it just don’t stop it’s a ongoing battle for me and I refuse to give up. I got the break this trend that I have been cursed with. Here it is, it won’t be long before I’m 50 years old and this lifestyle that I’ve chose seems to be all I know. I often sit and cry to myself, because I know I can do better, but I continue to take short-cuts; looking for a easy way out. I got to be straight with you Billy, because there is no more excuses (lies).
I remember the very last time I seen LuLu’s face, was when she dropped me off in front of the courthouse and she told me to call her when it was over and she’ll come back and get me. That was in 2003 April 28th. Well you know the rest.
Do you know how I live a life of happiness? Listening to others and the fun they have had throughout their lives. So when I read your letters, I picture how beautiful things are there and how diversified some places are there. The south is still the south, a lot has changed but some people are still stuck. I’ve been watching this television series called Underground, it was on WGN channel, but someone told me they sold it to someone else and the new owners cancelled the show. Its based on slavery and their escape to the north for freedom. I like it!
The book you mention in your note, I never read it, but if you suggest that I read it I must read it. I need the name of it again.
Okay about the packages, this is how they work. We get two food packages once a year and two hygiene packages once a year. A winter package that comes out around Christmas time and a summer package that’s out now. You can go on the website and it actually gives you the details. I ordered one, they allow you to get up to $175.00 and the minimum is $25.00. The website is access securepak or Alabamapackages.com. Its something different to eat, that’s the only reason I order it.
This place or should I say this big business generates money coming and going they still scream they broke. (LOL). That’s another reason for me to stay out of here, because its hard to survive in here without money. Yes they serve 3 meals a day except on Sundays (you eat twice).
But the food is so terrible and the awful smell in the chow hall is upsetting. I winged myself away from the nasty habits such as cigarettes and I don’t drink coffee. I see guys begging for coffee picking up cigarette butts of the floor. That’s how real this place has become and it gets deeper than that with the drugs here.
Well let me get some rest got a long day tomorrow. You take care and I’m wishing and hoping all comes out well for you.