I turned thirty in here, I turned forty in here, now I’m fifty and there’s very little chance you’ll let me out, I know that. What purpose does this serve? At least I’m not at large in the world, I guess you’d say. You should only know what’s at large in the world. You’re out there; am I the most dangerous thing you’ve seen? Every day I stay here I get worse. The people I robbed were never afraid—duly concerned I would say—not like I’m afraid. The one I injured on the job was an accident; I’ve told him so, how sorry I am. If it were up to him, you’d let me out. He’d put me to work. I’d make amends. There’s no way to amend myself in here. My first day here the doctor punctured my gut with an instrument searching for contraband. That’s our health plan. I almost died from the infection. Good riddance, you think, I never made much of a contribution, robbing people. As long as you keep me, I’m still robbing people. It’s never your worst crime that lands you here. It’s always something petty: leaving the scene, conspiracy to conspire, intent. Twenty-five years ago, I walked out on my kid. That’s an aggravated assault, but they don’t jail you for that. They didn’t jail my dad for that. The people I’ve hurt in here, that’s another matter, that’s on you. They wouldn’t have threatened me at all if I wasn’t in here. I wouldn’t have had to strike first to protect myself. I won’t hide behind God. I can’t say I’ve seen much of him lately. You let me out, I’ll maybe go and look for him again. And my kid too. See what kind of a danger he is.

Copyright © March 16, 2008 David Hodges

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