I’ve been dreaming of Ely state prison again, but even more so I`ve been dreaming of Ely, Nevada. Whenever I am feeling lost, I tend to dream about this place and I`m not entirely sure why. Maybe it’s because that prison, that place, that space in time, is where I fell in love with Jeremy so many years ago and it will be forever ingrained in my memory as a place that I loathe and love all at the same time. That time has stained me forever. The story has stained me. This strange prison love story that I didn’t really expect, but that I wouldn`t trade for anything.
It’s been almost 9 months since I’ve traveled to that place but I`m dreaming of it now. I`m dreaming of the small hotels there, the prison front desk, the fluorescent lights, and him. Him as a 25 year old kid, thin and handsome and beautiful and I want to throw up and fall into his arms. This kid, this man, this person that has taken my entire life, shaken it out of place, and has rearranged the pieces in such a way that I want to leave at times, but can’t. Not because I couldn`t forge some semblance of a life without him and the prison, but because sometimes fate takes us through the darkest hours just before the sun rises.
I`m dreaming that he is in a car with me and we are driving and laughing. I am dreaming of the first time we visited and he asked if he could kiss me and I said no and he smiled and retreated and said he was in love with me. In 2 weeks we will have been married for 6 years. 6 years is nothing compared to all the years we had before, but it is a milestone nonetheless. When I tell people I have known my husband for half my life and it has been all in prison, they are astounded. This is my life. It is normal. It is not normal. It has everything I need and more. It has everything I don`t need.
“Want to hear some funny prison life shit?”, he asks.
“Ummm not if it’s gross, no”. *nervous laughter*
He laughs and says “No, it’s not. There are three prisoners, three grown men, all playing with a paper plane”.
We both laugh and I sort of want to cry. Life. This life. So normal, so strange.
I`m dreaming of Ely, a town I would have never heard of if not for this inmate I wrote to 15 years ago. I am dreaming of our time together and paper planes.