I was on my bed this afternoon and found my mind drifting to the day I release from prison. Walking out the front doors of this place to a nondescript car my mother owns, my oldest son in the backseat and as I approach I realize I am unsure of how to proceed.

Do I open the door? I haven’t been allowed to touch a car door in over a decade. So in this awkward fantasy I wait for the door to open. When nobody opens the door I realized it must be because they are waiting for me to be searched, makes sense, so I placed my hands outward and spread my legs apart and turned around. That’s when I heard my Mother ask “What are you doing, get in.” Such a simple statement, but an order to follow nonetheless.

I open the door and am confronted with another confusing moment, the car is a two-door and my son is sitting in the back. This is problematic. That is where I am supposed to sit. With silent reluctance on his end I end up in the backseat, my hands uncomfortably resting in the small of my back, where handcuffs usually keep them during vehicle transportation and I proceed to look out the window in amazement and complete silence. You mustn’t speak during transports, nobody wants to hear you. This makes my Mother and Son uncomfortable.

This whole scenario is how I envision my release. Sometimes I vomit, or imagine vomiting from the car ride to wherever we are going, sometimes its in the car, sometimes its on the side of the road and sometimes I actually vomit. But today, this little scenario got me thinking about my wild imagination and why it seems to be broken.

For years I have feared for my life, justifiably so for a long time. Before then I was caught in the woes and throes of my own prison and self-loathing living as a very unhappy woman in a fat straight guys body married to a woman…wasn’t my idea of bliss. However, now I’m out as trans and about to start hormones, living as a woman. Then, the people I feared most came and apologized, with absolute sincerity, and suddenly I have a lot more mental freedom than I ever thought possible. So much so that I can drift off in some daydream between projects and wonder when in the hell I decided imagination was the epitome of destructive behavior. What a fool I have been.

I used to say the last crime I committed was of the man I pretended to be, one Jeffrey Eugene Utnage, whom now is gone forever except in confinement and memory. He has been replaced by the woman Ruth Anne Utnage, me. But that wasn’t my last crime (I call it the murder of Jeffrey Eugene Utnage perhaps that’s not so wise?), my last crime was the robbery of my future by caging my imagination.

I am an entrepreneurial woman, I have a life to live and I should be able to spend time imagining what I will look like, smell like, what makeup I will wear, what my walk will be like in heels and flats, how confident I will be, what my commute to the office will be like and how many employees I will have…I should be thinking about, no, imagining each and every one of those things so I can ingrain a mental image to shoot for. Instead I have been learning to deal in right now, what I can see and touch.

I’m going to begin imagining, give myself the freedom to dream and think freely. This is my first idea: I am going to cut out a few dozen butterflies and attach strings to each one, then fasten them to the ceiling in my cell. Once they are all attached I am going to turn my fan up at them and lay on the floor looking up, that way I can drift into a summer field for an hour and watch butterflies flutter through the air. Yeah…that’s what I’ll do…

I will let you know how it turns out. Hey, I would appreciate your thoughts on what I write, I’d love it if you would write back.

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With Love
Jeff aka Ruth Utnage

Mail To:
Jeff aka Ruth Utnage 823469 D-610-2
P.O. Box 888
Monroe, WA 98272

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DOC: 823469
Name: Utnage, Jeff (though I am legally Ruth)