Monday, May 30, 2011

November 3, 2010

I saw something that broke my heart today.
I saw a lady with a 20 year sentence say bye to her daughter, who was released today. This lady is in her late 50's and she has 18 years to go on her sentence.
Her husband sold drugs, she didn't, but she knew he did so she got a conspiracy charge which is an automatic 10 to life.
Her daughter was turned on them and eligible for early release with a drug program. Her mom said she knows she had to do what she had to do, she was after all her daughter and pretty much all she had in prison.
Being a felon, her daughter can never visit, with her mom's age and health, who knows if they will ever see each other again. I was somewhat miffed her daughter was irritated with her mom for "making a big deal" out of her leaving. Because what she is not thinking, is this might be the last time they see each other ever. The mom couldn't stop crying, it was so heartbreaking, I had to look away.

My affirmation for myself today is a Persian proverb my Iranian friend Cyrus told me, and I have been using it alot through this whole journey.
"Even at the end of a long, dark night, the sun must rise."
It is a simple, onle line sentence tha packs so much power within it. So much power that when you think of it, it is almost breath-taking.
I have thought of this many times this year.
You must firmly believe in this sentence with all your heart because no matter whats happens in your life, what you are going through, how ever you feel, you must believe and know that sometime soon things will get better, the sun will rise.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hostility In My Veins

I was born with hostility in my veins;
Flowing like dirty water down the street after it rains.
Dripping from my fingertips while I write;
Like the icicles hanging from my HUD house in the sunlight.
The hostility the government stirred into my people's blood;
It was always there, but now it's dirty as a puddle and thick as mud.
"How do we take care of them?" Mr. Govt. says;
"It was all supposed to be better when we put them on the rez."
"That was supposed to civilize them, make them docile;
But what seems to have happened is we made them hostile?"
Mr. Govt. You can't take the warrior out of our women and men;
You can't cut our hair and expect us to not be what we've always been.
You put us on a reservation and call us savage;
Then you act shocked when we uprise and ravage.
We break your laws so you put us on the inside;
Then you act shocked when we still show our pride.
But you see, being on the inside is like being on a reservation;
And the way we act, is a part of your creation.
Remember that when you question why we are how we are;
The warrior in us will always come out like the evening's first star.
Because you see, we was born with hostility in our veins;
Flowing down the street like dirty water after it rains...

-Dana Lonehill 10543-273
May 2, 2010
Waseca FCI
Waseca, MN
(my first prison poem, written upon arrival)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Here I Am

That's a saying from the inside, when someone shows up they start out by saying "Here I Am," and it used to annoy the hell out of me.
They also start each sentence or conversation with "Listen" because they are all attention whores. They been locked up so long, they want to make sure you hear them. So in a way I understand why they all talk like that. I mean, who was I but a short timer with a short little number? Like all the other short timers showing up in and out of their lives and daily routine of getting up at 5:30, showering-going to breakfast at 6-work at 7:30 and so on and so forth, same routine everyday for years without ever going anywhere away from there, unless it was in a book or if they were lucky enough to have figured it out, in their mind.
I made some good friends there and a couple of enemies.
And I'm not there, I'm here. Free to come and go without the use of a book or meditation. Free to wander wherever I want, whether that be physically, spiritually, or mentally.
Yet every day, EVERY DAY, I think about it. I think about them. Those I left behind who still have time in that place. I don't ever want to go there again EVER but every day I can't help to think about all of it.
And I want to cry.
But I won't cry because I am out here, where they want to be. If it wasn't for the sisters I made in there, I wouldn't have gotten through the halfway house as strongly as I did. I wouldn't be able to maintain my sobriety so strongly.
Maybe I'm one of those people that draw strength from others, hopefully it don't take away from them to do that,
yes, I think of that god awful place everyday and of them, locked up as society's outcasts, bottom of the barrel, criminals, and I know it makes me a stronger person.
Because I know that's how people see me, other than my true friends, and immediate family. I am no better than Timothy McVeigh, Charles Manson, or Lindsay Lohan. I have experienced a shift in attitude to those who now think of me as pond scum, but still talk as if they still like me.
And they might make jokes, like we are still all cool, but I can feel their opinions as if they stood up in my soup and screamed them at me.
But I'm cool with that, people have a right to opinions. I have no more explanations for my past, IT IS WHAT IT IS.
I'm still me and
"Here I Am."

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Best Letter Ever

I wrote dozens of letters to my sons while I was away. I told them they didn't have to write to me, because it was too sad to hear everything that was going on in my absence. Plus I talked to them on the phone, followed them in the old newspaper I used to write for, which my old boss sent to me on a weekly basis, Thank you very much. It almost felt like I was there to read about their football and wrestling careers. Almost.
But almost didn't cut it, I wanted them to know that I thought of them on a daily basis. I wanted to connect with them on a deeper level. So I sat down in my bunk and wrote what was supposed to be a congratulatory letter to my son on his team winning the World Series, after all I had experienced the same joy, not only the year before but 6 times in my lifetime. It's not only a joy, that is easy to get used to, but a joy like no other. This was a level I can really connect with my boys on, baseball. So this is it...The Best Letter Ever

Dear Boys,
I thought it was finally time I talked to you about something. If this isn't the most important letter you get from me, it will be the one you never forget. Don't worry this isn't the dreaded talk know what, or the ol' birds and the bees. Because, well this isn't the 50's and I know you all watch R rated movies.

This letter is about love. Pure love. Since you are all about to be men, you need to know about love from a woman's point of view, more importantly from your mother.

You see before your father, I had a first love, a love that has been the one constant in my life. A love that was always there for me, through thick and thin and it never left me.

This love is baseball.

Baseball took my heart during the 1977 World Series. I was 5 years old. I had come in from playing outside to chaos and madness. MY mother and grandmother (Grandma Jeaneen and Grandma Dod) were screaming and jumping up and down. Grandma would kick my mom out the front door and she would sneak back in the back door.

I sat down to watch the TV and see what brought out the madness in these women.
It was baseball. World Series, Game 6. The Dodgers vs. The Yankees. (This is when I sold my soul to the Yankees.)Reggie Jackson hit three home runs that game. He became Mr. October and I became a fan.

You see the deal with baseball, is that it is magical, for those who love it. Players and fans alike. Nowhere else will you see the kind of magic baseball can bring you. It's the magic we live for all summer. That magic of coming back to win it by one-bottom of the 9th-bases loaded-full count-crack of the bat-out of the park-stealing home-pitching a no hitter-kind of magic.
I saw such magic. Maybe not in real life and maybe it was on TV but I've seen such magic.
I gt to see Rickey Henderson break the stolen base record. I saw Cal Ripken outlast the Iron Horse, Lou Gehrig. I saw Mark McGwire break Roger Maris' homerun record that held up for decades, then I saw Sammy Sosa soon follow. I saw the Twins go from worst to first in 91. And, yes I saw the Red Sox win it (finally) after 84 years. I also saw your grandma go from being a Yankee fan, to a Red Sox, fan to a Yankee fan. It don't work like that and hopefully someday I can forgive her for that. I saw Darryl Strawberry comeback, again and again. I saw Nolan Ryan pitch a no hitter at age 44.
I saw my Yankees win it all many, many, many times, including breaking in their new home. But I also saw them go out this year, or rather I heard it on the radio, walking around to get better reception.
Congratulations Ty, your team went all the way this year, now you know how it feels, but don't get used to it, my team will be back. Don't let your dad try to claim any of that glory, he's a stinkin' Mets fan. He was never a Giants fan.
Ask him how heartbroken I was to sell our Reggie Jackson 1971 Topps for gas money two years before he hit the hall of fame. Or how we lost our entire baseball card collection in storage. It still hurts.
There is no love like baseball, my sons, hold it in your heart always because you clearly get that from your mother.

Love & baseball

P.S. I hope you remember that plan we made back in '06. When I go to the big baseball stadium in the sky, which is the old Yankee stadium, I'm sure because clearly God is a Yankee fan. I still want my ashes spread by the shortstop in Yankee stadium. Not on a sticky beer spill in the stands Jalen, but by shortstop. Of course you will all be arrested for trespassing but there will be further plans for your bail, since you will all be in your 70's.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This ain't no fucking country club.

play this and read on. (my new theme song, at least for today)

Something hit the side of my bed. I sucked in my breath and opened my eyes, I hate being woken up and it scared the crap out of me.
There was a flashlight in my face, I couldn't see anything.
Get dressed and come with me. -A harsh whisper.
Why? -I whisper back, what the fuck was this shit?
Just get dressed and come with me- harsh whisper again.
I was kind of scared, because I was thinking of stupid movies like Sleepers and shit where the guard have their way with inmates. But then again there was no way, out of all the bitches here I was gonna make some guards lust list. Not with all these bitches that got real time.
I get dressed warmly cuz it's winter and chances are, I was going to a different building, plus as I woke up, I really woke up and realized I was probably going to pee in a cup.
This is such bullshit. I thought. I know plenty of chicks that snort wellbutrins, but I am not one of them. Shit I didn't even snort shit on the outs. WHAT THE FUCK!! I was pissed as I trudged through the snow in the middle of the night. I glared at the snow, because it had the nerve to sparkle inside the prison compound.
Sure enough, I get there and 4 other random chicks are waiting, all pissed off, swollen eyes.
They give us the schpeel, 2 hours to piss or we go to the SHU, which in Hollywood terms is "the hole."
One girl wants to go first because she has work at 5 am.
The next chick comeout, she couldn't pee, got nervous and I think she crapped she was apologizing and saying something about the chili for lunch.
The next chick also couldn't go, she got nervous.
I went, I could pee in the middle of the night, I knew I could.
I follow the female guard into the bathroom, I've done this before for drug tests.
No big deal.
I get in the stall.
Undress.-she orders.

I said take everything off-she commands
Are you serious? I ask
I have done this before, but not when I was awoken at 2am.
BITCH BITCH BITCH FUCKING WHORE -my mind screams at her as she watched me take every stitch off.
She has me do the drill, which I know. Even the bend over and spread em routine which is the most humiliating thing in the whole fucking universe, just to remind you that you have no dignity, no control, and that you are scum, scraped off the scum stuck on the bottom of a scum bucket.
After I do the drill, she says I have to pee naked.
Ok- I nod, thinking what the fuck. She watches me take the cup and plop down. I want to cry, but I put myself here.
I can't pee.
C'mon bladder, fucking produce so this bitch will quit looking at me- I beg my bladder.
I'm still holding in tears.
Fucking bladder, I look up and she's looking at me holding a cup on the toilet in my birthday suit.
Stupid rotten fucking whore, I scream at her within the confines of the gray matter.
Then I quit screaming at her in my mind and think of peeing. I think about it so hard that I can feel the urge, then finally I go. I'm so nervous I go, like all over the cup. But I don't give a fuck, I peed. Right?
I give her the cup.
Disgusting-she says
Yeah thank you slutbucket-I answer within myself.
Get dressed and follow me out.
I wash my hands and get dressed.
She bitches to the dude guards about how disgusting I am to pee all over the cup, I was never good at positioning that right anyways, I don't give a fuck, fuck her. She's the one that will still be here after I walk out these doors. This is her fucking life looking up scumbuckets asses, all for a pension. I hoped my pee spilled all over her. Fucker.
My drug test cleared, I was told to go back to my unit and go to bed.
Fuck this place, I thought on the walk back. Anyone who had the nerve to think we was living it up off their tax money needs to let the feds control their lives for one hour and see how they like it.
Yeah I know we all "deserved" it, but it's no fucking Disneyworld.
It's no country club, and it certainly wasn't a vacation.
Even if the fucking snow has the nerve to sparkle. I kicked at the sparkling snow as I was sent back inside, in the still of the winter night.

Friday, May 13, 2011

um, yeah, this went down.

My mama at the Pita Pit
Ma: I would like two Humus Pitas, please
Drive thru chick: Um ok I can't get the total right so just pull up
(mom pulls up wondering if the Pitas are big enough for my vegetarian sisters.)
Ma: How big are they
Drive thru chick: What
Ma:The pitas, how big are they?
Drive thru chick: They're $8.43
Ma: No but how big are they? I might want 2 more falafel ones.
Drive thru chick:You ordered small ones.
Ma: I don't recall ordering any size. I think I need two more. Can I get two more?
Drive thru chick:Um, NO.
Drive thru chick: But thats OK! (Drive Thru chick closes window)
My mom is in shock. 'Where am I?' she says to us.
Drive thru chick opens window "That will be $8.43.
Ma: Since I can't order more...(She hands over her twenty.)
Drive thru chick: It's ok! They are really filling. (She's like a size 0, she makes change.)
Drive thru chick: $15.67 is your change
(She turns and looks at her screen and turns back to my mom)
Drive Thru chick: That will be $8.43, please?
Ma: I just paid you.
Drive thru chick: No, you didn't, did you?
Ma: Take me home. (to my brother)

Seriously, I busted a gut. OMG it was too fuckin funny. It was great.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Strong and Independent

After this whole year of being gone,the last three out of her life, and her out of mine. We spent some time together today and it was good. We went to the park and she wore me out. I sat awhile and watched her play. She is so independent, to a point where it's scary but it's also good. She will be a strong woman in this lifetime, I can see it. It's scary to have a daughter and know that she will experience the heartaches and joys of womanhood. She is already too independent, I know I can't be that controlling type of mother with her, also because that is not me. I've had friends with nagging mothers who got all involved in their love lives and such, my mom knew when I was making mistakes but she let me make them. She let me live,love, laugh and cry and she was there....always in the end to tell me it was going to be ok and that I was a strong, independent woman tha didn't need to be needed. I had a hard time this past year and a half but I did it because I knew I could, and I knew my mom and daughter would be there when I was done.
I plan to let her be the strong independent woman she was born to be.
And I will be there when she needs me.
What a good day it was, today.
Also, I taught her how to swing without being pushed. :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Cheesecake Log (from the inside)

1 cup cream cheese
1 disposable cup of vanilla pudding
1/2 cup of countrytime lemonade mix (dry)
1 cup of creamer (non dairy powder-dry)

1 pack of Pecan Sandies cookies

1 small trash bags (or saran wrap)
1 bucket of ice (or a fridge)

Crumble cookies into oblivion, mix crumbs with hot water until it's a tough dough. Roll dough out onto the trash bag (ok saran wrap, in the free world.)

Mix cream cheese, vanilla pudding, lemonade mix, and creamer with small amount of hot water. Don't let it get watery. Mix well and spead over cookie crumb dough. You can add small pieces of snickers (my fave) for Snickers cheesecake. Roll with the plastic wrap into a log and let chill either in ice water or in fridge...another free world luxury. When it's chilled you should be able to slice off a piece of cheesecake.
Of course this is the free world and you can just go buy a cheese cake, but this was one of the small ways, using commisarry items, people made their time go easier or celebrated each other's birthdays.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dana Dane-Revised

There was so many things I was supposed to do according to all the 10 year plans I made in my life. Some of these plans I made in daydreams. Some in jail, doing eight hour stints, some in job interviews....some with career counselors and some in various treatment settings. I'm done with ten year plans. Christ, I'm nearly 40 now, I highly doubt I need to plan until I'm 50. How do you pencil in Cougar years-mid life crisis-start looking at younger men----teasing! That's one family tradition I don't want to follow. Anyways,I'm done with 10 year plans because I am still me, know what I mean? Not necessarily new and improved, although I feel brand new, it's more like...
So the me that I am now is taking care of her spirit.
I am strong...still.....barely. Oh the number of times I wanted to curl in a ball and cry my eyes out. But I couldn't. I had to stay strong for me.
And for my kids.
The new me realizes she has choices. And opportunities.
This is my time to stay sober,and know that it is a choice.
My choice. My opportunity.
Let's do this.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Home Free

well this city is home now...I am at my mom's house. I wrote sooooooooooo much while I was locked up. I learned so much about my self in the past year. I been counting down to this day FOREVER on a little notepad.
First off
I will never be a lesbian because it didn't happen yet after the ultimate test.
I am in perfect health except for I need to lose wieght which I lost 35 pounds in county but plateau-ed in prison because I worked in the kitchen.
My blood pressure is slightly high so I am on meds for that and it's now normal.
My daughter is the most amazing beautiful girl child in the world. She is 7 and obsessed with dinosaurs.
And I have discovered new heros.
My sons.
They are the strongest men I know other than my dad, but maybe stronger than him.
They are going to be seniors in high school, one is going for a Bill Gates scholarship, the other is a steady 3.0. They were honored a couple of weeks ago along with their wrestling team for being on honor roll all season. They didn't make it to state but they made second round play offs in football and Ty made all conference while Jalen made honorable mention. And all this and still strong enough to NOT use alcohol and drugs. Truly amazing.....don't get me wrong I'm sure they still fart and throw dirty socks around.
They are still at home along with Stephon and their dad.
I am sooo fortunate their dad stepped in and my mom had Justice because I met so many girls that lost their kids.
And I saw so much inside.
I saw people's daughters, mothers, sisters, wives, grandmothers....locked up with me. Yeah we made mistakes, but we were still somebody's mom. And that want of freedom is hard, so hard it's a pain. I feel for the sisters I made in there and left. And I remember it's what we did, not who we are.