I started this yesterday in my heart after hearing Social D’s Story of My Life. I write first in my head then if/when I remember, paper. Evan & Noah with some friends took me to their show a number of years ago. Fantastic. While sharing a beer Mike Ness walks by. Evan pointed him out. I was impressed. True artist.
Yesterday drug ugly. I was tired, beat, depressed. A buddy told me of his brother’s arrest. Same as mine but in Florida & she approached him in an instant message. His celly was like “you come from a family of pervs”. I was more like, “my God the pain your parents are going thru. Your brother, his wife, you. I’m so sorry”. Why this response? Why not same as celly? First, I believe my friend. Am I gullible? – yes. Stupid? No. Second, his brother has never been in trouble. Third, who has been alone – lonely, displaced seeking a friend? Sometimes the grey area is larger than black or white, and yes, I know it’s hard to believe some truly innocent people are in prison. Yes, you never have to remind me to hurt a child is far from reason, but entrapment? I will be done with this shortly. My true concern was for my friend & his family. I’m not attaching self pity to this but I would be expressing a whole lot more anger if I wasn’t here. Perhaps this is the direction I need to go in when I’m thru here. Not just prison reform but the big picture. How crime is tied so closely to politics. The numbers aren’t getting any better because civil liberties are being swallowed whole. Believe me if I had some issue with children I’d be the first in line to correct. I hate going off in this direction because of the whole Shakespeare bit “"The lady doth protest too much, methinks." Any way, our talk beat me. It took a while to figure out. Did like this inventory & I realized his pain became mine. I will be a friend he may lean on. I will not make it mine. Make sense?
I adore Kelly’s 2 entries. She is so terrific. It’s beyond everything she does with/for me. Her heart is so pure from my perspective. Everyone here who knows me asks about her because of the stories I relate about her. Like in this last letter – she knows my celly, Slim, draws/makes cards and she sent a bunch of printout illustrations of Christmas stuff. Ok now some perspective here – these are basic pieces of paper with goofy cartoon stuff on them. My celly is over 50, ok? I would have to buy you a bag of groceries, booze or music to illicit the same response. This guy becomes a child at his first Christmas. I kind of get embarrassed. – “Dude, it’s paper”. Wrong response. This is not an unusual response. Frankly & sad in the Kerouac universal way, everyone freaks. It breaks my heart. It’s not just the paper or what’s on it. It’s the fact that someone cares to take the time/energy/expense to do it & it’s not even their friend. It’s John’s Kelly. The untouchable Kelly. No one ever fucks with my friends in here. No one would ever think of referring to Kelly in some piggish way. Not just me but the minions of adorers would come with the wrath of Zeus. & no one is jealous (& everyone is jealous in here) because Kelly is someone who knows. Someone who doesn’t have to, but does care. “John, could I write Kelly?” “Are you insane?” Enough to say no doubt about it, I’m more than lucky. I’m loved. I’m loved without money. Without anything but my loyality. My love. Devotion. Kelly asks me about one I loved truly – Will I ever get over her? You don’t get over love. You surrender for it is the true conqueror. We surrender because it’s right. It frees and delivers. You don’t go backwards. Believe me I’ve taken extensive lessons on love. Evan, like his mother, was a master. & Noah, well, I can’t think of a greater way of spending one’s life. To be honest I was blessed at a very early age. My parents really wanted me, though it became too much & when that happened I had a grandmother who took over. She died suddenly when I was 6 & through a rather strange twist of fate I was introduced to John Lennon (not literally). I don’t want to go there now but perhaps some day. Some how thru all the pain I witnessed , experienced and delivered, the redeemer has always been love. That’s it. All you need is. Easier said than done. Kelly is an example of. Stacy another love & Lopez a man I’ve never met physically though communicates as a true brother, and dear James - Poet extraordinaire from Milwaukee. Dear dear Matt. & Julie from Baltimore & Julie, my surrogate daughter. Kim. Reed, a truly profound brother. Conroy. Jesse. It’s what we’re here for. My dear Amanda. A woman whose strength, beauty, courage & brilliance allows tears of joy to cascade when I think perhaps we are witnessing the same sun, sons, grandson.
So prison is a fence. Bars. A locked exit. There are rules. Serious rules. Real fuck’in serious rules. They’re not always the state’s rules. There is a code. And there is honor. And there are brothers. The guards are not always wrong. Frankly, respect is the word. Word to live by. Survive by.