Tuesday, May 06, 2014


I watched Billy Graham this morning on the black-and-white television. He said, "Nothing can bring a real sense of security into the home except true love." I wonder if that's true. It's sure as shit secure here, and there's not any love to speak of; but I guess ADX Florence isn't technically a home, although it's been mine for thirteen years.

Shortly before eleven, a corrections officer -- Jordan, this time -- enters my cell's vestibule. He passes me a Spartan breakfast tray comprised of a slice of cold ham, half a slice of buttered toast, cut diagonally, and a small plastic mug of black coffee. I take it and put it on the concrete desk that juts out from the wall between my bed (also made of concrete) and my toilet. Jordan shuts the cell door, which sounds like a sledgehammer hitting steel, and I consume my food within seconds.

There is a shared dining room for inmates somewhere within this labyrinthine hulk, but I've only been there once, on Christmas Day of my second or third year here. Eating there was not a privilege for good behavior, and I would not choose to eat there again if given the option.

I am here because I am a very bad person. Much like the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, I don't dispute that truth. I have killed, sometimes in self defense, but usually not. I have made men widowers, women widows, and children orphans. I have tortured and mutilated people.

So I probably deserve this. I have no malice in my heart anymore, but neither do I seek redemption, nor would I accept it if it were offered to me. This place, this facility, is my home, has always been so. It just took me twenty-three years to find it.

There is comfort in the day-to-day Mobius strip of boredom I experience. Once you have accepted your role in life -- or Limbo, as I suppose this place is -- as cattle, to be herded or corralled or culled, a paradoxical sense of emancipation can take hold. Removed from society, you can settle into a life where there is no ambiguity. No grey, only black or white. I wonder if that's what meditation feels like.

If I did have one wish, it would be to have a mirror, although I fear the face that would stare back at me were my wish granted. I think I have grown gaunt and spectral over the years. But I see such few faces, and I haven't seen my own in over a decade. Once, I was able to read a hardcover of Cormac McCarthy's The Road, its dust jacket a jet black, but it wasn't reflective enough for me to see my face.

Maybe that's true justice.

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