All settled in after 2 years.
Thanks for swinging by to see me and for writing. That stuff you printed off the internet was hilarious. It's good to be able to read what's going on in your life and your thoughts and feelings about things. It seems most of my letters to Mom and Kevin, and theirs in return to me, deal mostly with exchange of news rather than impressions and the way things affect your life. I'm not sure if this is simply habit or if we are more uncomfortable sharing things on paper than in person. On my part, it's because most of the things that go on here affect you negatively and I've never been comfortable sharing feelings and thoughts with others. Usually I don't even think them through for myself.
That's part of the reason that I feel so disconnected from life out there. Your lives are constantly connected by face to face meetings, email, video, phones, and shared experience. Since I have so little of this, I almost feel like a stranger -- even though I'm closer to you and Mom and Kevin than to anyone else. This is also one of the main reasons for my long, somewhat awkward silences in the visiting rooms. I simply don't know what to say, and I've never been in the habit of asking questions to fill in my gaps of knowledge about what's going on with other people. Being in here only makes it worse.
Aside from a few people I generally don't want to know anything about the people I'm surrounded by. Not only that, but the way we relate to each other is completely different than the way people in the world relate. Everything from the language, to behavior, to what is tolerable to say and what is completely out of line. I'll basically have to relearn it. By the time I get out, I'll have been inside for almost 7 years with the exception for the state hospital and the few days I was out when I robbed that bank. I'm glad of the fresh start I'll have to make, bit it really scares the shit out of me too.
I hate to say it, but I have a pretty cushy life in here. After your first couple of years, you stop thinking of all the stuff you're missing on the street, (well -- you think about it, but it's almost like it's not real.) You can think of it about the same way you'd like to have a million dollars. Basically your entire existence in here is day to day with a few dreams of getting out or going to camp or something. Your moods and hopes are defined daily. Today I hope the fries aren't soggy for lunch tomorrow and that I can get 4 miles in 30 minutes on the track tonight. (30:42 is my best time so far.)