Wednesday, June 21, 2017

REPLACEABLE

A man I know recently sold enough of his shit to travel to France and meet a woman he met online.  Straight Jerry Springer action.

Leaving behind a wife and kids.

                        * TO TAKE THE PLACE OF SOMETHING*

That's the definition of replaceable.

When  I came to prison people in my life were replaced.  Bad apples replaced for good ones.  I'm certain people have done that with me as well.  But what about true love?

I believe lust and infatuation are often times confused with love.  Love lasts for the long haul.  Standing the test of time.  When you love someone and they pass away, in time one heals.  Given the proper time one could learn to love again. However, you will always love that other person and their memory.  When you simple replace someone, that certainly wasn't love.  Perhaps infatuation but not love.

What's it matter anyway?

If your able to move on with your life and find happiness, that's priceless.  Just be careful not to confuse that with love.  If you think of it as true love, then perhaps you should go back and thank the end of your last relationship.  Since had it not ended, surely you wouldn't have found your true love.

People live their entire lives seeking true love.  If you've found some way to find it in every relationship then by all means share your secret.

I consider these things while I sit here.  Perhaps  you've done the same.  After a few relationships, ones idea of love will change.  At some point you really do just wish to be happy.  Some are simple afraid to be alone.  Their life isn't complete without someone else to track mud on their floor.

I'm looking for happiness within myself, and look for someone else who does the same.  Since it's only then that you can truly learn to love.  When you look for your happiness in another, you will always feel let down.  Then again, perhaps true happiness can be found in France!

Friday, June 9, 2017

LOOSE SCREWS...

"What level of crazy are you?"

That's what I ask myself as my bunkie explains his plan to me.  He's telling me how he got the cuts on his arm.  I was never a cutter but I've seen plenty.  All those little marks carefully sliced into the skin.  Evenly spaced, side by side.  The work of concentration.  He's exploring why he made these cuts.

Once they begin to bleed, he puts water on them so the blood thins out.  He can then wipe the blood over his body.  The face, the shoulders, the arms.  So this isn't just a cutter, this is a real live whack-job.  Two fries short a happy-meal doesn't even begin to touch this.

A cutter generally seeks control.  Sometimes needing attention.  A cry for help, to be noticed.  Then it turns into an addiction, the same as with drugs or alcohol. But a typical cutter isn't wiping their blood and painting themselves red.

I should mention this is my cell-mate in confinement.  I don't have the luxury of walking away when he begins to explain this to me.  We are stuck.  Our cell is 8' by 6'.  And he's now sleeping below me on the bottom bunk.

I can't help but sit there and as I listen, I'm mentally hanging my head.  All the pure shit-piles I have managed to step in over my lifetime.  Talk about some tight squeezes.  This is where I live.

A real-live "psych-camp" with psychological madness everywhere.  Right now it's sleeping on the bunk below me.

I think prison is a test.  A time-out for you to consider the choices that brought you here.  Right now it's my life.  Out there life consistently bombs you with one experience after the next.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  There's a large level of distraction involved.  Prison causes focus.  You better focus when the dude in your cell likes to wipe blood on his body.  I'm not real worried about the cookies in the oven or switching the laundry or picking Timmy up from school. I'm focusing on keeping one eye open tonight while I sleep.

My daughter will turn 20 in August.  She knows I'm free soon.  Our relationships developed with me in here.  Soon that will change.  I've never thrown my hands in the air while riding a roller-coaster next to my kid.  I've never looked over and seen her smiling from the passenger seat.  I've never seen her upset and throwing things around her room while telling me she hates me.  She wants to know if I've changed.  There's a tattoo down my side that states..."There once was a boy, Before you stands a warrior".   The things that didn't break the boy, they made the man.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

HOPE

Everybody flick, flicking a cigarette...

Hold that thought...I'm on some new shit.  I got one hand in my pocket and the others waving good bye.  Once I hit your side of the fence that finger will be flipping a bird.

When I was a little boy they had this coin-donation-contraption at the front of Wal-Mart.  You dropped your coin in a slot and the coin dropped into this funnel tube.  It rolled a big wide circle at the top and as it fell lower, the narrow cone made it spin faster.  It went faster and faster until it dropped into the small hole at the bottom.

I'm that fucking penny right now.  The slow-role of this thing is over and it's at the trail's end.  I just pictured a kid drinking his milk-shake.  It's all gone, but he's steady sucking the straw in that one corner to get the last tiny bit.  All you hear is that annoying sucking sound.  That gurgling sound that signals the shits empty little homie.

Unlike that milk-shake, prison isn't good till-the-last drop.  I am certainly not around here trying to suck up the last drop.  And that just came off really gay.

I want a filet-mignon, cooked medium with a side salad.  I'll be drinking a Michelob light and shooting tequila.  Take the shot, nurse the beer.  Slow ride it till the piano break.  I won't be drinking socially.  I'll be drinking to fine-tune a monumental buzz that will walk me to the edge.

I'm having one for all the cool ass men that had to stay behind.  The brothers I leave behind this fence.  I've been watching them leave around me...One by one...  And I knew that one day, that would be me taking this walk for the last time.  I'll have made it.  I did my bid.  Manned up,  screwed down and took a direct hit.  10 years lived inside a fence.

Nope, I'm gonna dance with the devil.  Get his shit off my chest.  If I bring elements of this life back to society, I will fail.  I can't afford to do that, failure is not an option..

In order for me to be the man I want to be I have to walk from this just like I quit smoking 5 years ago.  Not one puff, not one drag-never hit one again.  If I allow this place to come home with me than I let them  win.

Clean break.  Walk away.  It's over.  Now I'm the dude who gives the next guy hope.  Man UP. Handle your business and get your ass home to  your family.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Confinement

Its been awhile since I took a time-out.  Stepped away from regular every day prison-life and was placed in confinement.  Over my time in D.O.C., nearly 9 years now, I have visited confinement at every prison I have done time at.  Unless you walk a squeaky-clean line and have luck on your side, you will sooner or later visit prisons Bed N Breakfast.

Confinement can work at you different ways.  When you come to the box, you lose your previous life.  You won't get your same bunk back.  Chances are you won't even be in the same dorm.  Sometimes they steal your shit before the cops can pack it up to store.  You will be reassigned a new job once released, so if you really had it going on for yourself, the box can screw that up.  Not to mention your loved ones call up here to find out why you're not calling home anymore and are told what type of buffoonery your up to.  These things will gnaw at you when you come into confinement.  Not to mention they can take your gain time and cause you to do longer in prison.

I'm not a fool.  Well, not full-time.  I calculate the worst-case-scenario before I ever walk out on thin ice.  So, this trip to confinement was a perfect example of worst case scenario.  I have a year and a half to do here yet and need to carry my own weight, I picked up the tattoo machine once again.  It has been my hustle in the chain gang for nearly six years now.  I'm one of the best.

I should have hired the best look-out I could find.  Instead I relied on someone who decided to take a break at the same time the officer decided to do a security check.  I'm absorbed in my artwork when I hear someone saying, "O-shit, she's right there!!"  By the level of panic I heard in the voice, I knew she was like....Right There!  And she was.

Needless to say she wasn't feeling a wide open tattoo parlor in her dormitory that day.  And, sometimes blue eyes and dimples can't buy your freedom.  Trust me, I tried.  But when they tell you to "Turn around, cuff-up", you can save your breath.  You're taking a little vacation.

Tattooing, body piercing, branding and modifications constitutes 15 days confinement.  When I heard the panic  in the voice, I knew it was close so I slid the equipment as far away as possible and willed it to disappear.  When it didn't, it at least changed it to a "contraband" D.R. since I wasn't caught in the act.

I knew what I was up against.  This will not change the day I leave.  Nor am I upset that I misplaced my bunk and dorm.  I'm catching up on some sleep and some letter writing.  To appease the gods of fate, I needed to go on and get this over with.  Consider my dues paid.  No matter where the debt is paid, payment is still collected.

2018 Baby!!!




















Saturday, May 6, 2017

WHO ARE YOU? WHAT ARE YOU ABOUT?

Life's a winding road and as I near 40 years old I'm asking myself that very thing (title of this piece).  Are you an employee, a single mom struggling to get by?  What's your "off-the-top" answer?  A name?  You have one.  But are you a part of something?  A team, a greater wheel?  And what are you about?  What would others say about you if asked that question?  Do you run and hide?  Bow down, give up and shrink away?  Or do you stand tall and give 'em hell? 

And what's your legacy?  What is the memory you will leave behind?  When you're young you don't stop to consider this.  But I'm getting older, it's how the cards fall.  When I slow down one day, when the edges begin to fade, the end draws near, will the light I leave behind be as bright as the one I walk into.....And that's what I'm asking myself.

My family has watched me get clean and free from drugs.  My mother has watched me grow into a man.  My daughter's mother has watched me become a dad who loves my child.  I get to watch my sister's son grow into a man.  I get to walk up on him and hear him tell his friends, "this is my Uncle Mike, I was named after him." And my other sister's daughter can introduce me to her friends and tell them she wrote me letters while I was in prison.  We were pen-pals.

I met my sister Grace's boys before they were born here in the visiting park of a prison.  And I put my hand on her belly and we took pictures to prove it.  When I get home I'm going to make grilled cheese sandwiches for them and then we're going to play catch in the backyard.  And my baby sister is going to look out her back window and smile.  She's going to see her big brother, who walked to the ends of hell and back, love on her boys.

I realize now this is what life is for.  Not a million bucks in the bank, but rather a million memories with the people we love.  I get to pile up my sister's daughters, my brother's little girl and me and my daughter get to take them out for ice-cream.  All them little faces smeared with ice-cream.  I want to smear some on my face and take a picture with them all.

It's crazy the stuff you begin to think about when you know your half-way to the end.  I may even be closer than that.  All the more reason to make every second count.

Here I am in the place where people fall between the cracks.  But I'm part of a bigger picture.  My family won't allow that to happen.  They reach right in here and grab me.  Their children reach out to me in here.  Everyone in my family plays a role.

A long time ago I wasn't ready to be a Dad.  Another man stepped up to the plate and he became Dad to my daughter.  He loved my daughter as his own.  Clayton was killed in a tragic car accident and left behind his wife and the little girl she was carrying, along with my daughter.  He had raised my little girl and was taken before he even met and held his own little girl.

Thoughts of this man have inspired me to never let down our daughter, his wife or his daughter.  It's a big story but its my story.  During the most impressionable years of my daughters life, he loved her and showed her what a great Dad should be like.  He left too soon, yet what he left behind lives on.

When my time comes I want to leave behind memories of myself that touch the people I loved forever.

And so I ask myself what I'm doing.  I want to dig up worms with these boys and then take them fishing.  One day I would like to take my daughter and her little sister out to dinner.  I would like to tell them both stories I remember of their Dad.  I was merely a biological Dad at the time...He was a father.  I will always see this man as Dad to my daughter.  I give him that respect and when I talk to my daughter I tell her about her other Dad also and I call him that to her.  I hope to pass that on to the daughter of his he never met.  He gave me a priceless gift, perhaps I can show back that kindness.

That's who I want to be.  These are the things I want to be about.  I may be covered in tattoos, but they don't define me.  On first impression you may jump to conclusions but you would do good to look more closely.  While you're looking closely, I challenge you to take a look at yourself and see what you're about.












































Sunday, April 30, 2017

THAT'S WHAT I'M ON NOW.

My family has been going through some things lately. We stick together but keep our worries under our own roof.

Behind these fences many turn to God.  A last resort.  All else has failed.  Often times you hear it said they hid behind the cross.  Ironically if you place trust in God, the Bible states you will be safe in the Shadow of the Almighty.  His hand of protection will cover you.  You can seek safety under his wing of protection. These are promises that someone who believes in God claims for themselves.

An unbelieving world, especially in here mocks that.  They say your weak and you hide behind Christianity.  Yet those same individuals will join a gang for protection.  Gang activity is at an all-time high.  Not just in the prison system.   These young men are coming to prison already affiliated.  They don't realize they do the same thing they accuse a Christian of.  You have picked an organization that fits you.    Offering protection and something you wish to gain.  You follow their rules all so you can be under that umbrella.

In an attempt to avoid the comments and distaste, I keep my personal beliefs for the most part to myself.  My family knows I go to church every week here.  They know I read my Bible every morning and begin my day with prayer.  I seek to be a better man, a better dad, and I ask God for his help.

What I don't do is talk about it all the time.  I'm certain I have mentioned it from time-to-time.

Those beliefs make people nervous.  Some are intimidated.  But if you break it down it's not crazy at all.  We want to excel in life.  We want to be blessed.

Some people meditate.  Others use a form of Buddhism .   Many speak of karma and doing to others as you want given to you.  I choose to believe in God.

I've broke the law my entire life.  I dealt drugs to parents who left their kids at home to buy them, then used them around their kids.  I knew this.  I sold drugs to wives that hid it from their husbands.  Or vice versa.  I used drugs sand became and addict myself.  I never cared.

In order for me to care, I needed a reason.  My reason to "care" came in the form of my daughter.  My accountability comes from my family, my God and my child.  I'm paying back a debt here so I don't need to feel guilty from my past.  I can love myself and be proud of the man I've become.

So I go to church every week.  I read my Bible and I pray.  It's for me.  It works for me.  I was a bad man who needed much help.  I'm getting it.  I've chose not to push my belief's because they are mine.  I don't wish to offend or push away people.  If you just read my thoughts but don't know me, then you have some opinion formed of me.

People ask what I did to come too prison.  I broke the law.  I broke laws my entire life and now I pay them all back.  Even the ones I didn't get caught for. Does it matter what I'm here now for?  I'm letting this pay back all the rules I broke!

I place God in my life because I'm now accountable to him.  I follow the laws set by him.  I don't like cops.  I don't like the laws of the land.  But my Bible states to follow the laws of the land.  Respect them in authority over me.  I have a hard time with that.  I'm a work in progress.  But for me I take it better from God than from a cop or county judge.

Because I put my faith in God, there are blessings in my life.  Lately my morning prayer time has been for my daughter and my sister.  My kid's fine.  She's just making that transition from kid to adult.  If you remember, that's some difficult shit.

My sister has been growing baby number two.  This little dude has had one problem after the next.  My sister already tends to have pregnancy difficulties. What can a big brother, while in prison, do for his little sister?  Not much.  And if it wasn't enough for prayer and bringing her troubles to God, I would feel completely worthless.

This little boy has beat the odds.  He has fought for life since conceived.  He has had a loving family pray him through life before he even entered the world.

Whatever it is you hold near your heart; your family, your children, sobriety, wear it with pride.  Let it make you better.  Allow it to cause you to stand tall. There are others who watch you.  You might be the light to their darkness.

Side note:  This letter was written 3 weeks ago, it is just now getting posted because of mail forwarding difficulties.  Little Thomas is growing and continues to have support from his loving family and God as answered many prayers for the family and little Thomas.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Daily Doses

I woke up, grabbed my toothbrush and headed to the bathroom sink.  Brushed my teeth, my tongue, then rinsed off my face.  Still half asleep I slapped both cheeks like the little asshole kid in Home Alone. 

When I shower I use the hot to steam open my pores.  At the end I shut off the hot and stand under the cold until my nuts shrink to acorns.  I like to feel.  I like the sensation that I'm alive, speeding down the road at a hundred and fifty-five.

I'm an artist and get as much art as I give.  There is intense feeling while under the needle receiving your art.  You feel alive.  The inner rebel steps up and stands tall.  I believe that's one of the draws to tattoos.

There were times in my life when drugs over shadowed natural highs.  The excitement you feel when you accomplish something amazing.  These days I smack myself in the nuts and take deep breaths to walk through the pain.  During exceptionally long and painful tattoos I think through the pain by imagining hurt and heartache leaving the body.

When my grandfather died I put an eagle on my arm in memory of his legacy.  The eagle is powerful and respected.  It represents our country, freedom and the men who fought for that.  My Grandfather was all of that.  I couldn't attend his service, nor did he see me get free.  I let that hurt and disappointment in myself go with the pain of that tattoo.

We can let life hand us our daily dose.  Take it as its rationed out and wear it.  Problem is, all too often life can seem to hand you a shit sandwich on the regular.  So many are prone to depression that a couple hard doses of bad luck can trigger you into a funk that overtakes you.

Now I'm not saying to go smack yourself in the nuts, but you need to find some release that centers you once again.  Perhaps a tattoo is up your alley.  Maybe you're not into that.  Climb up on the roof and lay there and look at the stars.  Look at how big it is out there and then realize your problem is so small.  You can change your job, the people you associate with and the things you come into contact with.

I've had to realize I can't do any of that right now.  The asshole who cut me off in line lives 2 bunks over.  The cop who yells at me every day works here full time.  I can't leave for another 19 months.  So I pinch myself, slap myself and take cold showers.  Because that's what I DO have control over.

I understand why people cut.  I understand why some women sleep with multiple partners.  I understand why some men go home and beat on their wives.

You done lost control somewhere else and you're overcompensating in some area where you can feel you took it back.  I can't wait till I get back and have the chance to make choices once again.

Had I never come to prison and went to a drug rehab instead, I too would be on 10 different medications.  Perhaps an antidepressant, some methadone to help past my addiction and something for anxiety.  Instead I came to prison where I was forced to get clean and confront my demons.  Anxiety?  When you're an asshole to me I steer as clear of you as I can, but I also know you're the one in pain.  You're the one who has the issue, not me.  That's why you're an asshole.

I'm going home to ride a Harley, be a Dad and have casual sex.  You're still going to work here and your life will still suck.  Depression?  I'm about to go home.  Prison is my antidepressant.  Once I'm home, what can life ever throw me that overshadows 10 years in a dog house?

What night terrors?  I live with crazies who roam the halls and aisles all night looking for trouble.  They're still raping blond haired blue-eyed white dudes.  What's my terror?  I'm late on the power bill?  Go on....cut that shit off!

I realize you all sweat these things.  Just think about how much of your life your wasting.  And if your living a good life?  Consider yourself blessed.

19 months and counting.......

















































Sunday, April 2, 2017

Nut House

I'm not crazy.  No, really I'm not.

I just live in a nut-house.  Dudes here have demons for real.  Tormentors that wake them in the night.  Yelling, screams, seizures....happen every night.  It's nothing to have an extraction team come in to remove an inmate that has lost his head.  Men prescribed meds that have such side affects they don't swallow the pill.  Spitting it out as they leave the nurse at the pill window.  Only to have some out of body  experience hours later.  Some violent outbreaks, others just lock up in seizure.  This goes on all hours of the day.  I have never seen a more active medical crew than here at Lake.  The action is non-stop. 

You can see the darkness and emptiness in these men's eyes.  One day you can carry a conversation with them, the next they become hostile.

In the course of a day you walk somewhere and cut someone off.  Sometimes you bump into someone.  You must immediately respond with, "excuse me".  These minor infractions that a normal person overlooks may be the violation that causes one of these men to fly off and attack you.  The level of violence here is incredible.  Not limited to the young it carries into the elderly.  The hostility blows my mind.  These are the road-rage monsters who follow you home and run you down in your driveway.

I've been accustomed to a small percentage of inmates at any given time who are prone to violence.  This is a game of egg shells.  I can't count how many times I smile and say excuse me just to defuse some situation.  This has become stressful.

I'm blessed I don't have much longer.

A sane man calculates risk and consequences for his actions.  The insane don't give a fuck.  Criminally insane may not be charged with the full severity of a crime.  They are incompetent to stand trial.  Yet here they stand beside me.

I spend plenty of time asking God to keep his hand over my life.  A bumper sticker tells you not to drive faster than your guardian angel can fly....I take my time walking these days just to make certain mine can keep up.

I knew it was good at my last prison.  That's how I must look at it now.  I was blessed to spend 4 1/2 years off my sentence at a good camp.  Now to only finish 19 more months here.

I tell my daughter to keep her chin up.  Now I'm working to keep mind up.  It's fine.  The thing that doesn't kill us will make us stronger.  At this point in the game I'm working towards baddest dude in the valley.  Walk light and carry a big stick.

I've been a lone-wolf all my life.  At 16 I tattooed a wolf on my leg because it was already my motto.  One of my favorite tunes is Godsmack....I Stand Alone.  That's become an anthem of mine.  I'm heavily tattooed and constantly asked what gang I'm in.  I ride Harleys and before prison always stayed independent.  Here in prison I do the same.  Many join these organizations for some form of protection or a sense of family.  I would rather stand alone.  I only stand alone in the sense I don't need a gang to back me.  Every day I ask God to walk with me and keep His angels in charge over my day.  You may not be on that.  Perhaps you handle your affairs on your own.  I've decided to take the help from a Power greater than myself.  And that's what I'm on now.









































Saturday, March 25, 2017

Food Service

Just completed my first week in food service.  Quite an adventure.

They want me to work from 7 AM to 5 PM.  I get there at 9.  Before prison I showed up two hours late and was paid $16 an hour plus expenses.  Two hours late is about the max I can pull off or I'll get thrown in jail.

My first day they pulled a power-washer into the kitchen.  I was instructed to power-wash all the grout lines in the tile floor.  I was told to do this while they were prepping food to serve on trays for lunch.  Overspray from cleaning chemicals, soap and bleach were contaminating food areas.  We were told to power-wash the area around the prep table for the coleslaw.  I shook my head as I watched the overspray go across cooking surfaces.

About noon the food service director came to me and pulled me into his office.  He briefed me on OSHA regulations.  I have to wear boots at all times and wear a hair net around food.  OK.

The chow hall also has a lady who is free-world that oversees how much food is put on each tray.  She makes sure the employees don't steal all the food being prepared to serve.  She has to stand guard because a piece of chicken sells for $2 and they steal all of them they can.  They can be as much as 150 pieces short on chicken night.

The thing I observed is she stands over the serving line and prep area and refuses to wear a hair net.  It would mess up her hair and we can't have that.  So---don't take a job in food service!

My first manner of business was to write up the unsanitary way they clean.  Cleaning on the level they ask us to should be done after regular feeding hours when food is put away in coolers. Not during scheduled feeding.  Florida Department of Health mandates the same rules in D.O.C. as they do in free-world dining.  This kitchen is clearly in violation of clean cooking areas and sanitary work stations.

I've filed a formal grievance against the kitchen on behalf of myself and all other inmates who unknowingly are eating cleaning chemicals on their food.

Next, I wrote up the free-world inspector for not wearing a protective hair net or gloves when handling food.  This is a direct violation of food and health requirements for public food service.  So, while I'm in this kitchen we're going to get things in tip-top-shape.  Or they're going to fire me.

Getting them in compliance will better our dining experience.  Pissing them off will get me fired.  Either way it's a win-win situation.

Instead of giving me a simple job change they will probably lie on me and lock me up in confinement.  Whenever you write grievances in prison this can happen as a result.  That's why you never write up officers.  I never do that. 

I'm writing up food-service and the free-world employees.  They are breaking rules and not being held accountable.  I don't want to work under those conditions.  I eat  that food.  As long as I don't know there is cleaning products in it, then I eat it unknowingly.  However, you put me in there to work and I see it all day, I don't want to eat like that.

It's possible they will just lock me up for some small infraction because I have thrown a rock at the hornets nest.

That's how it works.  Its a 50/50 gamble but I had to do this.


That begins my first week in the kitchen.




















Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Freedom on 2 Wheels

We've all made those credit card purchases.  The ones you don't realize how much you've spent until the bill comes and makes it a reality.  Hits you like a slap in the face.

I ride Harleys.  We sold them when I came to prison, but I have rode them since I was 19 years old.  Before I left my last prison I met a man selling his bike.  I really wanted the bike.  I told you a bit about this before.  He was an inmate like myself.  When you ride motorcycles, there are times you're standing around admiring the bikes.  Everyone takes a turn telling the story behind their scooter.  So I was thinking my bike's story would go something like......"I bought my bike from a dude doing time where I did mine.  He shot his wife for cheating.  He got life--while I got his bike..."

So I made the man an offer and he didn't want to budge on his price.  I didn't have the full amount he asked, so I decided to wait.

I explained to Mom why the bike meant so much to me.  Sure, I could wait until I get home to buy one.  However, I will have been in prison for a decade at my release.  Where I was going, opening a shop, and who I was going to spend my life with.  Well, all of those plans have changed.

My future plans are now an adventure and will take shape once I'm home.  I'm very OK with that, but would love to have a couple things be solid for me once again.

I explained all this to Mom.  A few days later she told me about the lady who cuts her hair.  She's also a biker and had upgraded her bike and still had the other one in the garage.  The story behind my scooter now goes like this.....

Mom knew how much a bike meant to me.  She knows the freedom you feel with the wind in your hair.  A feeling you can only experience on two wheels.  Mom negotiated the deal, covered the difference for me, and now holds a Harley for her eldest son.

Two things for certain....

I get to come home and be a Dad to my daughter.  I get to spend time with her and make up for all the years of her life I missed.  I have years ahead of me to walk beside her and be a role model.  I've stood patiently on the sidelines of her life thus far.  I tell her I'm on the sidelines cheering her on.  I'm the loudest fan she's ever had and ever will.

And I get to ride a motorcycle.  That shit makes me happy.  Nobody can take that away from me. It's mine.

Mom told me on the phone she bought the bike, it was mine.  Late that night I was laying in bed looking at the ceiling.  I'm not certain what prompted it, but at one point I laughed out loud...."I own a fucking motorcycle!!"  It was like the bill finally showed up and I got that slap in the face.  I've requested pictures.  Seems you all have seen my bike even before I have.  It will become even more real then I'm sure.

I'm coming home people.  I've got a Harley to ride as soon as I get there.  Mom brewed home made wine two years ago and I had her put two bottles to the side.  They should be nice and ripe when I get there.  I have a funny list of things-to-do.  It's so close now I can taste the wine and hear the motorcycle rumble.

(Note from the Mom:  He has all the pictures now!)