By J . . .
We all carry captivity with us. Captivity isn’t a thing or a place its an internal culmination of experience. Its something that sticks to you. Its like a bad smell. Or a strong ink.
From that first time when they grab you. You hear the cop breathe heavy. You hear that metal ratchet of the cuffs locking down. You can feel them bite into your skin and the officer tighten their grip on you. You can feel the anger as they walk you down the hall. That horrible clang as the doors slam shut behind you. That cold sick drop in your throat as you realize the other inmates will be waiting to figure out who you and that secret that makes your heart thump your chest cavity. That secret of who you are deep down. The things you did. That fear that painful fear sticks with you.The amount of despair and impatience you feel each day as a routine you cant get out of drags you under. Its like drowning. For me it was death each day. Death as I showered. Death as I brushed my teeth. Death as I ate a candy bar and read a boring book. Death as I swallowed an entire bottle of aspirin and cried as I quietly laid my head on my pillow. Death as I puked up blood for days. The suffering silence of water as it rushes over your head like an ocean wave. Despair and dark stuffy time piling up over you.
The way you twitch nervously inside and die again and again on the way to the court room. You barely hear the judge suck the hope from your bones and the soul from your body as they declare time so great you realize a lifetime is what it amounts to.
I left high school a boy in handcuffs. I walked out of a Denny’s on release day with wind in my beard a much older man. So sad inside at the time that went by that I didn’t leave my bed for 2 days after. I felt so violated to be out of confinement.
A lifetime of images flashed as I rode away form that prison. Fights, storms, fun games, TV shows, Movies, shake downs, fear so thick you can taste it. I saw people bleed to death begging for their mother. I scrubbed their blood off the wall as a hazmat worker with no emotion. I felt horror as a man approached me undid his fly… and I refuse to relive that.I saw love. True love as a man I thought of as a brother held me our cell late at night while I just wanted to sleep and never wake again. As free of a man as I want to be. It lingers. It sticks. But you have to let it go. If you cant you have to use it. You have to help other people. You have to be the comfort you know you can be. Because you have been through hell and you lived. You lived through a lifetime of things that would kill mere mortals. You have to take the blessing and run with it. There are so many people who need the comfort you can provide. The wisdom. You have to be strong for those who are not. You cant let it stick to you.