The Difference Between Those Who Change and Those Who Won’t    by   Ruth Utnage

“I’m fittin’ to go get me a caddy, pick up all my homeboys then we gon’ get all the bitches, then, we gon’ party. Man, I’m gon’ go set it off.”

The above is a conversation you’ll never hear. These are words I hear every day from a litany of people around here, especially one of my neighbors. He’s really a child, came to prison in his early 20’s and has spent the past 13 years here having been denied parole 3 times and he has no idea why, just ask him. Never mind that he just got into a fight and then there is his brilliant future plans stated above. What’s not to admire…

What I find sad about this, because I do, I am saddened by him, is that his “homeboys” don’t exist. He has none. He has no idea who he is or who he’s going to be and no clue how to start. The entirety of his dreams, the extent of his realm of self-imposed possibilities is a Cadillac, friends that don’t exist, and “bitches” he’ll never know.

I think about how to either exist around men like this. What do I speak to them about? What have I to do with them? They are, but men, I know, but still…I want to throw a bucket of icy life water on him and wake him up, shake him into an existence where his life can exist beyond a scene he seen once in a music video.

But I know not this young mans language, his dialect is a strange noise to my ears and my intelligence is not in foreign languages. How can I communicate with someone when we do not speak the same language?

That’s the difference between change and refusal to change. Those who have changed can communicate, even in the most childish of terms, how they changed and why. Those who haven’t traversed that pathway yet do not know the landscape enough to describe it and for those of us who’ ve been there, we know…

With Love
Ruth Utnage

Feel free to contact me, a little human contact is always welcome

jeff aka Ruth Utnage 823469 C-601-2
PO Box 888
Monroe, WA. 98272

or via Jpay email service (you have to use my birth name, but, please do not call me by it, my new legal name is Ruth)

Jeff Utnage