The number of actions deemed “illegal” continues to grow. Seen through that arbitrary filter that means more individuals who were at one time “law-abiding” are now viewed as “criminals.” That makes it more and more likely that you will see the inside of a jail cell. (Such a trend will continue unless we each stop believing that words put on paper by some strangers make once unjust actions just.) Many people use the time to reflect. Some, like  Dan Abshear who authored the below, share their thoughts and writings with others, acting as both an outlet and a way to personalize the harm caused by unquestioning allegiance to the Statist Quo that allows for the mass caging of humans for profit. -Pete, www.copblock.org

In the fall of 2009, I spent over a month in jail, for the first time in my life. To achieve some level of freedom, I wrote, and I wrote a lot. I composed over 20 thousand words while in jail.

Most of these words were letters to Jacki- a girl I dated 25 years ago, and who I lived with after my release from jail. The living arrangement with her lasted about 6 months.

While in jail, one’s mind becomes altered often. There is great misery, with little hope. My state of mind is reflected in what I wrote while there.The following are the letters I wrote to Jacki, while in jail:

WEEK ONE:

I’m starting to get comfortable here, and this frightens me a bit. It’s just that I’m powerless at this point about progressing my case that resulted in me being here now. I have a court date on October 15th, and I will ask to speak on my own behalf to the judge as well as the prosecutor so I can negotiate with them about my situation. I’m very anxious to start my life again. I will do this as I recover from the trauma inflicted upon me, and as I miss my dear Hayley. Both cause me to experience severe intrinsic, and silent, pain.

This is nothing short of unimaginable hell, as this pain I feel is indescribable- it is in fact worse than any kind of chronic torture I can possibly conceive.

I was chatting with a deaf kid named William here in jail with me. We got here on the same day, and he needs a lawyer as well as me. William may be going to prison for theft.

I’m cutting out words from various magazines on this Friday night to use when I write Hayley the next time. These letters that she and I are doing back and forth are really making me very happy in the midst of great misery.

It’s Saturday morning now, and I just got off the phone with you. I’ll be thinking of your voice all day, and for the days to come. Do not worry about me, please. I can and do take care of myself. Jail is jail. It is not suppose to be enjoyable.

I’ve told my story to more than one here in jail about the circumstances of my divorce. They were surprised at the lack of retaliation for injuries perceived or otherwise.

Many are violent here, of course. This explains why law enforcement dudes automatically presumed that I was violent. Violent because of those who are my fellow inmates now. Many are very mean.

We finally got to go to the library today here in jail. I got some magazines. No dirty magazines here, I’m sorry to say. There is also a law library here in jail, and I’ll request to go to this library soon.

It’s Saturday night, and I called a friend of mine from high school a moment ago. I asked him to contact our other friends from high school to try and get me a legal agent. he and these other friends have had legal issues in the past of their own, and they know legal agents as a result.

I’ll not be able to mail this letter to you till Tuesday. This gives me two full days to continue to write to you, and revise what I write. I tend to do this often.

I’ve felt a need tonight to hold Molly (my ex-wife) and my daughter Hayley, and cry with them. This hate that has infected Molly needs to be treated in such a way. It needs to be cured by love.

I’ll never have my family back again, and I have to learn to live with this. But I’m compelled to fight evil such as this in my life now whenever I possibly can. Always. It hurts.

It’s Sunday morning here in jail, and I just shared some candy with other inmates. This elevated my popularity greatly, cause I really do not fit in here with them, overall.

Justin takes a particular interest with you here in jail, as I speak of you to him often. He is a 25 year old good looking guy, and he is a new dad. His son was born as he is in jail with me.

He witnessed me illuminate when I first heard from you here in jail. And I showed him letters you sent me that I wrote to you way over 20 years ago, which I find incredible, what I wrote.

WEEK TWO:

The following is a continuation of notes I composed to another while wrongfully imprisoned recently:

“Serenity, beauty, and freedom. It only took me 42 years to find all of these things.”

To do drugs here, the inmates on occasion swallow balloons containing such drugs, and these drugs are, well, retrieved, at a later time. To smoke pot, the inmate wraps the pot in bible paper. Cigarettes can and have been placed directly into the rectum- just so you know. Of course, aside from coffee, I’ve done no other drugs while in jail.

Having sex with my ex wife was like trying constantly to copulate with death. I attempted to reproduce with progressive atrophy through amplified apoptosis, so it seems.

It’s Thursday, and it is very rainy outside here now. It is very pretty watching this rain fall over the Mississippi river.

I’ve been in jail for exactly one month today. And I’m so ready to get the f*** out of here.

This is my all time nadir, I think. Y ou are in fact the elixir of my present state- you are the panacea for removing my ego and confidence from the purgatory of their present residence in the transcendental intensive care unit. It was kismet when our mutual friend Ryan drove me to Marietta, where I met you for the first time.

The inmates watch, “Jerry Springer” on TV before lunch here in jail. What a dumb-ass show. Our society is clearly warped. It’s quite sad.

Just got your letter from Monday. I’m fighting this restraining order against me by being in jail right now. My love for Hayley continues to fuel me.

With the letters I write to Hayley, I send them to Molly’s parent’s house. I do not have an address directly for Hayley now. Molly’s parents are wonderful people, and will likely insist that Hayley read what I write her. And it is also likely her mother is opposed to this, but f*** her, quite frankly.

The words I read from Hayley here- they are great. There is energy, joy and happiness in the words Hayley writes to me now. This bond I now have resurrected between Hayley and I was against all odds.

I f****** did it, Jacki. Not too many 11 year old children from similar situations would be able to express such joy generated from their father. I’m glad I created and allowed this to occur.

I’m homeless at the age of 43. I was very much middle class just a few years ago. The trip from a limousine to a ditch is a very short trip.

Thanks for knowing and acknowledging that I care about you. And thanks for forgiving me when I have shared words with you that I did not mean.

I can always get in the mood to write, but the writing is always much more exploratory when I’m altered, as the case here in jail. It’s like drunk-dialing, in a way.

Keep writing me, Jacki. I love your words.

WEEK THREE:

The following is a continuation of notes I composed to another while wrongfully imprisoned recently:

I should really see you soon now that my mind is clear. If I do, I should really stay perhaps with your mother. This will truly test my endurance as well as my stamina, I believe. I’ll be her slave, if she allows me to stay there.

I’m very glad I’m off of drugs of any kind now. It’s been close to two months since I’ve taken my prescribed medications. My last refill I got was the day my ex wife Molly filed a restraining order against me.

So I got these prescriptions filled, and then I took over 100 pills of speed and tranquilizers within five days after that refill. At this time I was intentionally over-dosing myself, I really did not wish to live anymore. I’m thankfully no longer in that frame of mind. Suicide attempts seem to sneak up on me.

I did not notice the brutal withdrawals as I’ve had in the past when getting of these particular drugs prescribed to me. This is due to the hell I’m going through now masking such symptoms.

It is very cool writing you like this again. If I recall correctly, the last time you wrote me in the year 1988, you were understandably pissed at me. So the letter I recently received from you here in jail was pleasantly refreshing.

I’m sorry most recently for those times when I’ve snapped at you with what I’ve wrote to you when I’ve not been in jail, Jacki. I ask that you forgive me. I do care about you a great deal.

My heart remains full of love right now, yet this love no longer runs smoothly within my heart. I am channeling this love to Hayley. I believe this is effective, and is working to benefit Hayley, as well as myself.

I wonder at times here in jail if I will ever marry or become a father again. Presently, I do not have a desire to do either. I was married for 20 years, and I have a beautiful daughter right now.

To initiate a sequel to my life so far just seems so wrong right now on many levels. This concept therefore seems very foreign to me presently. I believe I’ll achieve happiness and peace any way my life may progress.

WEEK FOUR:

The following is a continuation of notes I composed to another while wrongfully imprisoned recently:

Thanks for sending me that quotation from Clint Eastwood recently. I’ve actually had another quote in my mind lately by Tyler Durden in the very well-written movie, “Fight Club”: “You must lose everything in order to be free to do anything.” Indeed. I in fact and remarkably feel very free right now as I reside in jail. I’m void of fear.

By the way, your handwriting is as gorgeous as you are- and almost as perfect. You are rather talented.

Jail isn’t too bad, really. I’ve always believed that we are all imprisoned in various ways- in one way or another. Jail simply actualizes our reality, perhaps. Man, am I deep, or what? I’ve traded a terrible marriage for a very welcome philosophy.

Of course, you are the only girl I write to while I’m in jail. I did send my ex girlfriend Janice a four page letter last week. She likely will not reply to me, I’m sure. I trust you will continue to write me for the rest of your life.

Hayley wrote me in jail a couple of weeks ago after I wrote to her immediately after I got here. Not seeing Hayley or speaking with her is clearly a new experience in pain for me. I cry, and these tears are welcome. I did write Hayley back afterwards, and I’m sure the words I wrote to her will give her happiness.

So when we enter jail, we are not allowed to bring any possessions of any kind inside with us- such as addresses of others, or their phone numbers. We are not even allowed to bring such benign items as, say, machine guns.

So again, I’m glad you found me here, and continue to write me. Your words help me greatly tolerate my environment as I’m imprisoned.

Speaking with you on the phone on occasion combined with your letters to me greatly mend my depression. You are that much more in my soul now. I feel I owe you big time. Whatever you may want in the future from me, you shall have. You share my madness with me now.

Please get me a new wife as soon as you can, if you will not marry me yourself. There must be a catalog or something for this that I seek. Or perhaps you could call for me one of those ‘free’ phone numbers, such as 1-800-976-BABE.

I could get hit by a bus today. I might as well love the people I love, and take as many risks as possible. —- Malin Akerman.

Changing the world. That’s what I plan on doing with my future. —- Tristan Wilds.

I finally got some more paper to write on here in jail, as well as some stamped envelopes, coffee, crackers, and other items to eat this afternoon. I mailed you a very long letter that you may get this weekend from me. All mail I send you will go to your work address.

I still do not know when exactly I will leave jail. I do not have a set court date right now for these violations of law that are fictitious. I wrote my probation officer today as well to continue to ensure her support, and asked for her help in possibly getting me released from jail.

So I’ve done all I can do right now. I’ll be in jail for an entire month next week. I’m at the mercy of those who have imprisoned me.

While I’d rather be someplace else besides jail, I actually feel pretty good. I’m completely detoxified, and this is a very good thing. I’m also motivated to re-invigorate my life. And I will do this once I am free.

I do not believe that I’ll ever be able to fully mend what may be permanent damage from the trauma of my divorce. Any attempts by me to repair such damage will likely land me in jail once again. I’m still striving to maintain my daughter Hayley’s emotional and mental state, however. The family law system in this country is more damaging to families than I could possibly have imagined.

When hostility replaces intimacy, society is in a clear state of apathy. So I feel I need to leave the state of Missouri as soon as I can. For one thing, I’m too compelled to fix this damage. Yet jail is not where I wish to be.

WEEK FIVE:

As I’ve mentioned in the past, when one is a guest in jail as an inmate, their mind becomes altered often due to a toxic combination of hope and misery. We as inmates all react to this alteration that occurs in different ways.

In my case, I regressed often. I regressed back to my high school days, and my first love, who was a girl named Janice. As a result, I composed the following while in jail some time ago:

I remember my first night in jail. I spent this night in a holding unit after spending hours in booking.

I remember laughing in the booking area with others due to a drunk there mumbling things half asleep. I had no fear then, nor do I now.

As I slept in this holding unit, I dreamed somehow about the love I felt deeply for my first love, a girl named Janice. What I felt in this dream was incredibly pure, and as peaceful as I imagine death to be.

Such a feeling has been largely absent in my life during the course of my previous marriage in particular. I believe this is why I dreamed so wonderfully that night in jail. It filled a great void within me, this dream.

That, and this holding unit reminded me greatly of boot camp in many ways that I experienced at the age of 18. Janice was very much in my life then- when I left her to go in the military.

So with Janice, my first and only true love, she is friends with the girl next door when i grew up, whose name is Missy. I had a huge crush on Missy when I was in my early teen years. Missy was my first real crush on a girl.

So Missy’s friend Janice found me attractive. I found Janice pretty, but rather plain. My skills at judging women were premature at this stage in my life. It turns out that Janice is far from plain- she is rather exceptional in many ways.

Janice and I were very much in love with each other between the years of 1983 and 1984- a bit longer in my case. We actually lost our virginity to each other during this time in the back of her pea green 1973 Chevy Impala one summer night in the year 1983.

After I graduated high school in the year 1984, I decided I needed to improve myself greatly- for Janice. So I joined the Navy as a medic. I’ve always had an interest in helping others, and in medicine. This passion remains alive within me to this day.

Our relationship ended as many do at our young ages at the time soon after I left for the military. I’ve never forgotten about Janice- and I still think of her daily. She married the same year I did in 1990. She had two daughters with her husband before they divorced in the year 1998.

It was great being in love with Janice. I would re-live this great and joyful pain of such love in a New York minute. Even this pain was quite devastating at times, I would always strive to see and visit with Janice whenever I could, and whenever she would allow me to do so.

I wished to hold her. So when I was fortunate enough to see Janice, I’d experience the most welcome pain in my heart- as it would really stop when I’d first catch sight of Janice during those years after our break up in 1984.

I’d hold Janice, and I would pray to the romantic Gods that seconds would manifest into minutes. So I would hold and hug Janice as long as I was allowed to do so. I would close my eyes as I would completely absorb her as I held her. I would never trade this pain I continue to feel within me.

Not long ago, when I was making a lot of money, I’d visit Janice at her home a few times a month- and we would talk into the late hours of the night. this was after Janice divorced her husband. I never got intimate with Janice this year or so I did this- did these visits with her.

I enjoyed the harmless time with Janice. Also, at times, I’d try and financially help Janice and her daughters- when she would allow me to do this. Janice was a schoolteacher, and did not make a lot of money. I did not mind helping her in this way at all. I considered myself rather wealthy at the time.

Janice finally re-married to a fairly decent guy, and she moved to Erie, PA 4 years ago. By chance, I saw her at a store only the day before she moved. That was the last time I saw Janice. I did however speak with her on the phone only months ago. Like I said, she is always in my thoughts.

WEEK SIX:

The following is a continuation of notes I composed to another while wrongfully imprisoned recently:

Recently, I met a black guy here with a tattoo of the staff of Aesculapius on his forearm. This is a medical symbol, and it turns out he got this tattoo in honor if his father, who was a medic in the Vietnam war.

I’m watching, ‘Funniest Home Videos’, with other inmates at this time. This show is also rather unfortunate, but not as bad as, ‘The Jerry Springer Show’. We fortunately do watch, “The Simpsons”, daily here.

This is a good thing, compared to the other dumb ass mind-numbing shows on TV here that most inmates choose to watch. I watch television rarely- here in jail or anyplace else.

I continue to offer diagnoses to other inmates here in jail. There are more tinea versicolor cases in my unit in jail. These are typical fungal skin infections. Another inmate had a lipoma on his neck- which is a fat cyst. Another guy has gynecomastia. Other cases were atopic dermatitis with unknown etiology.

Back to the rashes here in jail: The inmates are overly concerned about minor medical issues such as these. The inmates can in fact order tolnaftate and hydrocortisone on their own.

Yet most if not all inmates do not know about these topical creams, and that these creams will successfully treat most rashes acquired by jail inmates. So I have educated them on these treatment options, and may give a class on the various medicinal products inmates can order, and how they may benefit them.

There are many chronically poor people in jail. They trip out a bit when I tell them I was once a corporate executive for an entire decade. They wonder what the f*** I’m doing here in jail. So do I.

They also think the world of me if I happen to share small items with them- such as candy or coffee. Cause in jail, you never share with other inmates. I mean, if you do this, you are being perhaps nice and kind. This could ironically get your ass kicked often.

There is a very nice black guy here in jail with me named Courtney. I noticed deep scars on his back one day. He was slashed several times in downtown St. Louis not long ago. And yet he still is a kind guy. That is character

My marriage served a needed purpose. My daughter Hayley was conceived and born. I completely raised Hayley with all of my love for most of her life. So mission completed with tremendous joy.

I finally got some needed sleep last night here in jail. My emotions were greatly elevated yesterday due to lack of sleep, and I found myself greatly depressed as a result. Today is much better.

It is Columbus day today. I’m pissed, because aside from the meals here in jail, there is not much to look forward to this day. There will be no mail received by inmates today.

I somehow sprained my right knee since I’ve been in jail. It’s a medial meniscus tear- and feels like a first or second degree sprain. I need to brace this knee for about a week so it can heal. In jail, we actually sleep on steel with a very thin covering. This may somehow be the cause of my sprain.

It’s pretty outside here for October. The leaves are starting to change.

Jacki- please do not worry about me. I felt that you were concerned as I read your words to me in a recent letter. I’m not suffering, and I know why I am here in jail. It is a battle I needed to fight. I do not pick my battles. I fight those that need to be fought.

I look outside the small window in my cell in jail, and I see free people. This sucks out loud. I also see a great father and his child right now. This is going to be a long f****** day, I can tell already.

For breakfast, we had hard-boiled eggs here. As I ate these eggs, I could not help but to think of the movie, “Cool Hand Luke.”

Usually, I crash here in jail well after midnight. A small breakfast is served after I sleep for these few hours. Then, I basically read and write till lunch arrives here at noon. Dinner is at 5 p.m.

Mail gets here about 8 p.m. Then the same day is lived in the days that follow. Laundry arrives fresh on Mondays and Thursdays here in jail. We as inmates are allowed to buy and order treats and such on Sundays. These items are then delivered to us on Wednesdays.

I am so lonely.

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