An Erudite's Antirecidivism Medications by Danny Cherry
As the virulence of recidivism continued to run rampant through the Indiana Department of Correction, I did not cease from combating it with cultural medicines; I refused to allow myself to become infected. Although I was exceeding poor, I still made financial sacrifices in order to positively maintain my intellectual and emotional health. Pendleton's staff's refusal, for well over three months, to send money that I had tried to donate to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital had begun to discourage me. Neither I.D.O.C. Commissioner Robert E. Carter Jr., nor Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb provided any relief, though I had pleaded, many times via correspondences, for their help. I wept uncontrollably as the words of Eugene O'Neill ring out in my head, "...in the hands of that most debased type of pimp, the politician".
Luckily for me, there was absolutely no way that I could have overdosed on culture, because I had been using heavily to numb the pain of helplessness; I had failed the innocent little children of St. Jude. I listened to, in record time, Jean-Efflam Barouzet play Beethoven's complete piano sonatas, then immediately followed with Mozart's complete symphonies performed by the Yamagata Symphony Orchestra; Norichika Iimori conducted. I followed those with Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, Gilere's The Red Poppy, and Tchaikovsky's Onegin; I consumed all three in less than one day. I also began to take, every morning as soon as I awoke, Bach's Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004:4 Giga from Nakako Yokoyama, its Ciaccona Portion live from Nathan Milstein, and Paganini's 24 Caprices Op. 1 No. 6 in G minor from Augustin Hadelich all-together; they had the good shit. Before I went to bed each night, I always took a little bit of Tolstoy to help me sleep.
The day had gone by agonizingly slow; I had not been able to find solace in culture; recidivism had built up a tolerance; I had contracted it. I took Verdi, Puccini, Bellini, Donizetti, Wagner, Spontini and Gluck from Maria Callas - she had brought them to me from Mexico City, London, Milan and Rome; they only exacerbated the pain. Vivaldi's The Four Seasons made me sick to my stomach. Not even the most exquisite piece that I'd ever heard - it was the musical opiate - in my entire life, Shigeru Umebayashi's Jia Ren Qu, could console me; my heart was broken beyond repair. When officers brought my mail, however, the tiny spark of hope within my heart, instantly grew into a jumping flame of worthfulness when I saw that St. Jude had sent me a calendar featuring some of its patients. Their smiles were infectious, inspiring, and most of all, they were loving. Tears of great joy flowed from my eyes as I gleaned profound hope and dignity that the heartless apathy of the body I.D.O.C. could never diminish, ever again. I shaved my head bald at once, and painted my fingernails, just like my little sister Hadley, grinning ear to ear; we were two girls that only wanted to have fun.
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