Tuesday, September 27, 2005

My Life, My Hopes and some Dreams

Sept 16
Friday 8.54pm
I’m listening to the Kent State radio station. They’re playing Celtic music. They play Celtic music every Friday from 8-9pm, before they play a mix of folk from 9pm to 1AM…….and I’ll probably sit here till 1am listening.
I spent last night writing to my friend here on the row. It seems we both had the same football player, whose season ending knee injury put us both in a fix for the year. At least I had another player available for my fantasy football team of equal calibre.
They are conducting a 2.4 cubic foot inspection on Sept 21st……..in five days………….where all of an inmates property must fit into their 2.4 cubic foot locker box, with exceptions for certain items, like: TV, CD player, headphones, lamps, shoes and hotpots etc. But, all of our clothes, books, CDs, art supplies (except canvas boards and other items too big to fit into it), letters, towels, blankets……..EVERYTHING!
I spent the day tossing out papers and old clothes (socks and underwear etc), and began packing my stuff. When I got done, I still had ¼ of my locker box space!
So, I put the rest of my stuff in there that didn’t have to be in there, such as my lamp, hotpot, and shoes.
I got a letter today from someone who was emailed my “Letter to No One”, and she’s from Texas…….so, now I have “Texas W.R” and Texas S P”!! So, anyway, Texas SP is due to become a grandma next month. She’s a country girl in the same small town she grew up in…….so you know I gotta like that. I asked her if she sang like Allison Krauss, too!! (smile) I figure she’ll laugh once she gets on here and read this. But, she sounds very sweet, and caring. I’m looking forward to her next letter.
Well, the sound on my TV went out………so, I’m watching it with the closed captioning turned on. I guess I’ll look at football this weekend, and listen to the radio. I’m ready to get of EVERYTHING! Keep my cd player/radio and toss the TV. I went 4 years without one……but, I had a radio with speakers THEN!! There’s a short in my headphones, so I’ll have to buy new ones. Geez!! Does it EVER end?!! Well, all things in time………my art work order on November 1st is my only concern right now. Without that, nothing else is possible.
Never did start those paintings, yet! I put all the canvases on the backboards, so I’ll do as many as I can starting tomorrow (17th) until Tuesday (20th), and mail them out to Ohio. By the time ya’ll read this, you should be able to see some of my artwork. Karen should get the portrait of Kim Smith tomorrow or Monday to put on this website. One day, I’ll try my hand at PAINTING portraits. Right now I only draw them.
Well, I have stuff scattered from one end of my bed to the other, and I need to put stuff in folders, and magazine photos in my scrapbook, and set up my painting materials for tomorrow. Then, I’’ hop in the shower and sit on the floor, and let it rain down on me for a while. I find it very relaxing. The water beating down on my head drowns out all other sound, and my thoughts go away.
The only sound is the beating down of the water, and there’s nothing else BUT the sound. It’s meditative. I’ll emerge feeling like a new man. I’ll go to sleep, and wake up ready to paint all day………..and I will.
Until tomorrow…………..
Good night ya’ll!!
Sleep with the Angels.
Monday 19th Sept. 1.57 pm
It seems “tomorrow” has turned into 3 days. I’ve spent all weekend, and 6 hours of today, painting. I’ve done 4 paintings, and I have 2 more to do. I’m really tired……..back hurts, eyes watering, and a headache coming on. Yesterday, I painted for 7 hours, took a nap for 11/2 hours, and then painted for 9 more hours.
It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have to sit on a steel bench or the concrete floor for all of those hours!
I’m waiting for mail before I get into the shower. It’ll be here in the next 30 minutes or so. I think I’ll lie down and close my eyes until them.
8.37PM
Relief guards forgot to bring the mail bag with them. So I jumped in the shower first, then mail was passed out at 3.30pm. I got a “Country” magazine and the emails left on my email address, one from New York, and the other from Massachusetts.
I went to rec at 4.10pm, and they let us stay out till 7.45pm. I tried to call Karen, but Kenny had the line tied up. Tried to call Ohio, but she wasn’t home. I called Ohio again, and she said she got home at 4.45pm, but it was 7.30, when I called back.
She received my trial transcripts and photos from HER, today. So, I had her open them, and look for my photos……they were in there, too. Of course the ones left out of their envelope was all the ones of my ex girlfriends. Ohio read the name on the back, so I knew which envelope was opened. All the envelopes are marked, saying what’s inside….so it wasn’t some big secret………..I just find it funny that SHE left that one opened up for Ohio to find. Seems to me that SHE still doesn’t believe Ohio is just a very good friend. Then again, it COULD HAVE just been a COINCIDENCE!!!!!(SMILE) It’s pretty funny to me…….I mean, why would SHE even care? WHATEVER!!!! (smile)
Ohio’s coming to visit on Wednesday, so I won’t have to be in here for the 2.4 inspection/shakedown. That will be a relief. I HATE to stand there in my underwear with my hands cuffed behind my back, while they tear my cell up. I’ll have it all packed up and ready, and leave out of here for ½ of the day.
My luck, they’ll be late………..I’ll be back for it at noon. Oh, well. No big deal. ……..I’ve been through 100 of them in 16 years…
I’ll call Ohio in the AM, and hangout on the phone all morning, I need some “normal” conversation. One gets tired of prison topics. I turn up my radio to drown everything out. Wish my TV’s sound worked! I’ve been through $4 worth of batteries since Friday. I borrowed the last pack, so I owe $2 to another inmate. I’ll be glad to get these paintings out of here, and sold.
I did one painting titled, “Katrina”…and I really like it. I’ve seen so many pictures of the MESS, Katrina left behind, and I wanted to capture it, (the FEELING) on canvas. I saw a photo of a bulldozer in a pile of what use to be buildings, and I thought it was a toy, until I read the story. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it! It was a photo taken from the air (helicopter?), and I thought someone stood over a toy…….the pile of debris dwarfed the bulldozer, (actually it was a front end loader) and my mind just couldn’t comprehend what I was looking at. So, while, painting, I decided to capture the “feeling” of a hurricane. I’ve been in a Category 2 and 3, and been to areas where tornadoes had torn the roofs off of houses etc……and its amazing the things you see! I built a roof on a house, and the house next door was missing……….but the roof we were replacing was across the street on top of another house. It was bizarre!! It looked like someone picked it up and set it on top of the other roof and was almost a perfect fit!
But, I remember how the wind would blow the raindrops UP the window! And, at some points, you weren’t sure WHAT you where looking at!! Lots of green things (plants) would fly by the window, along with anything else that wasn’t tied down, and it’d be travelling at 80-100 miles per hour!
So, I kind of tied that memory into the painting, too. Most of all, I like the texture of the painting. Every time I look at it, I just HAVE to touch it………..it feels cool.
Well, speaking of painting……time for me to touch up the painting I have “done”, and do the last two.
I saved the 2 floral’s to do last because they’re the easiest to do. I do the hard ones first, and work backwards. (“KATRINA” 3 LANDSCAPES, 2 FLORALS”)
Six in 3 days…………35 hours of painting, thus far……..2 or 3 more hours for the florals ……….not counting the time to MAKE the canvas boards!! Wednesday’s visit will be a relief. I just hope I get done tonight, and I get some sleep before rec tomorrow morning. Until tomorrow…….. (PROMISE”” smile)
G’nite!
Tuesday 20th Sept.
4.23pm
Well I didn’t hang out on the phone ALL morning………just 4 phone call’s, 3 to Ohio (talking about my transcripts and photos and her family), and one to Karen (to see if Kim Smith had a nice flight abroad)
I played cards the rest of the rec period, and won just enough to get me through another weekend with coffee and smokes. I’ll quit playing until NEXT week! (smile)
Well, it took me 3 ½ hours to do the floral paintings, but they look good. I touched up the “Country Church” painting this morning after rec……and I only have a little more to touch up on the other 2 landscapes. My cell looks like an art gallery; 9 paintings and a box (6 sided) painted ultramarine with gold gilding trim. I’ve been working on the box for 6 months…..a little at a time.
I have to finish these paintings, and get them in the post before I go to bed. And, I have to pack the rest of my stuff in my 2.4 locker box for the inspection, and have it all ready, so I can go on my visit and avoid the hassle.
Boy!! I got a LOT of mail today!! Ohio, Italy, England and Karen (Scotland). Ohio sent me more pages from this site, and the photos I sent out of Jeffrey for her to scan. The other 3 were letters.
Italy turns out to be French, and belongs to another in Polunsky (Texas Death Row) …..And was just sending a moral support note. If you’ve been paying ANY attention to me, I won’t continue to write to her. I’ll find my OWN pen pal’s, and my OWN girl!! I’m not a BOTTOM FEEDER, or a scavenger…………I’m a MAN!!
England is a friend of Karen’s. I’ll refer to her as Southend, as I need to keep the UK in perspective.
I sent all of my laundry to be washed the past 2 days. “Whites” on Mondays, “Darks” on Tuesdays…….so it will all be clean and put into my locker box.
When I talked to Karen, she had been typing my latest 21 pages onto the site. (HA!) I told her that I’ve been looking everywhere for the Sept 12th and 13th pages, and to let me know if it shows up, because I didn’t know if I posted them or not. I THINK I did………..but, it’s all a blur!!(smile)
(KARENS NOTE!! YOU POSTED IT AND MY EYES ARE A BLUR OF YELLOW PAGES HERE. (smile)
Well, time to get busy, and get everything done. I doubt I’ll be back tonight…………I have letters to write, if I DO have time to write tonight, So, until next time………
Take care.
ANOTHER KAREN NOTE!! PLEASE TAKE SYMPATHY ON ME PEOPLE, WRITE DUKE LOTS OF LETTERS!!!! HAHA.
Wednesday 11.58pm
Sept 21st
Well, Ohio showed up, and waited 45 minutes for me to get out there. While I was sitting in the guard’s station, waiting to be escorted to my visit, a group of guards, (all sergeants) came in for the 2.4 inspection. My cell was ready, and they only took the stack of lids (to tobacco cans) that I used for pallets. No big deal. My escort was busy running a general population inmate (who works for death row staff in the hallway) to the hole for stealing the guard’s candy bars. (smile) Prison can be entertaining at times!!Ha!!
Anyway, I finally got out there at 8.55am, and stayed till 11.30am. I had fun…………..and we talked about a lot of stuff. And, she’ll be back next week to see me again.
Soon as I got back, I put my cell back together.
I still have to sort some papers, by my “house” is clean and organized, and I feel pretty good today.
I mailed out 7 of the 9 paintings last night, and kept 2 of them, because I want to add some details and change some things on one of them.
I’m doing one for another inmate, too……….it’s 18”x24”, and it’s his canvas board, but I DID get a bunch of paints I needed (as partial payment)!! I have YELLOW!! Woo-hoo!! NOW all I need to do is paint all of HIS paintings until November, and live on THAT until I get my next art order at the end of November! He has 3-18”x24” canvas boards he wants me to do. I’m only getting $35 a piece for them (1/ 3 of what they’re WORTH!), and I’m not signing them because he wants people to think he can paint……..but I have no canvas to paint of my own, and no money, so I’ll do what I HAVE TO DO until I can paint for myself! (YES KAREN, I STUCK A RED CATRIDGE IN MY PEN……IT’S ALL I’VE GOT LEFT TO WRITE WITH! It’ll turn red once this black ink is gone)
I don’t care if the guy needs to lie about painting, or plagiarizes my work…..so long as I can live by painting, I will!! I’d rather paint for someone than gamble at cards.
Right now, I’m doing a mountain with a lake in front of it. I did 1/3 of it already, and it only took 90 minutes, but that was the easy part. He can’t pay me until the 30th, so I can take my time. Good thing I won enough for tobacco and coffee until then! (smile) I just hope the guy has $35 each week, beginning on the 30th, because I can only do one every week, so long as he can pay! Normally, I’d NEVER do this kind of work so cheap! But, I don’t have much of a choice right now.
Well, it’s late…..And I’ve been up since 6.30am!!!
I seed some sleep before AM REC!!
‘Nite Ya’ll
Thursday 10.47am
Sept 22nd
I just came back from rec. I talked to Ohio and then the phone went dead. I didn’t get a chance to talk to Karen. I hate when they shut our phones down!
I’ve got my last two batteries in the cd player/radio, and I can’t get anymore until the 30th, so I’m sitting in silence, ‘cept for the sound of my fan on low. I’ll probably paint all day, and maybe watch TV with the closed captioning on. Man, what a life!
This is the first time I’ve had an opening on my visiting list since I’ve been in prison. Usually, I have 2 or 3 people wanting on my visit list. I can only have 2 “friends” (non relatives) on my visiting list, so I used to change it twice a year, so I could see people. Now, the “relatives” on my list has dwindled to only 4 people that ever visit………none of whom I’ve seen since Oct 2003.
I dread being given a life sentence. In 10 years I’d be completely alone. Do I really want to live that badly? Do I want to grow old in prison, and live this life? Should I cling to hope against hope, and be brave, and endure a life of hell for a false hope of ever being free? Do I find someone to live FOR, like I did HER? How long can I remain “human” without someone to love above all others?
How long can I endure without someone’s love for me?
Execution dates have become less of a threat, and more of a promise.
Life is short. As we grow older, we say, “If only I knew, what I know now, back then!” We waste so much of our lives “wishing” instead of “doing”. I could live my life out in prison………..I just don’t want to do it alone. I don’t want someone just seeking a thrill, or someone seeking public attention for having a condemned man! I want someone who thinks and believes I’m worth their love! I want someone who likes how I think, and cares about how I feel, and is interested in who I am as a person.
I’m in a strange predicament. I KNOW that I’m what women want as far as my personality, emotional availability, and intuitive, caring nature goes! But, I’m a death row inmate…………and that’s pretty much a “deal breaker”! (smile)
My ideal woman is probably a woman who chose a career over family, and doesn’t have time to get out and meet people. She loves her work, but is lonely, and needs to have someone to think about and love. But, what professional woman in her right mind would seek an inmate for a relationship?
What do I WANT from a relationship? I want to be able to talk to her on the phone, write letters that keep an ongoing conversation, get visits at least 6-10 times a year, and to have honesty, trust, love, sharing of the most intimate thoughts,(not just sex but our fears, our dreams, our hopes etc) and to feel each other in each beat of our heart. I want a “home” for my heart and mind. I want someone to talk to in my mind as I go about my day…..you know like when you do something stupid and you think of how that person would laugh at you.
I just can’t believe I’m THIS ALONE! I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in prison feeling this way. Sometimes, I wish I had been executed while I was still “IN LOVE” with “HER”……..just so I wouldn’t have to die feeling like I don’t belong anywhere.
11.50pm
I did the details in the 1/3 of the painting I had done, and added 3 more “layers” to the painting, creating distance between the viewer and the mountains in the background. I’m about ½ done with it, now. I can’t believe I’m doing this for $35 ($9 of it in paints)!! It’ll be worth about $200 when I’m done with it. It’s really gorgeous. Looks like Colorado, or Washington………..snow capped mountains against a blue/purple sky, with a large lake in front of the mountains, and layer after layer of pines crating distance. And, I can’t even sign it, or take a photo of it to add to my catalog of my art. **SIGH**
I got a letter from my daughter today. I love getting her letters. She needs brakes for her car, and she’s behind on bills. She and he beau are struggling from pay check to pay check. I really hate not being there for her. She can’t even look up this website… no computer. And, though I feel bad for her, I know she’ll look back on this part of her life and remember it fondly. Right now, she’s living on love, and probably doesn’t even know that this is the best time of her life. It’s in the quest of our dreams, trying to accomplish something, we remember even more fondly than actually HAVING accomplished them. But, I DO wish I could pay to have her brakes fixed, and buy her a computer. I want her to be safe, and I’d like for her to be able to read this stuff, and see who her father is.
Anyway, I’ll answer her letter over the weekend, and hope Rita isn’t dumping too much rain there.
I sat in absolute silence today, and painted. I just turned my radio (CD player) on, to have a little background music while I write. I’m trying to save my batteries for Sunday. Once they die, I’ll be in silence until the 30th.
I didn’t even watch “The O.C.” tonight. It’s not the same without voices!! Who knows, maybe I’ll learn to read lips.
“Greys Anatomy” comes on on Sunday………I’ll probably TRY to watch it. If not, I’ll listen to Country Classics, if my batteries last. I have $2.58 left in my account until October 14th when I get my prison pay. ($18)
I sure hope I can get the other $24 owed to me for this painting on the 30th!! I’m going to need it.
Well. I’m off to bed. Got a lot of painting to do tomorrow!
Later!!
Duke

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