My First Letters From Death Row
I finally received a letter back from my new penpal! He thanked me for the birthday card I sent. He told me about himself, his family, the town he came from. He told me about his case and that he was actually innocent. Hmm...weren't they all innocent?
He then told me he would be going to court soon and did I think I could send him some money to buy a few things so he looked presentable? He said he needed some new jeans, a few shirts, underwear, tennis shoes, and oh, just some extra money in his account for cigarettes and snacks. In a way I was shocked that he would be so bold to just ask outright for "things" so early into our friendship. But yet, in another way I wasn't. I had read about people in prison and how they played games and ran scams on those on the outside. I didn't sign up for this, I thought to myself. I decided to write back and just ignore the whole "buy me" thing.
My second letter to him was full of questions. What did he miss the most? What was his day like? I wanted everything down to the details. Did he watch tv and read a lot? If so, what shows did he watch; what did he read? Does he see the sun, grass, flowers? When was the last time he heard a bird sing? I tried to imagine living on death row and then tried to think of things I took for granted.
His second letter back to me answered a lot of my questions. He lived in a small cell and was allowed out for one hour a day to shower, make calls, visit with "friends" on the row, or go outside. He saw sunshine, birds and flowers everyday. He watched a lot of tv: football, wrestling, racing, The Young and the Restless (that made me chuckle). He answered my questions but left me with more.
And again, he asked me for money.
I wrote back immediately. I decided to just be upfront with him. Tell him there was no way I could send him money. All I had to offer him was friendship. Take it or leave it.
And then...his third letter to me knocked my socks off!!!