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a night before 26

1am and I’m on my way downstairs.

Will I be hungry? Will I actually get some writing done? Or, will I sit in front of the t.v. for two hours, wasting some more time, and finally fall back asleep, a troubled, shallow sleep knowing I have to be up soon anyway, so why let yourself go all the way back when you’re in danger of oversleeping; making yourself late to work, late to hit the road... which you know is a nightmare after a certain time, and totally ruins your drive after a certain time. Which is why you leave earlier than need be, to beat the traffic, so you can relax at the job, not here on the couch, which is too comfortable, even if it leaves a crook’d neck sometimes.

Okay, so I am hungry. A bowl of cereal will do, 'first breakfast', way to early, knowing that the carbs will for sure put me to sleep in about an hour, and that sleeping with carbs is probably not what you want, fat retention/production or whatever, and I’ll be hungry again in a couple of hours, when it’s time for real breakfast.

So the dream hits:

I’m in a room, big one, non-distinct (big surprise, eh? blurry, like in a dream…) . It’s a house party, drinks, coffee, I don’t know, but they’re all Irish, guys mostly, talking, discussing one poor bloke or blighter, or whatever they use over there, and he’s someone they all know. He’s going off to jail, 7 years for tax evasion. Lovely… Death and Taxes… I ‘m thinking what would I do for seven years and how that’s like ten percent of your lifetime (on average), which is more than significant.

Bernie Madoff will never get out. O.J. will never get out. The guy who grew up with a friend of mine, and now sends letters to him from prison; the one who got sent there for a murder he didn’t commit, but had committed others… he will never get out.

His ex-girlfriend, he thinks she sold the daughter. They never found her.

I met him once. He was always good with kids, my friend told me. It was adults he had issues with...like if they owed money to his boss; then they got ‘the puker’. That was his little knife. Named after what it commonly elicited. He never said that he'd killed anyone. We took it for granted.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter. His 'ex' was a junkie. He hated drugs. Sometimes he would beat her; kept her sober. But never the daughter. He was gentle with children and pets. Innocent, he said. Wasn’t his, but he treated kindly, as if she were. That was just how he was.

The junkie’s father was a prominent minister, politically connected. John was a career criminal and it was easy. Fabrication when used against criminals is not uncommon. D.A.s and cops do it all the time. In any case, he was a bad man, and it’s much easier to accept than the alternative: that a preacher’s daughter would dispose of her own. Too much for a father and a grandfather to think otherwise.. Christian.

He sends pictures from prison, talks about how they run the heat and they’re always on lockdown. The jail is in the desert. Pussy-place, he says. Not as tough as others. He’s pale and has jowls. The jowls came in his forties. He used to look like a movie star; actually dated a teacher in high school. I met him in his twenties. You would never have thought…

His boss said he was real cool; coldest he ever met. Eventually, he turned on him, the boss, got busted and flipped. John didn’t like that, but he never got the chance… Not after going away: Life.

He probably shouldn’t ever get out
, my friend told me. He doesn’t answer the letters; he can barely read anyway. His secretary took pity and answered for him.


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