Being sentenced is stressful. It marks losing your life for an action that most regret. Looking forward to the end of a long prison term is just as stressful. Ten plus years down the road is hard to imagine.

As one goes through prison they see all kinds of things happen for people releasing. Some guys freak out. Some guys will not shut up about it. Some will be ninja like about it: which are the favored because one night your shaking hands and playing cards and in the morning they will say good-bye and that’s it, they are gone.

One thing is commonplace among them all though. That’s their old life comes into play again. Some guys will go their whole prison sentence without a single letter from relatives or friends. Then out of nowhere everyone they used to know suddenly appears on the horizon. Old flames become interested again, family suddenly remembers that they exist.

For this guy, this queer, I don’t want to be overwhelmed with old contacts. Not that I would mind talking to people I once knew. I would love to talk to them again. But people have no idea who I am anymore.

The guy they knew is NOT the man typing this email and I certainly do not look anything like I used to. The man they knew was angry, butch and macho. The man typing this message is into contemporary dance, musicals, and drag. A far cry from the Carhart wearing, fowl mouth idiot they used to know.

I still have 4 1/2 years to go before I get to have the chance to leave this place under the parole board. I suspect that when I get a little closer that I will not be able to keep up with the letters that come in, I look forward to it. But why wait until then to write a letter? Why not now?

With Love
Jeff Utnage