My card is going to be late getting to my husband and this bothers me. I didn`t send it on time and it’s actually a good thing but it really doesn’t sit well with me that he won’t be getting a Valentine’s Day card on time. I`m always on time with my cards. This year is different, though. This year started off hopeful and tumbled down a hill of “what the fuck?” and “what’s next?”.
He has been transferred anyway, so my Valentine’s card would have been forwarded around, shifted through dirty hands who have no idea what my life is about. The seal on the envelope would have been broken, the card read, my words reduced to nothing but the desperate love of a wife. This has always bothered me. Being on display. Being someone’s story, someone’s statistic, someone’s joke maybe. The days of losing sleep over that are far gone, though, and what is left is some unresolved ache somewhere deep down. I say I don’t care but there will always be a small part of me that does care that these people treat my love letters and proclamations as romantic porn for their deprived senses.
Anyway, he has been transferred. After all the lobbying to get him back closer to me, all the hopeful lies told to our family over his transfer, all the broken rules and regulations by the prison, he is not closer to me. He is further away. He is now at a prison that we were told was “overcrowded” and that they did not prefer to send him to. Why? To throw another straw on the camel’s back, to make with absolute certainty, that things would not be easy, that there would be no fair treatment. These people get to make decisions about my life and we’ve never even met. Not that it would make a difference. The department of corrections does not care about you or your family or the inmates or what is best. They care about pettiness, revenge, scratching the back of a fellow corrupt official.
Speaking of official. While at my last visit, I heard one guard say it takes the trainees six weeks at the academy to go from regular citizen to having the power over other human being’s lives. Just six weeks to playing God, to fingering my carefully crafted letters, to enforcing the law that they bend to make fit their ideals about life, justice, and appropriate punishment.