Saturday, October 5, 2013

My PEN Pal

I have a friend who is doing time. I met her after her last escapade, but before she was sentenced....She got 2 to 10. She is not currently in a penitentiary, but will be moved to one when a space becomes available. 

Right now, she's in a DOC facility....So, technically she's my jail friend, but will be in the pen eventually and we do write, so PEN pal seems catchier. 

It's weird, for many and varied reasons, shortly before her sentencing, we had a falling out. I won't go into all the particulars, but when she was sentenced, I had no clue. She had been on home confinement and I figured, with all the overcrowding and such, they'd probably just let her serve out the rest of her time like that. 

So, I hadn't heard anything. Hadn't heard from her in months and then her mom wrote to me and said she (let's call her P, for pen pal) had specifically requested for me to write to her if I was okay with that. 

Well, I can't even imagine how boring it is and I've been told hearing your name called at mail time can be a real morale booster. I'm not condoning what happened or anything. All I know is that justice is being served, she's doing her time and she isn't an inherently evil or "bad" person, so I figure the least I can do is provide some brief entertainment with a letter once a week. 

I enjoy getting her letters as well. Hers are handwritten, obviously. Mine are typed - my handwriting is atrocious and I can type a lot faster than I can write. But, I always sign them in pen and usually put some silly smiley face or something on there. 

I want to tell her about the show "Orange is the New Black" and how much I enjoyed it, but I'm realizing now that OITNB and her reality are very different. Of course, we're talking TVworld and it needs to be entertaining for the viewer, so most shows pull some liberties with all kinds of things. I get that. But, I think she'd find the show funny too. 

Somehow, I doubt they have Netflix where she is. I don't even know if there's TV.  I try to be encouraging, suggesting that she use her time to read and learn, take some classes - any classes - that are offered. 

I'll admit. I don't know much about incarceration. I wouldn't last more than a few hours, I'm sure. 

She did say once that crosswords and word search puzzles were BIG and very desirable. I'll print off 2 or 3 things I can find on the computer (must be black and white) and send along in the letters. Apparently, when the ladies aren't doing puzzles, they like to play Spades. I don't even know how to play, but I'm sure there are only a limited number of hands one can play before it becomes dull as well. 

Anyway, I got a letter from her a few days ago and I need to write back. It's kind of therapeutic for me, too. I stop thinking about MY problems for a few moments and concentrate on writing something that might give a person 5 or 10 minutes of reading enjoyment - maybe even a laugh or two - so, it does help me.

It may seem fairly obvious, but I'll state it anyway: I met her in the "program" (AA), so we talk about those things, too. I pray for her - to be safe, for her addictions to be lifted while she is incarcerated - drugs and alcohol can be smuggled in - but I don't think she has the cravings anymore at this point. 

I have a busy day ahead, but I think I'll start on a note later this evening and get it all ready to go out in the mail Monday. Like I said, therapy for me and all it cost me is a stamp. I think it's the best deal around. :-)

Happy Saturday, hooligans! Enjoy your weekend - relax, unwind. That's what I plan on doing. And I'll talk at ya soon!


  1. Have you read the book that became the Netflix sensation? The show has apparently taken a few liberties (as shows will), but many of the characters are spot on, from what I can tell. The book was a VERY interesting read.

  2. Renn, I just got the Kindle edition today...You know I can't resist a good book recommendation!! Thanks!