Martin, David James



Monsters??? Lots of people claim to be innocent. But for this story, let's just assume we are all guilty. That means we're cruel, heartless, soulless, careless, emotionless, mean monsters. Right? That's who goes to death row right? It's for the worst of the worst. Right? I'm only 26, so maybe I'm just naive, but let me tell you what I see... Before I even got here, there were a few guards at my jail that used to work here, and they told me about it. They said death row is the best place to work! Because, unlike all the other prisoners, we are laid back, don't cause trouble and are polite! But no, that can't be right. These are monsters we're talking about... On my first day here, before I had been in my cell for five minutes, the guys on my wing had given me everything I needed until I could buy it myself. Shirts, boxers, socks, shorts, pens, paper, soap, deodorant, shower slides, even some food and coffee! I was surprised! Here I was on death row and these guys were... nice... friendly even! But no, that can't be right. Monsters, remember? There's a guy who is always giving me advice. He's been here a long time, and doesn't want to see me make some of the mistakes others have made. He tries to guide me in the right direction. But maybe I shouldn't take advice from a monster... If you need something all you have to do is ask. Someone will give it to you. Most of them not caring when, or if, you pay them back. Some even refuse to let you pay them back. It doesn't matter if it's food, stamps, legal advice, paper, clothes, whatever. Everyone is willing to help. Since when are monsters helpful? Lots of people here are artistic. Being an artist myself, I know you need heart and soul to create art. But that can't be right. These are heartless and soulless monsters here... Ask the families. The wives, children, parents, pen friends, siblings. Ask them why they still love us and care for us and stand by us. I wonder if it's because we're mean, nasty monsters? And then me. I am as nice and polite as possible. I try to joke and give people a laugh. If I've got it, and you need it, you can have it. I have loved ones that I care about. I cried when my dog died. The majority of people around me, I think, are kind. There are a few bad seeds, but only a few. If I didn't know I was on death row, I'd never guess I was surrounded by cold, ruthless, heartless monsters. But, maybe that's because I'm a monster too. Written by... David James Martin

Author: Martin, David James

Author Location: Florida

Date: October 17, 2016

Genre: Essay

Extent: 2 pages

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