It has been quite a while since I’ve posted anything here, at least a month, but I often think about it. I drum up ideas that never make it to the blog, and some of them are great ideas, but I tell myself that, in order to write something truly moving, I need some time. I convince myself that I don’t have the time, but I do. My procrastination gets the better of me, causing me to do nothing instead of doing something. I sometimes wonder if this penchant for procrastination is something that carried over from my old prison days. Is it something that just spilled over into my free life? Is it even procrastination? Maybe I’m calling it “procrastination” but it’s actually something else.
While inside I read a lot, exercised, played handball, and wrote letters to family. If I were suddenly thrown back in time to a random moment on a random day of my 9-year stint, there is a great likelihood that, upon arriving, I would find myself doing one of the four things I previously mentioned. The other thing that occupied much of my time was the studying of people in my surroundings, their facial expressions, actions, words, mannerisms, and arriving at a logical conclusion about their personality, character and life based upon the information I gleaned from “studying” them. Eventually I got to a point where I really trusted these conclusions I would arrive at. These studies and conclusions assisted me in navigating my way through that inside world.
I thought much about writing, about producing well-written memoirs and fictional stories. I read books about writing. I took an English Comp college correspondence course through Ohio University that helped to improve my writing. I wrote scenes arbitrarily, whenever the mood struck, random scenes that sounded like they could be from the midway point of a book, just for practice. I wrote rap songs, poems (just a few), letters, and I copied excerpts from books that I’d read, not just any excerpts, no, I copied paragraphs that really moved me.
I would lay on my bunk at night, on my back, fingers interlocked, creating a seat for my head to rest upon, staring at the ceiling. I enjoyed those quiet moments when I could replay the days events in my mind, when the whole of me could convene and discuss the best way to handle various situations. Those silent bedtime moments were reserved for clandestine meetings, board meetings attended by my many selves, that decided my moves for the following day. The “many selves” I’m referring are born from either an indecisive mind or one that wants to stretch in too many directions at once. There was the part of me that wanted to go home, the part that wanted to make sure I wasn’t perceived as weak, the part that wanted to learn, the part that didn’t want to disappoint my family, the part that needed to stop any aggressive behavior towards me, the part that needed to outwit the C.O.’s, and many other parts, you get it. All of these representatives convened on a nightly basis to discuss the best course of action over the next twenty-four hours.
Anything I did involved a degree of solitude, even when in the company of others I had to maintain a level of “one-mindedness,” just in case an emergency meeting needed to take place. I needed to ensure that there was always space for the unanimity of self. Other people were just a distraction. When I initially got saved, when God and Christ found me, at sixteen years old, praying and crying in a cell in Broward County Jail, there was this revelation of a world I had only heard about, a spiritual world where God reigned, and from that moment on I was a Christian. I was introduced to my self, God’s son, a spiritual being. But, while in prison, knowing my spiritual identity, I still realized I was a body, trapped in a world full of other bodies and other spirits who had intentions that didn’t align with my own. I was this physical entity just floating through the world, and I didn’t have to be in accord with other people. That was a sort of a secondary revelation, that I was living in my own world, not someone else’s.
I began this piece with a question: Is my putting things off ‘procrastination,’ or something else? Almost everything requires some form of social interaction and, not sure if you’ve noticed, but I spent a great deal of time alone, in my cell, reading or writing or thinking, so I don’t look towards social interactions with excitement. I might actually experience quite the opposite. And, as I stated earlier, even when I was amongst friends, I was still taking pleasure in the world of my own thoughts, much more so than the company of others. I began with a question. I’ll end with a few. Does procrastination even matter? Is not my God enough? Why worry about trivialities? If and when it’s his will, it will be done. But to provide some sort of answer to that question, “Is it procrastination, or something else,” I must say, “It’s something else.” My reasoning is that my God is perfect and, when I was born into his family, in spirit, I was made perfect in his infinite perfection, and I cannot move forward without his approval. Procrastination? Nah, I’m just waiting on Him to give me the word.