Popcorn

Sterling, Rick

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April 16, 2017 "Popcorn" I cringe every time I hear the word "popcorn." I'm a homosexual, blonde haired, blue eyed, Texas inmate. I'm white. Popcorn is black. He flirted with me and is so cute. I love his little ears and the way he mispronounces his "S's." I catch him sucking his thumb at times. Popcorn works nights cleaning the building we live in. He invites me to help him. I'm not much into janitor work, but he's sexy, so I join him. We scrub, sweep and mop everything. He follows me into a shower and sneeks kisses. This guy is so sweet and loving. I commit myself to this relationship. A move is arranged and Popcorn and I become roomates. Wow, he is very romantic and tender. The sex is beautiful and satisfying. Popcorn is frustrated because I have a reputation for "getting mine" in my relationships. This means I like to play both the passive and aggressive partner. This does not sit well with Popcorn. He is afraid of what his "homeboys" will think of him now that he is with me. A bull-dagger, a flip-flop punk. They may think he is putting out, playing the girl role. Popcorn becomes angry, beating me in our cell, cracking my ribs, fattening my lips and bloodying my nose. He pins me to the ground on a mattress and rapes me. He climbs off me when he's finished, angry that I didn't get into his rape. My ribs were on fire and my lips hurt. Popcorn abused me frequently. He claims he will send me to the hospital if I tell anyone. If I try to leave him, he will have a "homeboy" in the system track me down and hurt me. Popcorn extorts me for food, art supplies and shoes. He forces me to perform oral sex on him in dark corners and closets. I love this man, but I can't take the abuse any longer. I approach security and file a report, not against Popcorn, but reporting abuse and a need to leave the unit. It took several reports, but I was finally locked away from general population. Popcorn is clever and lies to staff, and is also locked up. He manipulated the system to be housed in a cell across from mine in isolation. He followed me to "the hole." He begged me not to leave, promising me he would change. He forced me to write a letter to staff, requesting to remain on the unit. He mailed it after approving what I wrote. I talked him into admitting to having sex with 5 other guys while we were in a committed relationship, some of them by threat or force. I had a few church volunteers in the free world praying for me, afraid for my life. Popcorn was eventually released from isolation and I was once again alone. I felt great relief. The letter to staff was ignored and I was indeed shipped to another unit. I asked that Popcorn be added to my enemy list so he and I would never again be assigned to the same unit. Popcorn was persistent and clever. I was told he filed life endangerment trying to get shipped to another unit, possibly mine. One morning, I returned to my cell from a meal and was devastated to find a handwritten note on my bed from Popcorn! He had found me and managed to have a note hand delivered by a homeboy. The note promised a life devotion to me and told how important I am to Popcorn. I received letters in the mail, sent through a third person to me. Always included were loving promises of life long dedications of love for me. I see him in the hallways and in my dreams. It's my imagination, but the fear is real. For the struggle, Rick Sterling

Author: Sterling, Rick

Author Location: Texas

Date: April 16, 2017

Genre: Essay

Extent: 3 pages

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