Journal entries – April 8-13, 2020

8 avril 2020.

Everything I wanted, Billie Ilish

« If you make a mistake in spite of your best intentions, remember this mantra: ‘The past is dust’” Sri Chinmoy

I could not sleep last night. I woke up for breakfast at 3am, put the food in a ziplock plastic bag and went back to bed. At 3:45amn they woke me up again to get the food tray out my cell and after that I could not go back to sleep. That’s the major reason why I don’t get up for breakfast in the middle of the night! The day has been off since. I went outside for my recreation period expecting sun and 90°F weather and got cloudy humid grey sky instead. It was good to get some fresh air and I am trying to focus on my blessings – fresh air! Haha!

Today, I heard a news report that one TDCJ prisoner has died of Covid-19 and one TDCJ employee has died of it as well. Fifteen TDCJ prisons are on Covid-19 lockdown right now. The new policy is when one prisoner tests positive, the entire prison unit will be locked down for 14 days. So that is how they will handle the potential situation. Considering the circumstances, let’s just hope and pray we do not have to deal with a positive case of Covid-19 on Polunsky Unit. The situation continues to be stressful and the level of anxiety increases. You can see it in the COs’ attitudes, the prisoners’ attitudes and on some level we know that the storm is gathering on the horizon and all we can do is wait.


April 10th, 2020

« Something bout a truck », Kip Moore

“It doesn’t matter what you say you believe – It only matters what you do.” Robert Fulghum

Life has been filled with chaos – yesterday, I was stuck in the dayroom for recreation for 7 hours! Man, that was enough rec for 3 days! Today I removed myself from that “lottery” and stayed in my cell and recuperated from my marathon rec session. Tomorrow is our section’s outdoor rec day so the plan is to go out with a friend there.

I’ve been thinking about what I say and what I believe today. In my “death row dialect”, that is “what I’m about”. And for me, the number one goal is to stay in control, focused and kind and loving in all I do. From this base I can then put myself to working towards my next goal. Getting off death row and into the free world. Having achieved that, the rest of my goals will be attainable. So day and night through good times and bad, I keep my eyes on this prize. And what I do is what will allow me to realize the above.

It’s interesting, life is crazy and all the way around on Death Row, in the free world, and this mind set helps me circle the wagons and focus on what I am in control of and nothing else. It works for me – in fact I thrive when I can live in the moment like this. Covid-19 gives us all the opportunity to give it a try. Are you willing? I hope so.

April 12, 2020

“Get ready”, Rare Earth

“Life throws challenges and every challenge comes with rainbows and lights to conquer it.” Amit Ray

I wonder what the passage of time feels like for you now that you’ve been on lockdown for 3-4 weeks? Has time sped up? Has it slowed to a snail’s pace? Are you bored out of your mind? Have you figured out how to “do time” with a routine and not let it do you? Do you understand my kind of crazy just a little better after being on confinement order? You have a month under your belt, I’m going on 21 years. Hell, T. Earvin is going on 40 years!

For me, time zooms by. It’s scary to me how fast time goes by. I have lots of work to do and at times it’s not easy to get it all done. I like it that way though, I can’t imagine days or weeks with nothing to do. I’ve some guys here who hate to write and don’t do it. I could not handle that. You can only read so many books and magazines and listen to only so much music before it all starts to sound the same.

It’s quite interesting how NPR and other radio stations are addressing things like exercising in your small apartment like one does in his cell in prison or Texas death row. Or a suggested book reading list. If they only knew, they are teaching the masses how to be a “convict” and master the art of doing time. I’m a pro at that so maybe I should start giving lessons! Haha!


April 13, 2020

« Baker Street », Gerry Rafferty

« Things end. People leave. And you know what? Life goes on. Besides, if bad things didn’t happen, how would you be able to feel the good ones?” Elizabeth Scott

Here I am again, pen and paper before me, thinking about the situation. Today, it was reported that 130 Texas state prisoners and 69 employees have tested positive for Covid-19. It’s in the system and man, every prisoner who is held in a place like this is a sitting duck. The thing about it is worrying helps no one, not me here or you there. All we can do is our best and be determined to make it through this bad situation in our lives. And I’ve been thinking about life and how it’s been so crazy for us all here of late. Loss of jobs, income down to zero, can’t pay bills or rent. Friends and family dying or the one you thought would be down with you till the end leaves you hanging. Or Covid-19 hits the world.

Life goes on and it will keep on whether we are here to see it or not, that’s just the way it is. This is why we must live each day to the fullest because tomorrow is promised to no one. This Coronavirus situation is reminding us of this fact and now more than ever we must keep stepping and make it through back into the sunshine. I think about it and when we make it through to the good times we will have a new appreciation for good things happening to us all. So it is for me I have dreams of having and doing the small things like going outside when I want for as long as I want going for a walk, using the phone, Internet and on and on.