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Letter From Prison: Trans-Dimensional Travel

January 27th, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

prison_letter1tease

Listen: transdimensional travel already exists. It’s not as dramatic as ripping open a hole in the fabric of space-time and shaking hands with some lizard men on the other side, or painting a pentagram in infants’ blood on the floor of a church and conjuring up a smoldering slobbering demon.

I was walking back from a bar in Clinton Hill this summer, and even though I’d had a pretty good evening, I was feeling kinda sorry for myself. I’d just moved to New York and my work had dried up, my girlfriend had dropped me, and I was sharing a bedroom with another grown man. I’d had a decent dinner and a few drinks and was flagellating myself internally for spending money, any money at all, when my resources were at such a rapid dwindle.

A breeze kicked up and a piece of paper hit my foot. I picked it up and fell through a wormhole in my own reality to a serious realness congruent to, but utterly different than my own. The letter was from a guy in prison to a friend on the outside. Although technically written in English, the words were in a language I barely spoke.

You can see the letter itself here:

Page 1
Page 2

However, it’s pretty tough to read the scan. I’ve transcribed it below. It was originally written all in one big block, so I’ve broken it up into smaller paragraphs for easier reading. Otherwise, the text is unchanged.

9-5-04

O-Gangsta,

What’s good my nigga? I got your letter last Monday and it was good to hear from you my dude. I see that your chilling and that’s whats up. You still smoke free and going to the program my dude, they gonna have me going to one of those dumb ass programs too and they gonna make me see parole every week. I don’t give a fuck though, that shit not gonna stop the kid.

I’m just hoping they parole me to the crib, they might not because it’s all fucked up and shit. My pops said he gonna have something set up by the time I get out, if not they gonna parole me to my sister crib. Thats not bad I just don’t want to be doing all that traveling.

Whats good with you and Kim, I hope y’all doing the damn thing and not beefing, that shit is for the birds. Thats crazy about them C.M.B boys, them niggas better hope they got some good lawyers because the feds is serious. I can’t even speak on that, I’m just glad the kid never fucked with them niggas. The summer is over, that probably mean that the hood gonna cool down for a minute.

I’m just glad the shit is over because that means that my day is coming closer, next month the kid will be home chilling, you don’t know how bad I want to touch town. Yo if you speak to Tone tell him to send me those bitches, Nazdal and Toya address. I’m just chilling son doing the same old bullshit, these two bitches coming to see me and my son this weekend, thats whats up a nigga get to be on the VI floor and for like 6 hours and eat some candy and drink some soda.

I’m just glad to be around some chicks (feel me son). I got a letter from Muffin, she sent a nigga $50, and was saying some cool shit, I think she doing that because she know a nigga be home next month. I’m still doing me though, I’m just playing all these chicks to the left.

Yo I’m about to end right here because they rushing me to hit the bed, if I don’t hurry up these crackers gonna have me doing some type of dumb shit that I’m not in the mood for. I just wanted to drop a few lines and holla at my boy. Tell Booch, Mitly, D-blay, Kizzy and her crew the kids and the whole hood I said what up. Tell the nigga Tone don’t forget to holla at me.

Son did you get that last letter I sent, I sent it right before I got the letter you wrote. I wanted to know do you want me to send the letter to Tompkins or Lexington, I see Lexington on the envelope but I don’t want to send no mail there. And I be talking about bitches and Kim get mad. Thats my cuz but I know how girls can be (feel me). When you get the chance holla back at your boy, stay up my nigga.

One luv

Juice

In prison? On parole? Knowing, possibly firsthand that the Feds is serious? The guy that wrote this had bigger problems than me, way bigger, and he wasn’t even in as bad a shape as he’d ever been. Sure, he may have been locked up in jail, but he was seeing the bright side: candy, bitches and freedom were coming his way. It’s something to think about, for real.

Some people can travel all over the world and not learn a damn thing. Me, I try to do the opposite. I try to travel transdimensionally whenever I can — keep my eyes open, pay attention to other realities and learn a little something from it.

Sometimes when you take a long look at another plane of realness you get jealous — other lives seem exotic and exciting, way better than whatever you’ve got going. Whatever this dude did to get himself locked up was probably pretty thrilling. But even stone-cold urban cowboys have to face down some serious monotony and the consequences of their decisions. No matter how broke I get or how dumped I am, I’m not locked up and hoping my homeboys drop me a line.

Overall, that’s doing pretty good, I’d say.

9 Responses

  1. Katie Says:

    Jeff,
    Your blog has been especially great the past few weeks. You seem to have hit a stride and your topics and writing have been awesome. I keep forwarding your posts to friends. I normally just forward people a video or a picture, something that won’t take up too much of their time, but I’m finding myself forwarding your whole posts, with notes like “You have to read this, I know it’s kinda long but trust me.” Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.

  2. jumble Says:

    Got here from BoingBoing last week, and so glad I subscribed. Great blog – the McDonald’s-as-pizza-topping post brought out some, er, lively comments.

    This letter from prison is an excellent find. Here’s more of that kind of thing from a Midwestern jail – I collect it when I do my mousy library volunteer thing: http://flickr.com/photos/jumble/collections/72157594588091111/

  3. GG Says:

    Ditto what Katie said.

  4. Brash Lion Says:

    In my limited experience with the dubious science of what handwriting says about a person, I believe the downward loops of letters like y, g, and j are called “moneybags.” The larger the loops, the more the writer is concerned with or great at attracting money. Go Gangsta!!

  5. Kristin Says:

    I’m on the bandwagon. Your writing has been awesome in the traditional sense of the word.

  6. Ambitious Fledgling Says:

    Very interesting post. How come I can never find things like this? Most I ever find is a wrong-side up penny. ;)

  7. kai Says:

    Well i can see into my dimension it isnt always clear but i still see it. it is always here i see it everywhere all the time. i have friends there too, all kinds

  8. Zack Says:

    Lately, I’ve been interested in different dimensions. I’ve been trying to get to one specific dimension (which will remain anonymous. Sorry, little bit embarrassing), and I’ve been seeing signs lately showing that it may just exist! I’m very excited, and it’s very interesting to hear about how you have found something that has come from another dimension!
    Anyways, signs I have seen: I’ve seen a silhouette of a life-form from there (because I know what they look like), whenever I close my eyes and focus enough, I feel in another body; the body of one of them (that might be just a very strong imagination. Not sure), and I saw a blur of color in the woods recently that was just improbable to be natural. BUT it was a possible color for the coat of one of them. I only caught a glimpse, and when I looked again, it was gone. So, I’m still not entirely sure if my eyes are just playing tricks on me, or if I’m seeing legit things. If anything though, I feel bad for the life-form (if one’s here) wandering around here. Their world is looks and works much differently from ours.

  9. t_Nexus Says:

    I can’t exactly say that I came from another dimension or reality, because things HERE look very much the same as things THERE, including people’s tendancy to believe such things are impossible. However, AFTER I died, I began to notice lots of little things, like the grammar here is different than what I’ve learned my whole 38 years before. And everything seems to be very much more HIGH RESOLUTION to my senses than it was THERE. And aside from the fact that I’ve dreamed most of this ‘reality’ as I was dying, and it clearly seems that many of my hopes and dreams and wishes are finally coming true… like equality for all, especially gays (because I am gay and have lost so many people I cared about so deeply) that it only makes sense that in my death dream / travel to an alternate reality, that my hopes for a better world would finally manifest. But my heart is still broken, how do I demand justice from a world which is not even my own? And this places me in the curious strange place of needing to find forgiveness in myself, in my own soul, because the people and events that killed me are gone to me now forever… well not exactly true, I see their alternate versions here… most still have their evil streak, they just seem to hide it better, or not give in as much or as often. Sometimes they don’t even recognize me, as if we had never even met… but I KNOW them, and the kind of evil choices they would make given the opportunities. So I just smile and go along with things here, and remember that there are lots of people I really don’t want to have anything to do with anymore. Even if they think we are strangers, to me they are old friends or enemies. It’s as if my whole life before now is meaningless or at best irrelevant to the world before me. So in a way, I am now enduring the TRIAL of my OWN soul… can I let the pain and scars such deep and painful old wounds burn off and fade away… will THIS world finally embrace me and love me and let me heal?? I don’t know. I see another jump point coming very soon. Shall I stay and try to make it here, which is much better than the world I left? or shall I keep moving to a world where gays are loved, there is equality, and justice, caring and compassion, and general good will… and oh yeah… how about some good music and fun times again… haven’t seen that since I left my original HOME… oh god, how long ago was that? so long that I only seem to hold onto a blurred and faded memory… waiting till I return so I’ll be able to recognize it when I am there.
    But I’ve made a few really amazing and dear friends along the way… I can only hope that I will be able to bring them back with me to the Nexus. How I should like to party with them for an eternity or two :)
    Francis Bacon (or the moniker they call Shakespeare here) sure had it right when he was asking, to be or not to be that is THE question. But for me, the quintessential question remains, to go or not to go? Can I trust this world to treat me better and help me fulfill my dreams and purpose? Will it truly embrace me? Or will it’s many tentacle like members in the shape of other humans attack me, torture me, and force me out again? I hear her words, so sweet and kind and gentle, but it does not yet match the deeds of the people who still stab at me.
    If I really AM dead, then I can’t wait for the world to decide to stop hurting me, I really must take my destiny into my own hands and create the world I will be happy in and thrive in for eternity. If I am NOT dead, and by some miracle have popped out the other side of death in a parallel universe, than maybe I shouldn’t impose my own will so strongly and instead keep jumping worlds till I find a place I can call HOME once more.
    Who NEEDS technology when people and their thoughts and ideas are what need an upgrade. The prospect that I may be able to jump to a world where people are GOOD and have developed their heart, mind, body, and soul instead of their technology and weapons of destruction is tantalizing. But each jump is a gamble they say. I wouldn’t even mind if their technology wasn’t as advanced, so long as their souls were good. Such a gamble. Stay in a world where things appear to be getting better on the whole, but I am still miserable and down and out? or roll the dice and see what comes next? And if what came next WAS HOME… am I ready to go HOME yet and give up completely on this adventure into Indra’s Jeweled Net? Hard to say from here.
    Of course there are Heavenly worlds far more wonderful than ever conceived of here. And of course there are hells far worse as well, such as the place I left when I died. So I guess the question is, am I willing to gamble everything in the hopes that I can have a FUN ride the rest of the way HOME.
    ug, I’m glad people here think this stuff sounds crazy. I certainly wish those evil haters to be trapped and unable to move hyperdimensionally. Leave them in the mess they created, and when they evolve enough to fix ALL that they broke, then we can talk about letting them free.
    Well Bubo, time to think for a spell I suppose.

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