Since my arrival in the Missouri Department of Corruptions, I’ve grown. I have developed. I have matured… but I’ve become some – thing, something I cannot place in words. I have learned how to speak Swahili. I’ve learned about religion, dogma, doctrine and esoteric science. I have accepted life, I have endured pain. I have seen conflict. I have waged war… I, in a nutshell, became insensitive to people, places, things, etcetera.
What I haven’t found is self. I overstand that many different key fundamental elements make up the crux of my being. I know that I exist, yet I don’t know… I just don’t. I sometimes sit and ponder as to the ‘how’ of things. The ‘why’ of situations. That ‘what if’. My answers have merit, this I do know. I get them in my most manic of states. However, I am not crazy, or so I think.
In all of the malarkey that I hear, all of the beef I contend, all of the pigs that I resist, I still just am. This is my issue. Why won’t ‘they’ just allow me to be? This is my question every nanosecond of every single hell scorned day, WHY?
Out of everything that I lost once, I was forcibly kidnapped, held for ransom and subsequently placed in the gulag to rot, wither and die – I have yet to lose my mind. Of all the things that were taken away when they stripped me of my dignity, I was able to retain my thoughts. Every tangible object was taken and then memory obliterated, however, they have yet to kill my hopes and dreams. I will not leave those behind. Not because I am so strong to appropriate them from the death grasp of these feral hogs, only due to the reality that this is all that I have left. They would have to literally murder me in order for me to subserviently turn them over – or so I hope.
One other thing I haven’t lost is control. It humors me to utter (write) such a statement. I mean of self, but even this is frail.
I’m not pessimistic. I just see nothing but darkness. Like Riddick in miseries Chronicle. I view those most ugly of creatures, fighting with only tooth, nail, brawn, and vigor. Still I remain the victor.
As the day twists into night, time seems not to matter much. I can care less about a clock. Maybe this is because I’ve gone years without seeing one. Sun up, sun down. Lights on, lights out. Three measly portions and a flex pen later it’s time to retire and they still won’t stop racing. Even upon forced slumber, LaLa Land rejects me. Will I ever be accepted? Is there anybody who won’t ostracize me? Do I approve of who I have become? And the story goes on – the sun is peeking. Nearly Fajr time. I finally nod… yet still aware.
I’ve romanticized with the idea, the vision, experience, even aftermath of a revolution. I am no revolutionary – I am a reformist in the most contemporary sense. An ‘illegitimate capitalist’ as Huey P. Newton placed it in his essay, “Prison, Where is Thy Victory”. I’m a militant feminist, debatist, reactionist, humanist, and a (poly)monotheist. I’m intolerantly intolerant [sic], confused, yet in the know. I’m an opportunist. A follower as well as a leader. I AM A CONTRADICTION; DUALISTIC. If I cannot be true with self, I’ll be the epitome of a fraud to a jury of my non-peers. They will judge. It’s just the way of (wo)men. Trust me, I know. I am of them. This is my struggle. What occurs in my psyche daily. The thing I battle with subconsciously until my cerebral cortex feels as if it’s on the verge of implosion. The shit I can’t control… my thoughts!!! WHO AM I? What will I become??? This is the question.
As I stir, I sit up and groggily walk over to the grimy steel sink. “Bismellah,” as I make wudu, purification, I think about the Last Day. I heard the wail of the Adhan, and its breaks my thoughts abruptly. As I fall into sajdah, prostration, and mouth the prayer of Ibraheem and taslim to the left and then the right to the Noble Scribers, “Count time, Count time. Standing count. Name and number. Make yourselves visible!”
I begin to think. Unnaturally, I growl, “Greer 1153032.” WHO AM I? Is this my life?? My heart races. Breathe… I thought I saw a monster out of my peripheral. I turn to my left in alarm, braced for the attack. Nobody?? It’s me, the man in the mirror. As I look at my reflection, is it?? Damn! This can’t be happening again. Breathe…
Tracy Greer, Jr. has been in ‘the hole’ for two years. He is a gifted writer of poetry, fiction and essays.
Tracy Greer, Jr. 1153032
South Central Correctional Center
255 W. Hwy 32
Licking MO 65542