Thursday, October 14, 2010

Letters to a Future Death Row Inmate, part 16

by Randolph "Amun" Greer #999042

Part 15 can be seen here

So whats up?

You gonna dip to night shift for awhile? Why don’t you try it out for a month or so, and if you don’t like it, you can always slide back to daylight savings time, I think you’ll enjoy the solitude, though! They say that in between the hour of midnight and 1:30AM, the universe is in harmony with itself and nature. I can really tell, especially when I am in my zone. Solitude is as needed to the imagination as society is wholesome to the character! Your first few minutes in your mornings should be spent in silence, meditating on the wonders of your Creators love, the same way it is for you, before you go to bed. Each morning you get up bruh, you should have a made up plan as to what needs to be done for the day. And everyday you wake up every fiber of your being should be focused in the direction of tryna save your life, first and foremost, and being there for that lil girl of yours, as she needs a father. I have dedicated and devoted all 19 years of my time here doing for mine. And I can truly say that it has all paid off. It’s the one thing in life that I can be proud to say, that I’ve done absolutely right. As of right now, things are still brand new for you, and I can dig that. And you’re still spending old money in which you brought with you from the county jail. I presume this was money you had from the world; either that, or you’re riding off the finances in which your family is giving you. My suggestion to you bruh is to be able to slow down your spending. I know how it is, we all want to be able to eat good, and be able to get the zoo-zoos and wham-whams sort of speak, because Lord knows, these folks that run this penitentiary don’t feed well at all. They don’t have no love for us, and they couldn’t care less about it, and that is just a fact.

Which brings me to my next subject, which is "love." Love is an action word, and during your time here, you’ll come to fully understand what I mean by this. A lot of people in our lives, or that we may come across, tend to use that word loosely, but very few actually understand it, and are willing to actually live by it, by demonstrating their love for us via sacrifices. And that includes family! Now, I know that for you, at this moment, you may find this very difficult to believe or to even consider, when it comes to your very own family. Rightfully so. I remember the days when I was the same way, as an old school cat tried to tell me the same thing. Well, I was livid; I mean I felt quite offended that one would have the audacity to tell me that as times go by, all those in whom proclaim to love me will have dwindled away. My girl, my sisters, my brother, my aunts, my friends, etc. People I’ve grown up with, broke bread with, spent most of my life with, done cried with, done fought with, done lived with. Not MY family, not MY friends, this cant be. This guy don’t know me nor any of my folks. Hell, I’m not even from Texas and neither is any of my folks. This has to be a Texas thing a down south mentality.

But the truth of the matter was, what he said was a reality. And just as that brotha tried to tell me, I’m now telling you. As time goes by, you will have figured out who truly loves you, who’s real and who’s not, who means you well, and who couldn’t care less. But until then, my suggestion to you is to start to invest with the lil finances you have, so that whenever that time has arisen, you will be self sufficient and independent. You wont have to lean as much on everyone like your mama, or sisters, or brother, or grandma, or girl friend. You’ll be able to do for them from time to time, even.

People appreciate you more when you show them you’re tryin to do for yourself. That encourages them to wanna assist in whatever ways they can. And your relationship with them, whatever it may be, will last a whole lot longer this way. But if you’re constantly leaning on them for something, you are gonna run them off.

No matter what they say to you bruh, I'm telling you from experience: if you have to rely on a person too much, you will eventually run them off, or in the least, make them shy away and they wont write as much, or don’t come see you as much as before, because they feel shame and bad because they themselves are in a bind and are unable to really do for you like they used to do, or as they would like to do.

But during those times, if ever such a situation should arise, you’re gonna have to just be able to ease their minds and their consciences by letting them know and showing them that its ok. Otherwise there’s always gonna be that uncomfortable space that lies between you. And when its like that, you’re gonna have to be able to exercise patience, bruh! For the two most powerful warriors in this world are "patience" and "time." And a lot of your time and energy should be spent tryna find a way off of Death Row. Because, believe me when I say this: that DA is up early every morning in their office tryna find a way to kill you, and put you in the ground. What a thing to devote a life to! And your efforts in goin about tryina save your life should be just as equal if not even more so! You feel me? And while I’m on the subject of love, caring and feelings, let me touch base with you on a few other things, concerning your penpals, because I heard you speaking with the guy that’s a few cages down from you concerning that, as you were only attempting to soak up much advice as you possibly can toward the situation.

And I know that for you right now, you don’t have but one individual with whom you’ve been writing to. Don’t feel bad bruh, look at me: for I’ve been here all this time, and out of all the people who have come into my life over the years, the only ones I have left are my adopted parents from France. That young lady in which you are writing may be very young, still in school, and may not be your ideal pen friend for right now, but don’t cut her off, because you never know who you’ll be pushing away out of your life. Hell, for all we know, your friend may one day find herself in such prestigious position that she can put an end to these barbaric and inhumane practices called "capital punishment." As far as what that guy told you, and why he no longer writes to pen pals, say bruh, don’t take that as if all people are like that. For it would be wrong to make generalized statements about all potential pen-pals; it would be just like all the people out there sayin we was all liars and killers and users, etc...which we know is far from the truth!

He may have been dragged through the wringer, and used for exposure by his pen friends; some people are like that. It happens! But it’s not the end of the world, and it’s certainly not the whole world that’s like this. You gonna have bad experiences, maybe even some painful experiences, but I guarantee you, you’ll have more good than bad, in social networking with those that are on the outside. Better than the relationships you are going to form on the inside, probably.

Remember what I told you about the walking zombies? A lot of times peoples say things because they are defeated, beaten down, and have lost all hope. And so their every breath, their every fiber of their being, gives off negative vibes, comments and insinuations. An old school playa once told me something back in the day. His name was James means, aka Jamil (rest in peace). He said, the reason we have a hard time succeeding is because of the alibis we use. If you’re somebody working to get out of the excuse-making mentality, make sure you stay around people with a similar mindset. When you see a person making excuses about everything, you need to run for the door, because that person is a dream-killer. And that’s what the guy you were wasting your time talking to us, bruh: a dream-killer!

Look at me, bruh: I am on the verge of receiving an execution date, and you don’t hear me talking like that. And here it is, he has yet to leave the state court, so what’s his excuse? You see what I’m sayin? As time goes on, and you begin to meet others in the pen, be real to them and treat your pen friends as you would family - because in all reality, they will become like family, your extended family. So don’t lie to them, don’t misuse them. Your pen pals are human beings, too, and they have feelings just like you. If it was your daughter or sister writing to someone on Death Row or even in prison, you wouldn’t want nobody mistreating yours, so always try to look at it that way, even if you have started to doubt someone you have befriended. Try to always understand where they are coming from (struggle wise), cause we all have our own individual struggle, be they internal or external. But also, do what you can in guiding them to understand what your struggles is like.

Speak your mind, bruh, and when you do, always be direct and try to articulate yourself in all that you’re attempting to convey. Leave the fly talk, the fast talk, the street talk slang where it belongs: in the streets.

And maybe one day, you’ll have the pleasure of experiencing what true love is. If you should ever meet the right lady friend. And if you ever do, bruh, don’t rush into nothing, Take your time in getting to know one another; what’s the rush? You have some time left in the old hourglass. You see, careless men fall into love; wise men wade into it!

And now to the last thing I wanted to share with you. And its concerning the statement you made about being tired (mentally and emotionally), being frustrated and wanting to give up at times.

Say bruh, its ironic how you had spoke up on that within your kite, because I had woke up feeling almost the same, which is rare. Our situation here on Death Row is a cruel dilemma indeed. We don’t want to die, but at the same time, we don’t want to continue having to live like this for the rest of our lives neither. The thought of giving up has frequented my life on several occasions. It is a natural tendency in an abnormal environment. Every element of our circumstances are bent towards breaking us. The concrete, the steel, the bland colors of our surroundings, the bitterness that accumulates amongst the men living with you, the sensory deprivation (ie: no touching or being able to just talk with someone when you want or need to), the lack of spiritual guidance, etc. The psychological blueprint of this place is meant to drive one insane, or to the point of wanting to die. That is all they want from you: insanity and then death.

Bro: I hold on for different reasons, but sometimes I hold on simply in spite of this place and these peoples intentions. I have several mantras that I hold to. One is: life is too short to be broken so soon. Sometimes this alone carries me. Acknowledging God inside of me carries me. Doing something, even the smallest thing, and being successful, carries me. Life in and of itself is a war, bro. It’s a war in which we cannot win. All that matters in the end is how well we fought and how much we’ve gained and given. And its ok to have doubts sometimes, because doubt grows with knowledge, and knowledge is knowing the right path. And wisdom is doing the right things alone the right path, never mistake knowledge for wisdom, for one helps you to make a living, while the other helps you to make a life. And understanding is knowing when you’re right and when you’re wrong...that equals righteousness, and playa$ always win in the end! ;) Keep yo head up!

Bro Amun-Re Akhenaten

aka Randolph M Greer #999042

© Copyright 2010 by Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved

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