Over the next two weeks (4/7, 4/9, 4/14, and 4/16) I’m going to post some notes, thoughts, comments and other awesomeness I’ve received in letters from our favorite Jail-Dino, Rarasaur. Some of it will be uplifting. Some of it will be a struggle. And some of it will be silly. But, that’s fitting, right? Our lives, and our stories, run the full spectrum of ups and downs as we go about trying to survive and thrive, and prison life is no different.
While I have edited the following, I’ve kept her intent intact as much as I could.
These are her words, as she wrote them to me and to all of you.
These are Rara’s stories.
I am keeping busy, walking miles a day, over-caffeinating, and eating like a prize-winning pig after the blue ribbon ceremony. Oink! Sorry for the handwriting. Gray always says that my hair and handwriting are the best visuals on my inner peace or torment, since I’m always smiling – even in my mugshot. I have no idea what my handwriting is saying now, but I can feel how wonky it is.
The holiday season has hit this place hard. I am desperately trying to remember how to fold origami “balloons” or other folds that are holiday appropriate. Colored paper and Christmas/Thanksgiving paper stock is like gold right now. Even just paper ribbons! Gosh, I wish I had Google. They do competitions here for best decorations. “It’s getting’ real.” The slang here is becoming my norm, including “gurllll” and “uh uh” as a sound of agreement. I will have an odd everything when I’m finally out.
It literally just occurred to me that I will need therapy when I’m out. Crazy. This place is a trip!
There’s an expression here that I love – “catch feelings.” It puts a visual to it and explains, to me, why I get crushed on so often when I’m fundamentally average. You see, I throw feelings at people. In waves! It’s how I communicate. They are confused by how much they caught from me and it seems like more than what they caught from others so they think, “She must be special!” when in reality, I just throw more. Feelings… they’re weird.
I think often about how geek culture/media would improve this jail community. One thing I love about geek is the subtle emphasis on how being good is almost as important (and arguably more important) than being great. There’s no Superman without Martha Kent’s love, no Batman without Alfred’s loyalty, no Spiderman without Uncle Ben’s patient wisdom. At least, no great superheroes – just a lot of superpower grumps. Being good, simple, loyal, kind, wise, and patient aren’t traits that people aspire to, which is weird.