I lost the last letter Garry sent me. I had it in my bag for weeks to and from work with every intention of finding time during the day, at lunch, on the train, to pull it out and write back. But I never did. And one day I told myself enough is enough and went to pull it out and it was gone.
It was pretty long, and I did read it before throwing it in my bag in the first place, but I guess I was feeling pretty ashamed of losing it that I didn’t even want to write him back and have to admit it. He has so little possessions, he probably doesn’t lose track of a thing, and here I go losing an important envelope where he wrote to a friend in privacy and trust. Someone probably kicked it out of their way on the train, or the janitor swept it up with the dust bunnies under my desk, not even thinking twice.
But I finally got over it. I know I’ve said that phrase a lot “I got over it.” There are tons of things I need to get over I guess. Whatever.
I received two emails last week about the Death Row Pen Pal program, and just starred them and wouldn’t answer. I told myself “I’ll get to it,” and I didn’t until today. Well, that’s 1/2 true. I saw the starred message on top of my email everyday, and consciously ignored it. It wasn’t until I decided to start getting back into Twitter (which I’ve tried to do like 3 times already and never stick with it) when the same woman who emailed me about the program also tweeted at me, saying she had an interesting opportunity that she emailed me about.
So obviously I was curious.
I read her email. She works for a national publication in the UK. She saw this blog and wants to ask me questions about my experience for their publication….uhh..what?! I was really honored that 1. someone read this, and 2. someone wanted to interview ME. It’s usually the other way around (thanks to my internships and undergrad degree).
I figured, hey, I’m on a roll. I might as well open the other message. It was from the woman in charge of the program. It was her annual check in. It’s been a year since I was paired with Garry. It seems like a lot longer than that. The things we’ve talked about is not what I’d typically talk about with a stranger, yet I always felt like I knew him forever, so it didn’t matter.
I told my coworker today about Garry. I thought I had mentioned it before, but I guess I didn’t. I really wanted to talk about the UK reporter, but had to backtrack and tell her the whole story. I sent her his full (real) name, and she googled him–something I still have yet to do. She just kept saying “OMG” and “He’s so brutal” and things like that and I got really nervous. I don’t want anyone to change how I see him, but I know as soon as I read the articles and see how the media portrays him, my image will forever be corrupted. For now, I’m just reading what he has to say, and taking that as truth. Why would he lie?
Okay so the point of this post: I wrote my letter back to Garry today. I admitted I lost his letter and apologized. (It’s still awkward to apologize to a murderer.) I told him about the job I finally got, told him about some things going on, and I told him about the reporter wanting to talk to me. I assured him I wouldn’t talk about anything personal, not even his name, but if he wanted me to mention anything to her, I would be sure to. Who knows how effective the interview will go without all the “juicy” stuff, but I guess it’ll be up to her whether or not she wants to run the piece after she hears what I have to say.
I also “gave him permission” (I can’t even bare to type that without the quotes. as if i could give a murderer permission to do something) to feel free (ha, free) to send me letters in between my responses if he wanted to. He doesn’t have to wait for me to answer before reaching out again. I know that’s how a typical conversation goes, everyone gets their turn, but there’s is nothing typical about this ongoing conversation. I always say I’ll get better and more punctual, but I never am. I don’t know what it is.