Dec. 27, 2018
by Steve J. Burkett (author's profile)
This post is in reply to comments on:  Personal Journal thumbnail
Personal Journal
(Nov. 4, 2018)


Personal Journal

I need these pre-dawn hours for solitude. Time to be alive with my thoughts, to organize my world. These few moments are all I have right now. I want to share them in my notes. This is memory time, time to share with my Jeannie, my heart. Time to write, time to bring in a new day. A time to watch as the night turns to day, lighting up the sky with colors.

I think I'm going to look for in my next cellie (after James got wherever he's going) is someone who sleeps in until the last minute or misses breakfast altogether, like Jimmy did. :) I miss Jimmy. :)

Life is sort of like fishing in a pond to catch anything, but we sure enjoy the fishing.



Think about this: You repeat the same day over and over, forever with small variation. Isn't that considered to be some type of torture?

I want to blame it on the cold, that I didn't want to get out of bed today. But it's not that cold in the cell, not hot but not cold. Looking out the window, I can see the fog is trying to roll in. It's supposed to rain today. I guess that will be tonight, maybe tomorrow. Maybe not. You know how often they're wrong about the weather.

I woke up feeling depressed this morning from feeling this way for a while. Maybe it's the holidays, maybe it's my celly always being depressed—laying in bed, moping around the cell all day. Not giving me any room to move. He won't go out, even when he can. He hasn't changed since Thursday. :/ I shower every day. I need to, I'm fat. :)

I'm doing very little except watching nothing on TV. I need to force myself to leave it off and start doing something. But I find that as hard as turning down a slice of chocolate cake. :) I did go out and walk a couple hours yesterday morning. When I came in, I stayed in the dayroom and did some laundry (you have to wash your own clothes here or they will disappear, or just come back gray :)). I watched football in the afternoon. The 49ers won one. :) After dinner, I showered and watched a movie. I enjoy watching old movies. It's an escape and sometimes I see things that take me back—sweet.

I was in bed after nine—in my sweat and fast asleep, dreaming about being with my Jeannie. The night goes much too fast. I did manage to stay in bed until five minutes to five, when I forced myself out of bed so I can write a few words while the quiet still fills the cell.



It seems that every week, every day ever, I encounter situations that pull my emotions and senses to the edge of tolerance. Someone says or does something that riles my wrath. Their annoyances crowd my inner calm, upsetting my peace of mind; people seem intent on upsetting my equilibrium by nipping at the frayed corners of my psyche.

A particular frequent scenario, for those of us on the inside, is the dynamic of having people—free people (staff, family, strangers)—regard us as lesser-thangs. After all, we are just inmates, convicts. This is my outlet. I look alive for some kind of feedback.

Dream: It's early in the morning. The streetlights are still on. I'm walking on the sidewalk, coming to a corner. The light is changing to red.

I look up and see you about a block ahead of me. I yell your name, I yell again louder. You don't turn around but continue walking. I cross the street on the red and call your name again. You don't seem to be able to hear me. I'm walking faster. I want to catch you. I keep calling you, over and over. You ignore me. I can hear the sound of your shoes on the pavement as i come closer to you. You cross another corner and stop as I come up to another red light. You turn and smile, asking me why I'm walking so slow.

I step out into traffic, almost getting hit by a bus.



I got your birthday card last night. It brightens up my day. Like your smile, your kiss, your love always will.

I spent the day at the hospital getting a CT on my lungs. Then I did a breathing test where you blow into this thing a hundred times (well, a lot anyway), and it gives a read out of the capacity of your lungs for holding air.

It's cold this morning, and my joints are hurting all over. Can't even close my left hand yet. :) The heater's on but not doing much good. The night guards have the rotunda door open for some reason, and the cold air is flowing in off Jack Frost's breath.

I did read about half of one of the poetry books I received awhile back. Fifty years of American poetry over 200 poems. :) Most of them are not my cup of tea, and the book is filled with great poets (Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Sylvia Plath). It's hard for me to get into the older poetry anymore. I have to have the right set of mind. I've read all of these poets, and I love them. I did enjoy some of the poems more than others.

William Carlos William's "The Mental Hospital Garden" (1954):

is a simple story
love is in season
at such a time
hyacinth time
the hospital garden

Sometimes I get lost in daydreams, sometimes I just get lost. I read, I write, I paint, I dream, trying not to get so far lost in my mind that I can't find my way back. There's no one here anymore that I can really talk to, tell my secrets to, secrets that I have hidden so deep in my mind so I can't even find them.



Why do people wish you a happy birthday? Each year brings you closer to the next life. Birthdays are just another reason to get drunk and make a fool of one's self—and I'm on my way. 5:15 AM :)

My celly James went to A Yard Saturday. Be careful what you wish for. I'm looking for a new celly now, someone who is not so miserable, bringing down everyone around him. We're all sad that we're here, but most of us have accepted the fact that we made the choices that brought us here and now we're trying to keep our hearts open to a smile. :)

"When men fear the lose of what they know, they will follow any tyrant who promises to restore the old order."
—Mary Treat

Wasted years, wasted life. Stop now and get up and dance. Be happy before I start to cry.

It's starting to rain real good right now. Happy birthday to me. :)

This will be my last post until January. I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and thank you for working on our blogs. It's our lifeline to the world. Thank you to my Jeannie, I love you. Working on a love letter. There's a love story between us to be told.


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