“The future isn’t a straight road purposely designed by the traveler. The future is made of the actions of the present, each and every one, the choices of the moment inadvertently strung together to produce the desired trail (R. A. Salvatore).”
The cell door slammed violenty behind me and sent a fear through my system that I wish no one would ever have to experience. I wasn’t afraid of the sound of the slamming door, but I was afraid of the finality of being put in a place I couldn’t leave when I wanted to. I paced nervously back and forward inside this little 6×8 cell trying to grapple with the reality of prison being my new home for the foreseeable future. I would never be able to feel the rush of the wind blowing serenely on my skin, nor the warmth of the shinning sun on my face. The perceived enclosing walls of this cell drove that reality all the more.
Everything about this cell was hard, the bed was made of metal, the walls and floor concrete, and worse of all it was so small that I could extend my arms and touch both walls. It was only a holding cell while I awaited transport to the city jail. As I paced, my thoughts were incoherently trying to figure out how in the world did I get here? How did I go from a good student athlete and never being suspended from school to… this, locked in a cage like an animal.
I tried futilely to calm my thoughts, but the pungent smell of a clogged toilet assaulted my sensibilities. Disoriented, I continued to pace like a robot. I didn’t feel as though I was in my body as I contemplated what I was going to do next. I don’t know how long I was pacing, but I knew that I was getting tired of pacing. So I laid on the metal bed with its thin mattress. There were no blankets, so I hugged myself for warmth. I closed my eyes tight against the forming tears in a furtile attempt in holding them back; after all thugs don’t cry. I could feel the warmth from the tears streaking unchecked down my cheeks. I just let them flow as shifting images took shape in the darkness of my closed eyes. I saw my last football game I played, my graduation with my families smiling faces of pride. I saw my mothers tears as I told her goodbye at the airport before I went to Korea. I saw my wedding day and the love in my wife’s eyes- too bad I didn’t fully feel the same way at that time. I saw the first time someone shot at me in a malicious attempt to take my life- there would be two other failed attempts- and the crippling fear I felt. I saw the drug dealing wolves that I rolled with and even called brothers. Although I never solded drugs, I lived their life- the good, the bad, and the ugly. I saw the last store I robbed and how eerily calm the clerk was as she handed me the money from the register. Even though I committed the crime, I didn’t want to do it. I can still hear the clerks voice in my mind as she told the police, “He was more scared then I was.”. She told him the truth because to me if you wasn’t living a street life, you was off limits to me hurting you physically.
My strange reminiscing was interrupted by the sound of the cell door opening and a baritone voice asking, “Are you Mr. Carreker?”
Looking up from the bed I said, “Yeah, that’s me.”
“Step out, sir. I’m here to take you to the city jail.”
I got up and stepped gladly out of the cell. He instructed me to hold out my hands as he cuffed them in front of me. We walked through the station and out the front door. The brisk morning air greeted us with a chilly kiss. With these cuffs on me it felt different to be outside. Whenever you are confined, outside feels different because your freedom of movement is no longer yours to control. You move at someone else’s suffrage.
I took one last look around at what freedom looked like and knew deep within that it would be a long time before I felt freedom again. My, how the mighty have fallen was what I thought to myself. The funny thing about falling is that it feels like you are flying for a little while. Until this point, I flew first class, but eventually gravity will pull you down. In my case gravity wasn’t a natural force. For me, gravity was my self destructive behavior fueled by a string of bad choices and this is what shaped my road to destruction.
Next post will be: My Journey: Part Three
contact author at:
Jesse M. Carreker, Jr. #1130497
Nottoway Correctional Center
P O Box 488
Burkeville, VA 23922
e-mail me @ http://www.jpay.com by submitting my name or Virginia state ID number: 1130497
Categories: Jesse M. Carreker Jr.