Well – what’s been going on with me for the past 2 and a half months? The usual I guess. It’s hard to describe in a way, what your mind goes through when you get home from prison. But I will try to let you know what this next part of the journey has been like so far.
At first, that first day when Texas Department of Corrections let me out their front door and I saw my mom sitting there waiting for me, it was pretty strange driving away. As the prison became just a bad memory in the rear view mirror, it didn’t seem real, and I felt a little freaked out. My mom had brought me my own clothes and my boots and my hat. It felt good putting them on, but it didn’t even feel normal any more.
The ride was good, it was a beautiful day with the sun shining, and in just a couple hours I was home. Getting to see my dog was great, I picked that big guy right up off the ground and we had a big slobber fest. My wish was to have some good pizza, so we went to the pizza place and then that night we had a campfire outside and I played my harmonica and my guitar. It was good.
I suppose anyone that has been locked up will tell you freedom never tastes as sweet as it does that first day. It’s almost like you are experiencing everything for the first time. There is a down side thought – it’s almost too much… and within a couple of days things start to feel normal and it is almost a disappointment or a let down sort of feeling. I guess in your mind you have this illusion about coming home, and being free. And really, life is full of ups and downs and ordinary moments, whether you are locked up or not.
S0… fast forward another couple months. What am I up to now? I got a job, a good one with a new high end restaurant in town. I got on with them before they even opened and worked on a lot of different things to help them, painting, installing the kitchen equipment, working on the chimney, stocking the place, moving in furniture, all kinds of stuff. Now they are open, and I am just starting to learn to cook. I am learning to cook all kinds of food, some I have never even tried before, and I am going to learn to bake pastry and bread as well. I already got one raise, and they seem to like me pretty well. I am always on time and I work hard, so they ought to like me. They also don’t judge me. This is a pretty small town and before I got this job I went to like, 40 places and wasn’t getting anywhere. But at this place, the owners aren’t from here, and the tattoos all over me or my history isn’t so important to them as it might be for some people. There are a couple other people working there now too, and they are all pretty cool. No doubt, this is a very good opportunity for a guy who was locked up by TDC just a couple of months ago. I could be doing a lot worse in the employment world.
I should be pretty happy with my job right? Well, it’s still called work for a reason, and at some point you wake up and don’t feel like washing dishes or sauteing mushrooms or lugging a bunch of wine down to the basement. But you have to, and you do it. I see that a big part of learning to live right out here and staying out of trouble is accepting that you have to work and just be part of the big machine like everyone else.
Other stuff has been hard to. I can’t sit here and tell you it’s all been easy and fun because it hasn’t. I have struggled some with it. I have times when I just want to be crazy and go wild. I have days when I am down, and I just want to lay in bed and sleep. I get lonely. I have met some people, some are probably good for me and some are for sure bad for me. I am trying hard to make good choices but I don’t always succeed. I think I am doing good, but sometimes the next 2 years on parole feel like an eternity, and some days I wonder if it’s all worth it. I am still pretty broke and I don’t have much to show for myself yet. It’s hard to be patient. It’s hard to notice the progress although I know that it’s there. As far as parole, that seems to be going OK, but I can’t say I feel my parole officer really cares all that much, she is just doing her job. That’s cool, I imagine it’s a pretty sucky job overall. She is probably just happy I am employed and not causing her trouble.
So, like everyone in the world, I have some good days and some bad. What I can say is this – I can wake up and look at myself and know I have choices today. I can choose to walk out the door or not, and I can choose to go to work or not, things I couldn’t do just a few months ago. I going to try to keep my attitude positive, and try to post on here a little more often.
Peace out people ~ TM