Greetings, Bianca

I suppose it had been some time since writing you. Rest assured though, I most… assuredly haven’t been… ‘ignoring’ you. I don’t know what would lead you to believe that.

Anyway, if that impression was gleamed, its probably just because so much has been going on in my life as of late, you know?

Then again, maybe you don't, what with your… present proclivity.

Speaking of that, has prison been keeping you busy enough? I can’t remember if I’ve written this before, but I imagine inmate life has to be considerably rough on the nerves, regardless your ability to directly perceive it, there is probably insurmountable trauma being done to your psyche. You might have to spend years talking about it to patch up that part of your life. I'd probably cope with binge eating the likes of home cooked fried chicken and Red Vines to cope, even though a Mediterranean diet would probably be best.

Even if it isn’t like- a violent place, it’s time that I would think rakes at your nerves and mind with direct and abrasive affect. You know, I don’t think I’ve ever really appreciated or sympathized with the reality of that… ‘reality,’ in your case.

I know that probably comes off as… at least, moderately insensitive, but whereas most folks might purpose their attention on what life must be like for you, I think my focus has gravitated more towards the speculation of

what sorts life experiences you are being presented with. Reflecting on it now, I don’t necessarily think that counts as empathy or sympathy unless I consider how those speculated experiences make me feel, to which, I haven’t been doing that either; probably because such considerations are only fictional realities in my mind. And while I realize that isn’t necessarily fair to you as far as the finer points of a pen pal relationship are concerned, it’s at least honest. So, I get points for that, right?

But now that I think on it, I do suppose you may have had my sympathy when it came to considering the overall feeling of discontent associated with humidity induced boob sweat- though I can’t imagine that isn’t something I haven’t experienced before, as it seems I can imagine the feeling- I probably just didn’t make a marked denotation of the event when it was happening… not to say I have predominate mammary glands... to be clear, but for the sake of objectivity I suppose its fair to proclaim they are voluptuous enough to generate at least a moderate misting of flop or atmospheric condensed moisture.

So maybe it's more of an empathic consideration than that of a sympathetic one.

Anyway, none of this is to discount my own understanding of being trapped somewhere with no real place to go.

It’s been almost a decade since I was in the military, fully aware of just how drawn out minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years can feel.

But going back to that headspace, to empathize with my own previous circumstances, as a way to empathize with yours, I can still remember what it felt like to be present in those moments, years away from having to decide if I wanted to go home or stay enlisted, months away from my next assignment, hours away from a shift change, minutes from another seemingly meaningless task… seconds away from thinking about it all again.

It feels like I’m currently in a dream as far behind me as that life is. As long, endless and without escape as it felt. I guess in a certain sense you’ll always be trapped, as those feelings and ideas never truly go away, you can always go back to them.

Big Pharm should really look into cooking up a drug that specifically takes your mind off the concept of time without affecting sobriety or consciousness. Something that makes you completely indifferent to it, but still present and also fully aware of the events that transpired after the drug's side effects have worn off. Then again, a drug of that sort probably wouldn’t be something they allow prisoners access to, on account of it helping curb the torturous, time based results of what prison is for in the first place... or second place; depending on whether you personally consider the reason for prison's existence being to keep law offenders specifically segregated from the rest of society as a means to prevent crime more than exclusively existing as a form of punishment. (Conversely, it can't be both for this example, regardless their apparently being in a race against one another.)

I’ve always wondered-well maybe not 'always'- if everything a person puts in their body-at least that which is diffusible or broken down digestively; not the likes of say a marble-isn’t acting like a drug in the way it

affects the body. We always think of drugs in terms of their side effects, but like food, there are also plenty of ‘drugs’ people can ‘dope’ up on and not feel any different from, so why isn’t food thought of in the same way? I suppose I wish I was more attune to the side effects of seemingly innocuous materials. Take... spinach for instance, obviously, you don’t get like- inebriated from it-at least not in its non-fermented form-but it has to have some sort of impact. Clearly it won’t cause you to like-discover your spirit animal; I think mine is a raccoon-though I’d like it to be the coyote so I'd know his secret-nor will it allow you to

bend steel bars like Popeye, or this letter wouldn’t be reaching you, but in large enough quantities, it must do something you can feel besides the pain caused by kidney stones or a weighty iron overdose, right? I guess I really just want to be able to feel and be attuned to the side effects of each food I eat. Like- what was that bowl of chili’s ‘real’ potential in terms of how it could have made me feel, if I was able to feel it?

More aptly put: What would a chili high feel like, you know? Who knows, maybe it just takes untold metric tons constantly passing through an individual's gastrointestinal tract to get to a point of noticeable spinach or chili inebriated..

Alas, back to your letter, and the subject of the letter you left up to me to forward to the self-purported magazine ‘Vanity Fair,’ that I ‘very much did’ send in to their editor. No, I did not supply your mailing address. It wasn’t something they were asking for. However, had they written back, I definitely would have let you know. I probably would have printed out a copy of the reply and a copy of the article too had your letter or a response to it made the magazine.

(Not that I would know if it had, I don’t read or check the -what constitutes a- magazine.)

But yes, it is good to feel like I am in the loop, especially since I was the one left to decide whether it was sent or not. In any case, I wouldn’t take it too personally if they didn’t or don’t publish your letter.

They probably had a letter from

some other prisoner to publish instead of yours. Something that drew more sympathy for advertising, I imagine. That prisoner probably didn’t come right out and confess they were in prison either; Prisoners being an undesirable contingent of individuals to the mind and existence of the greater populous and all. (Not my words or feelings; in general, I'm an untrusted, social outcast myself.)

My advice, from one person with a similar preference for Malt o' Meal vs. Grits to another, you can’t just (always) lead with the subject of prison and expect to get noticed or draw attention. First of all, its an over-explored medium. So right from the start of "I'm a convicted killer" you've already murdered any chances of setting yourself apart from every other piece of material composition floating through the higher reaches of the aether. It also gets overly redundant, comes off immediately needy, and ultimately people only care about themselves... and perfume/watch ads, so it curries no real favor or concern.

As to the accusation it’s as if I’m ‘trying’ to be funny, I can’t really deny the desire to occasionally attempt garnering such a result.

Is 'trying' also typical of a Taurus? Because I don’t know that I like the idea you are trying to analyze my means with an intention of interpreting my ends. (I can save you a whole lot of wonder by just telling you there are a fair amount of stretch marks on it from my growth spurt in middle school.)

Anyhow, rest assured I haven't been ignoring you, I’ve just been busy trying to make the best of life, not that that should be very difficult considering my case and position as opposed to yours. Here directly I actually have a quick trip to Utah for a wedding that, regardless the year I've had already, should be quite a highlight. Not to say, Utah is some personal Mecca, but ever since a certain college art class I have had an overwhelming desire to see this giant earthwork called 'Spiral Jetty' by the artist Robert Smithson. Point of fact, now that I think about it, the Jetty being located in Utah is exactly the reason I haven’t yet made pilgrimage to it; I mean, when or why would I or anyone else for that matter have any need or reason to go to Utah?

You know, in many ways, I suppose I could claim this trip can be likened to my own personal Hajj. And just like a practicing Muslim I even have the option of walking in circles around its spiral, rubbing on any or as many of its black stones-basalt in this case-as I like.

I don't know if you appreciate art or not, so I won't bore you with Smithson's finer, fascinating ideas of entropy and impermanence as it pertained to his art, but the Jetty is like this best kept secret of the art world, which baffles my mind since its like the only thing besides the Great Salt lake making Utah unique. As big as it is and considering the fact it extends out from an isolated northern shore of the Great Salt lake, its even crazier to me a lot of artier types I’ve mentioned it to don’t seem to know about

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CHANNILLO

Brian's Ninth Letter to Bianca (Dark Star) (1)
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Greetings, Bianca

I suppose it had been some time since writing you. Rest assured though, I most… assuredly haven’t been… ‘ignoring’ you. I don’t know what would lead you to believe that.

Anyway, if that impression was gleamed, its probably just because so much has been going on in my life as of late, you know?

Then again, maybe you don't, what with your… present proclivity.

Speaking of that, has prison been keeping you busy enough? I can’t remember if I’ve written this before, but I imagine inmate life has to be considerably rough on the nerves, regardless your ability to directly perceive it, there...

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