A World With No Sky
How much pain can the heart take before it turns to glass, cracks and turns to heart break? Alone I sit in my cell staring off or counting the bricks that make it up, each one a mistake I've made in my life that I wish I could undo. But like my cell, my mistakes are set in stone. What is hardest to swallow is that I'll most likely spend the rest of my life in a cell for a crime I didn't commit. I haven't been able to find the strength to make a deal with the state for that reason. If I must do this time I'll make them give it to me. It's weird how strong you can be forced to be when being strong is all you have left to do. When they sentence me I will shoulder the burden and carry it because I must. This is a way of life I understand, I've lived it that way for all my life.
The lights go out and I feel okay to take a deep breath, finding a strange calm in the shadows. I stare at the concrete floor and all the cracks that spider out in every direction and I wonder how many tears have fallen in this room turning those very cracks into streams of sorrow, trenches of despair. Sometimes I feel as though I see things from the corner of my eye but when I look its gone. But I know what it is. It's those pieces of soul that have been torn from the lives of those that have been here before me...
Where I am housed there are only four cells with one inmate per cell. Each one gets four hours out a day, inside a small hallway. Books are available but no T.V. every other unit has a T.V. But not where I am. There's a phone but I have no money left to call my daughter. I've seen people break down in here. Maybe it's the echoes that bounce that brings the madness, maybe it's that there is no windows. Maybe they see the pieces of lost souls too... I've felt my sanity slip... zoned out only to come to with tears sliding down my face. I know how the silence can scream. When I feel myself slipping I close my eyes and reach for all that I have left... The love I have for my daughter. I can remember every hug she's ever given me, I remember each time she has told me she loves me. She's all I have. My adoptive family has long exited my life but my daughter has always been enough to get me through. I've been an epic failure but still she loves me. She's my moon and stars in a world with no sky.
I've been where I am 3 years to the day, but I've done time in places that are worse. So when I see someone's mind break I can't help but wonder if it's this place or their life outside that has caused it. One thing I do know is that when they break it's only matter of time before a piece of their soul joins the rest.
My mind and thoughts weigh heavy. Yesterday my attorney told me Governor Kate Brown won't be calling for a special session on senate bill 1013. The bill that redefines aggravated murder in Oregon. It will remain retroactive and will effect my case and that my case no longer qualifies as a death penalty case. I'll have court on October 3rd, just a few days away. The bill goes into effect on the 29th. Two days... They will have to dismiss 3 counts of agg-murder.
This is a big deal, right? I should be glad, in some ways its a small victory. But all I feel is anxiety. I still cannot figure out how to explain this to my daughter. She's 14, she will understand, but will it spark a false hope in her? Or will it lead to a conversation that I've evaded and avoided because I don't have the heart to have it yet because I know it will only cause her pain... Just the thought crushes me.
Their watching me... The soul pieces, waiting for a chance to welcome a piece of myself to their numbers. After all misery does love company. I pretend not to see them. To not feel their gaze on me. My sanity is a flame burning bright and they are moths drawn to it. The silence screams out at me. I close my eyes and reach for all that I have left. The love I have for my daughter, I remember every hug she has ever given me. I remember each time she has told me she loves me... She is my moon and stars in a world with no sky...
If you are working on an APWA-related project, please let us know how you plan to utilize the Archive. We hope to share information about your work with our readers and, whenever possible, with relevant APWA authors.
APWA is an open access archive. We encourage use of the writings for research, course planning, and projects engaged in examination of the criminal legal system. Reproduction of essays in their entirety infringes on author copyright without their explicit consent from the writers. Please contact us if you plan to reproduce entire essays; we will do our best to put you in contact with the authors for consent, and their compensation for any project that is profit making.