Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Letters to a Future Death Row Inmate, Part 3

by Miguel “Paisa” Paredes #999400

Part 2 can be seen here

Que Rollo,

I’m writing these lines in order to give you a view into the future of what your life will be and the changes you will encounter through the various phases that the life on Death Row consists of.

I’m going to talk to you from a Hispanic point of living. What does it matter? A lot.

For one you might feel bad for your sentence or you might have enough pride that overcomes that.

You must have heard that Death Row is the worst, most dangerous place. Well pop the bubble because it is the worst day care you’ll ever be in. If you want to let your hot blood get the best of you, I tell you right now this place is full of metal but even if you could turn all of it into weapons you’ll never finish and the fool will be you. Some will try to let it get to you so they can see some entertainment a lot will mention it and if you’re lucky few will look out for you while you’re in the hold, but mostly you’ll hear a thousand excuses why they didn’t/couldn’t help you. Control yourself and be respectful, face problems accordingly and don’t look for them cause you’ll never run out of them.

You’ll discover a society built of smoke screens where yo have to guess what it truth and what is not. That will frustrate you, sometimes it’ll take years for you yo see behind the smoke screen, do what your heart tells you and worry about what you do and now what others do. “What goes around comes around” let that remain in your mind.

I’m sure your lawyer told you that you can beat your conviction through the appeal process. I always laugh at this. Specially after I’ve seen and known about a hundred people or more be executed. Either it turns you callous or it messes with your thoughts it all depends on you. Many will tell you that you can win etc. Very few cases do get reversed. And from every 14 people 12 will tell you they’re innocent and spend hours convincing you of it. I laugh because the joke that their lawyers told ‘em they believed it as fact. Ha Ha. When the appeals keep getting denied and your/they’re at the end they change 180 degrees! Some can't stand being in the tank where deathwatch is kept. You see your friends and everyone march to their deaths from there. That’s your and my ‘REALITY.” Three months is not enough time for a person to really set his life and prepare his loved ones to say goodbye. If you care you have to be strong and endure and learn to live with this reality on your shoulders and all that bravado talk of going out fighting is another joke. I’ve seen all sorts of men march or be carried; hard solid men as well don’t waste your time in such fantasies. You’re different? Maybe you wont understand while you face death through anger. I’m not a saint nor weak, a real man is telling you this. Why? Cause there is people that will be affected by everything that happens to you and as long as those people are in your life you will at the end remain as a human and not an animal with no emotions. When a person really doesn’t give a damn fuck its very rare and that person becomes numb/hollowed inside, no joy, no tears, nothing. When you reach this level you can then say you don’t give a damn. If you get visits or mail it completely wont matter. So if you stand at the door or yearn for a date that someone has told you they’ll visit you. You do give a damn.

What happens with you will be two things either you’ll get somewhere else if a “miracle” occurs but more than likely you’ll be executed. Don’t give up on your legal appeals unless you really want to die real quick. You’re still alive despite being here and if you’re here a lot of people are suffering more than you. Your parents, wife, children etc don’t make it harder on them by still not taking into consideration their feelings about you. Don’t let anger blind you, learn to receive them with open arms and a smile when they write or visit you. Many things you will not like nor agree but realize where you at and try to understand them when they make mistakes or don’t act as you are expecting, be thankful that they haven’t forgotten you, and if through the years they do distance from you know that there’s other people who could learn with you and live with you and vice versa. Just remember to be truthful cause if you wish to live in a lie or make up world you’ll be wasting your life and never will be happy. These walls scream when all the noise stops and you have no distraction when its only you and reality. If you can't be at peace during this silence, you’re not living but acting. When this time comes either you’ll break or learn what life is really about. That no one can explain to you you’ll find out you can avoid it all you want but sooner or later you’ll learn.

Learn that it doesn’t matter if you die a hundred years from now or tomorrow as long as you are happy and have given those you love, love and understanding. It’s extremely easy to hurt somebody or wish total rage but when you are able to accept death with a smile the process it’s hard but you’ll understand them many things and you wont hurt those that love you.

Well good luck and see you later!

Miguel “Paisa” Paredes #999400

Click on picture to see more of Miguel's artwork

© Copyright 2010 by Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

D Ruelas said...

Hello Paisa:
Just a small note to thank you for taking the time to write this letter to a future DR inmate. The recommendations you give are of much value as your experience speaks.Every inmate, including you, experienced being a DR newcomer and can speak with "conocimiento de causa". That is the best type of recommendation, when a person knows what he is talking about because they have already been through it. It is very loable for you and others to be doing this as it shows your care for others.
When times are hard, remember the recommendations you have given: 1) you ARE a human being (not an animal) 2) There ARE people that care for you 3) Smile!! And I would add one more to your list: Learn to recognize the smallest of blessings in your life day after day. This will make you smile more often and make your burden less heavy.
Your drawings are amazing!! The one posted here (the walls screaming) actually speaks!
Once again, many thanks for the time dedicated in writing this. I know it took effort on your part. Y si...los hispanos tenemos mucho orgullo. Dios te bendiga!