Home Sweet (Almost) Home

One more week until I’m back home in New Jersey! As exciting as it is, I’m going to miss being in the city; I’m sure it’ll only take a few hours until I’m so bored and craving Shake Shack! (PS: They’re opening a location in Paramus, yes!) The only good thing is that I’ll actually be able to get my mail in a normal amount of time–and that means faster and more lImageetters between Garry and me.

When I was home over the weekend, I got another letter from him. He said, as I expected he would think, that he didn’t think he’d hear from me again. It made me so upset, even if I anticipated it. I thought I was clear in my previous letter that I was honestly nonstop busy and hadn’t had the chance to write, which he did mention he understood, but I would never purposely not write to him.

When I started my new letter to him, I made sure to make it really clear that nothing he could tell me would make me not want to write to him. It’s crazy, but I have grown pretty close to him and have learned not to judge anyone. Everyone has a unique life, people may judge me and my path, but I couldn’t judge anyone. The only person who knows what it was like to grow up in Garry’s shoes is Garry himself. I made sure to tell him that he could trust me with anything he wanted to get off his chest, and that I would keep his privacy. He knows about the blog, and he has given me permission to write about his story however I want, but I still wouldn’t exploit his life in any way.

I also decided to give him my manuscript. It wasn’t fair that I mentioned I wrote something and asked if he wanted to read it, and then said “just kidding, I’m scared.” I’m still a little scared–I might be really really dumb giving him my memoir, but it’s most likely fine. He’s a million miles away in a maximum security prison. Who cares if he knows what my high school boyfriend’s name was? I only thought he may think it’s juvenile and ridiculous. I’m sure his childhood was anything but typical, and he might resent that I had such a “normal” life with a great family and friends in rural New Jersey, rather than running around with gangs in Cali.

It’s also pretty long, so I told him it was fine and to take his time. I’m not looking for anything or any comments/criticism from him- I just thought it would be a good way to spend some of his day behind bars. He mentioned in previous letters that he wasn’t a big reader, so rather than offering to send him a book, which I was considering, I figured he can start off reading mine, and also get to know me a little better.

He has been so open about his past and his current “situation,” it’s only fair that I begin to open myself up about my past. It’s obviously not as crazy as his, though. (PS- if anyone wants to read my memoir, just let me know).

Garry said something that confused me a little. He told me he appreciates my honesty and does not “want your boyfriend getting angry with you by him finding out you’ve been writing to me…as good friends.” I wonder why he thought I was keeping our friendship from Ryan and my family? Maybe he thinks I would be ashamed to be writing to a death row inmate, but I’m not. I’ve been very open with Ryan, my friends, and my family. It actually worked as a successful conversation starter at NYU. A classmate read my blog prior to the program, and she remembered me and we became really great friends since. I guess it is a really interesting thing to talk about, but even if it was a private thing between Garry and me, I would still enjoy our correspondence just as much. I told Garry that Ryan and my family knew about him, but that I have been keeping his privacy and never tell them about what he writes or confides in me, just that we write back and forth, and whatever they read from this blog.

I also told Garry about my engagement, and he had nothing but wonderful things to say. It’s crazy- he was just as excited as my closest friends! He told me he was engaged before, but never married. He also gave me a lot of advice, which I thought was sweet (and a little old-fashioned). He told me a husband depends on a wife, and that a wife is the most precious thing a man will ever have. It’s so gushy and romantic, it caught me a little off guard when I remembered he was an (alleged) murderer.

Is it weird that I want to hear more details about the alleged crime he committed to be locked up? I don’t know how to bring it up though. I keep hinting and telling him he can open up and tell me anything he wants, but nothing more has been said.