[The following words are excerpts from back and forth letters between myself and my imprisoned homie – Prince]
Me: Yo Prince, this is Elliot... Man, this life can be such a cruel bastard. I feel for you. I don’t know what it’s like to be in your shoes, but I feel for you. I just wanted to let you know I haven’t forgotten you and I never will. No matter what the world says about you, no matter what labels they put on you, I’ll always hold you in high regard. Ever since we’ve been friends, you’ve been an extremely loyal person, and I always respected you for that… Please let me know how you’re doing in there. Do they let you hoop? Your mom told me you just got into a fight with some dude. It seems as though the gladiator spirit is still in you.
Prince: Dear E-man, What’s good bro, how you doing? I hope and pray that you’re fairing well… To be brutally honest and real, (don’t take this the wrong way), but I didn’t really expect to hear from or communicate with any of you guys until I made it home. So I was kind of surprised when the guard dropped off the letter and it had your name on it, but still it was like a breath of fresh air to hear from you and I appreciate it man, because it really gave me a good feeling, and more than that it was a reminder to me that I will be coming home soon and that there are folks outside of my daughter, mom and immediate family that actually do care about me and keep me in their thoughts. (Thanks.)… Yea I’m fine man, thanks for asking. I did get into a lil’ bullshit squabble not too long ago though, nothing major, I just had to touch this guy up a lil’ bit. I broke his jaw, but inadvertently broke my fuckin’ hand, but I think it’s pretty much healed up now… This shit bothers me more mentally than anything, knowing that I’m missing valuable years from my own life that I can’t get back; Man I just turned 25 this July on the 23rd, and since I was 15 or 16, I been in and out of fuckin’ jail, that’s 10 yrs Elliot dog 10 yr!!! And I’m tired of this shit man, and I’m getting old, well not getting old, but Time ain’t slowing down or making no exemptions or exceptions for no one. That’s what bothers me dog, but I’ll never let it break me ya dig. I just use this whole experience as an opportunity to better and build myself physically, and enlighten myself intellectually and spiritually... Yea they do let us hoop, we go to rec for 2 hours everyday, but I don’t play ball as much as I used to because these niggas cry too fuckin much, and if you hoop you gotta expect some kind of whiny bullshit drama to come with it, and you know sometimes I snap kind of quick, and here it’s all about respect, and if someone disrespects you, you have to handle it accordingly on the spot… I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to write me to make sure I’m still breathing. I always knew you were one of my true comrades and I thank you for recognizing and returning the loyalty that I’ve displayed over the years… It’s extremely hard to find loyalty, honor and integrity amongst your friends, peers, and mankind period as a whole. Man it’s motherfuckas that I put my life on the line for, gave my last dollar to, and put their well-being before my own, time and time again, and I ain’t heard shit from them. Not that I expect them to or hold it against them in anyway, because one thing I’ve learned about people, is not to get your hopes high and put all of your repose into a person, because that person can only be his or herself, and you can’t expect anything more or less from them, and you have to learn to accept that person for whoever he or she is flaws, faults and all, but the catch to me is doing that while maintaining your righteousness and not subjugating to the immoral and subpar standards and dogmas that overshadow their life in negative unproductive ways.
Me: I should have known you’d be holding it down wherever you find yourself, but I just had to check up on your well being anyway. I didn’t want to have to embark upon a ruthless RAMPAGE! Man, I’m glad you haven’t lost hope, and that your heart is still crazy strong despite everything. There’s no sense in giving up until you breathe your last dying breath.
As for me, I’ve just been trying to find my way… I don’t know, truthfully in my heart of hearts, I’d really like to just wander the earth and write stories. My thoughts always get caught up in the eternal perspective, and how I view my position within the grand scheme of things. I mean you only got 75 years to do what you gotta do, and then this earthly existence is finished. I just want to be a simple man that tried his best to live out his heart.
Prince: You know I’m still holdin’ it down, tryin’ to turn a negative into a positive, and make the best of my situation (HOPE IS STILL ALIVE!!!)… You can never let go of your dream, not sayin’ that you have, but you have to actively grind, go after and stay in constant pursuit of the goals in your heart.
Me: You’re right about pursuing your dreams, about it being a total effort, something that consumes you daily. It seems that most people have to pay a steep price in order to follow their heart… In the end, I feel as though when I’m writing stories I’m doing what I need to be doing, fulfilling my purpose, embracing my essence, at least that’s how it feels, I could just be a loon.
Prince: I have a lot of lucrative ideas, (legal) ideas that I could use some help with. I mainly want to help at risk youth, you know kids that are like how I was when I was young. I want to start a Boy’s and Girl’s home for kids that have become wards of the state, and provide them with righteous activities, so when they get to that fork in the road, they pick the Right path and choose not to venture down the wrong one like I did. That’s just one of my goals I plan on achieving throughout my philanthropic journey through this enigmatic life.
Me: The Boys and Girls Club idea sounds like an idea worth trying. It’s hard out there when you’re a young person in this world trying to figure things out, and you don’t know what the hell you really want or what you really stand for, and it’s even harder for those that don’t have many positive influences surrounding them as they grow into adults. So any organization or institution that can help the young ones realize their inner essence, realize their meaning is something I think is worthwhile, and helpful to society at large. Maybe you might want to try volunteering at various Boys and Girls clubs to get an idea of how they run their operation. I definitely think you have a lot to offer to others considering your vast experiential knowledge, and your heart.
Prince: I want to help these kids become great adults, all the while leading them down industrial work paths; politics, entertainment, military, the oil fields, education, social work, law enforcement, etc. This is on a wider, more futuristic long term scale, but did you ever see the movie, “The Departed.” Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that we use our influence over anyone for ill means, but if you remember the movie, Jack Nicholson raised Matt Damon in a literal and figurative sense; pickin the certain schools he went to, the programs he partook in and the kids he hung around with, all the way up to him going through the police academy and becoming a detective. Now remember I’m not saying that we should take advantage or use anyone for anything derogatory, but can you kind of see where I’m going with this, (The children really are truly are our future) and I say that to ask you, don’t you think We should have more authority, and influence over what goes on in our future.
Me: The children are indeed our future, although they are a tough thing to manage, given that there are all these forces outside of our control determining how children grow up – biology, society, peers, parenting, etc. At the societal level there is always a need for programs to specifically target the youth, particularly those of the impoverished lower class, there is always a need for people to establish those types of programs, to run those types of programs, and get funding for those types of programs. And then at the personal level it’s obvious that children imitate what they see, they learn from us and if they see bad things there is a high probability they’ll be into bad things, so setting those positive examples of how a person should conduct themselves is a vital step in the process. But when I think about all these matters, I know that I can sometimes get too caught up in idealism and I have to remind myself about the way this world operates, because making real changes in society is a hard and slow process - we’re up against so many established forces that are bigger than us, and it kind of makes me feel pathetic, powerless and paralyzed when I really think about it, but I try not to lose heart, even when I’m up against the goliath that is society, I always remember the story of David, and that even a goliath can be killed by the smallest of people, if god so wills it.
Prince: As far as the comments you made about us making a change, and trying not to lose heart because of the established forces that we are up against. This is a rhetorical fact that we all know, “Nothing happens over night, and nothing worth having comes instantly.” I say that to say that no matter what may be ahead of you, nothing is impossible, and anything can be accomplished through diligence, dedication, determination, and discipline. The big corporate giants and established forces, didn’t become that strong and powerful within the blink of an eye, neither will they be dismantled and brought under complete subjugation with the snap of my fingers, but it can and will happen. It has happened in the past and it will again, an example being the biggest institution that America was built upon “Slavery.” It took years of war physical and political, but so God willed it like you said and so it was abolished. The first step in any process is truly believing wholeheartedly and having indomitable faith in your cause, and that will ultimately manifest that idea into the inner fibers of the universe. (Believe)
Me: I can feel the hopefulness and confidence through the strength of your words. I know this world would have to kill you before they could crush your spirit…
Prince: One thing I can thank this place for is reuniting me with my thirst for wisdom, knowledge and understanding, reintroducing me with the euphoric joy and fulfillment a true pupil of life and the universe receives from learning, refamiliarizing me with the strength, power, respect, and admiration you encounter from friends, followers, and even foes when you have a highly spiritually enlightened aura and simplistically Divine way of thinking and reasoning… When I come home, I plan to work, and work my plans until they work for me. I’m a “3 time felon,” more than that if you count my juvenile record, which these hypocritical, contradictional, porky the pig mother fuckers always do, so putting my dreams on hold isn’t an option, because I know this isn’t all I got, but I have an undying faith that this is the main reason that God put me here; and I will fulfill my prewritten destiny, with only God alone if I have to.
Me: I recently ran into a bit of misfortune. I totaled my car, which wasn’t so bad a situation, because no one got hurt, although the lady I crashed into was rather annoying. She kept asking me “Why did you crash into me?” I had an urge to be cruel and say, “Well, because I love crashing into people. It’s my thing.” I kept my cool, and didn’t say anything mean, despite my urges to do so. And then on that same day, my grandpa (on my dad’s side) passed away into the great beyond. You know when your blood dies it just feels like a part of you dies. I know his spirit and his name will live on in me, so that gives me comfort. It just really makes you think how temporary and fleeting this life thing really is.
I wanted to ask your permission to publish parts of the letters you have sent me on my blog. Partly, because I think you have enlightening things to say. And partly, because I really want to include the thoughts and ideas of those who have helped shape and mold my mindset. If you don’t want me to, I’ll respect that, I just thought I’d run it by you.
Prince: I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather. May he R.I.P. Tell your pops and the rest of the fam I send my love, prayers and condolences, but I’m sure that life and age has granted you both the wisdom to realize that we all have our time here… It’s not like I’m scared of death, because me and him/her whichever form it chooses to take, have had more conversations than I’d like to recall. But what bugs me is like what I said before about us only having a certain amount of time here. Now, how do you tell a person that is so affectionately in love with life itself, OK it’s check out time. But I know everything isn’t meant for us to understand because we are only half god; supreme beings rulers of the planet! The other half human, emotional, instinctive, natural animalistic drones… Hopefully by the time I’m 35 or 40 they’ll have created an immortality serum… And in regard to you airing our written conversations, of course it’s cool with me. I’m brutally honest. I don’t have shit to hide from anyone… Most folks that are incarcerated will tell you that time on the inside moves slow, and it may seem like that at first glance but once you get a firm grasp on your reality in here, and get a true understanding, thus receiving a moment of cosmic consummation about how time in here works, you actually find yourself at the realization of how fast time really is moving…in here, because in the world a lot of people take time for granted unbeknownst to the fact that you’re in an extremely accelerated format of time, but sometimes this is what it takes for regular people to comprehend fully the inner workings of time and what’s at stake.