Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Life and Lifers

I have spoken before about my epistolary friend Jason. He is an "insider." Not a political insider. But someone whose life will be inside forever. A lifer. A prisoner. Yes, I am friends with a prisoner and not ashamed to say it. Our letters have grown more confidential to the point that, on occasion, we console each other.

At some point, Jason wanted to talk to me so, about two weeks ago, his father arranged for a phone conversation.  How was that going to happen? Sometimes a relationship in writing doesn't translate well into a voice relationship. Was this going to be an awkward dialogue filled with cliches and loaded silences? I didn't know but, for some reason, I was not overly apprehensive. I must admit that, that same week, I had to cope with a mouse infestation, and that the resulting fatigue might have prevented anxiety to develop. Blessings in disguise. Deer mice, ha.

After some difficulty connecting, Jason was finally at the end of the line. That's when I realized our friendship had grown strong. We were comfortable with each other from the very beginning. We cracked some jokes. I asked him to give names to my invading mice. We were two spirits connecting. Prison walls and wire fences couldn't block this escape, couldn't impeach this freedom.  Compassion has no walls. And I am not necessarily talking about this side of the fence.

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