August 13, 2011
Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be free. At times I take for granted my ability to go out on a date, or buy ice cream, or go see my daughter play soccer. The other day I crossed the San Rafael Bridge and saw the huge ominous structure that is San Quentin State Penitentiary clinging to the otherwise beautiful California coast. It was a bit of a mood kill to say the least. I thought about all of my loved ones that have languished in that institution for years at a time. Then I thought about my cousin who I wish was still in San Quentin but who, unfortunately, was bused 400 miles south to Chino.
You know everyone has got a story and some of them are sadder than others—his is very sad, but then what can I do? It seems kind of shallow to be grateful that I’m not in there. Even though that’s exactly how I feel it almost seems like I’m pointing my finger at him saying; “I’m glad it’s you and not me.” It’s an indescribable feeling when you literally grow up with a person and he winds up trapped in a cage while you’re free to roam the Earth.
It’s hard for me to be grateful for my freedom because I would rather share it with him like we used to share brushes, doo-rags, bicycles, and candy bars. I want to somehow, maybe magically, liberate him but that is something I can’t do. Even when he is free he won’t be free. And I mean that in the same way that my mind is not truly free right now.