Friday, April 24, 2009
Twenty-Five Days Until My Release From Taft Federal Prison Camp
I’m really enthusiastic about my upcoming release, but the enthusiasm sometimes manifests itself with a condition my friend Michael Santos calls short-term-itis, or STI. It means I can lose focus. I may be sitting down to write, and without my being conscience of it, I drift off into space with a blank look.
It’s not a bad condition to have, this STI. All it means is that I’m removing myself mentally from the prison. I suppose it’s a part of the entire adjustment process. I wouldn’t equate my STI with an anxiety, as I feel confident that the preparation I’ve made during my 12 months of imprisonment will ensure an easy transition. With promotions for my new book, Lessons From Prison, I’ll have plenty to occupy my time. Rather than an anxiety, an overwhelming anticipation characterizes my STI. I may lose focus, though it’s out of a giddy sense of eagerness as distinguished from worry. I’m thinking about how nice it will feel to enjoy freedom again.
The other day I spoke with my friend Sam. He told me that he had enjoyed a meal in a nice restaurant with his date. Since hearing about Sam’s date, I’ve been thinking about how wonderful it will be to sit across the table from a beautiful woman. I’m not fantasizing about sex, although I won’t turn that away. The thoughts that keep distracting me are more about the joy of a woman’s company.
For a year I’ve lived in the company of men. I am incredibly eager to feel the presence of women. I look forward to watching them walk, hearing their voices, enjoying their mannerisms, listening to their expressions. That may sound shallow, as if I’m objectifying women. Of course I want to know them individually as well, to learn about my date’s interests, her motivation, her passions. I feel like a man who has been lost at sea for a year. Until I’m in the company of women again, I think the STI will continue taking hold of me at the most unexpected times. When it grips my mind, I kind of go catatonic, incapable of pulling myself from thoughts of what’s coming.
I’m scheduled for a visit with my friend Andy today. It may be my final visit here in Taft Camp. That’s okay. In just more than three weeks, I’ll be home with family, friends and women.