Let the Games Begin

January 4th, 2020

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
― Helen Keller,  from “The Open Door”

“There is a point where courage becomes a symptom of mental illness.”
― Wayne Gerard Trotman

“And when your fears subside
And shadows still remain, oh yeah
I know that you can love me
When there’s no one left to blame
So never mind the darkness
We still can find a way
‘Cause nothin’ lasts forever
Even cold November rain”

–  from “November Rain” by Guns N’ Roses

She called me.

It was on Thursday afternoon. She called me from Ellsworth. I am her lifeline to the world outside of the prison, so I was expecting her to call.

The girl said to me sadly, “Well, I haven’t heard anything yet about my release…”

I cut her off, “I have.”

She replied, “What?!”

“Yeah, Butch (her PO) called me. He’s signing off on the paperwork. I will pick you up at 7:00 AM on Monday.”

“What?! Seriously?! I have to tell people.”

She hung up.

Five minutes later she called back.

“I had to tell my roommate. So what did Mr. Butcher say?”

I told her, “He just asked me if I was going to pick you up. I told him that I would. He wants to see you at his office at 1:00 PM on Monday.”

She asked me, “Where is his office?”

“It’s on the corner of Oklahoma and Chase, on the south side.”

She replied, “We can go out for Mexican food after that. We will be in the right neighborhood.”


“I am going to bring your winter coat, your phone, and Shocky when I come to get you.”

The girl asked me, “How is Shocky?”

“She’s okay. She’s shedding hair like crazy.”

The young woman thought for a second and said, “You would think that she wouldn’t be losing hair now that it is getting colder.”

“Well, she is.”

The girl asked again, “But is she okay?”

I replied, “Yes, your dog is fine.”

The girl told me. “You need to charge up my phone.”

“That’s already done.”

“Are you sure?”

Heavy sigh on my part. “Yes.”

She answered, “Okay.”

I told her, “I bought some of the stuff you wanted. I got you sour gummi worms, Dove bars, and fresh pineapple.”


Then she asked, “Are you bringing me a Red Bull?’


“Is it chilled? I like it cold.”

“Yes, it’s cold.”

There was a pause.

She said, “Okay, well, then I will see you on Monday. Thanks for everything.”

“It’s okay. I want to do this.”

She hung up again.

I wonder if either of us really understand what is going to happen on Monday.

It will be beautiful and exciting and scary as hell.

We are both leaping into the unknown. We both have baggage from our years together. We are trying to start anew, and that is going to be a bitch.

I love her so much. Maybe she loves me.

I need to take a deep breath and just dive into the pool.














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