Welcome, welcome, please, come inside. What? Yes, yes, take off your shoes first. I hope that’s okay. Good, thank you. Go on, sit down, right there. That’s the most comfortable seat in the house. It’s for guests. Are you thirsty? Would you like something to drink? Oh, okay, maybe later, just let me know. I’m so happy you stopped by. Let’s chat a spell. There’s so much to say, you know, lots of catchin’ up to do.

Hmm, well, you will read things here, and you will see me read into things, many of which I presume you’ll agree with and, you know, others maybe not so much but, as friends, we agree to disagree. Right? I remember the first time I heard that phrase, hah, “agree to disagree,” it sounded so crazy, confusing, but I get it now, you know, it just means that we’re accepting of the fact that sometimes our views may be at odds, that’s all.

Ah, yes, it’s a funny name, Soul On Rice. I was inspired by Eldridge Cleaver’s Soul on Ice. I read it when I was…away…and…knowing that Eldridge Cleaver was also…away…for years, and how he was able to publish books and how he was self-taught and all, you see, it inspired me. What’s that word? The one for a self-taught person? It’s on the tip of my tongue, wait, yes, that’s it, an autodidact. Ha, ha. He was an autodidact.

I noticed you looking at the tattoo on my hand. I got it back when I was a kid, like 15 or 16. I’m not proud of it. I don’t want to remove it though. It’s the only thing I got as a reminder of that boy. Ha! He sure was buggy, mad as a hatter, that one. He’s a stranger to me now. Why, if I passed him on the street right now, I wouldn’t recognize him. I think prison helped save him from himself.

I recall those days clearly, not as vividly as I once could, the images aren’t as crisp, but the feelings, the emotions, those are still here. You don’t forget the feeling of being trapped, and the hate and the fear and the utter hopelessness, no, you don’t forget that. And while those are negative, I mean, most would say so, I don’t want to forget them, because I learned lessons from them. So, anyway, before they start dissipating, as the images are starting to do, well, I figured I’d write them down. I guess that’s mostly what this blog is about, an attempt to preserve those lessons.

And, uh, to follow up with what I was just saying, you know how a guy goes to prison, gets released, and is supposed to continue on like nothing happened? You know, like he’s supposed to hide it, be ashamed of it? He’s supposed to take this chunk, this significant portion, of his life and just bury it. You understand me, right? I am unwilling to do that, not anymore. That kid? He existed. He lived. So I guess this is also about self-preservation.

I think I caught myself rambling. Hope I didn’t bore you. Anyway, you see those books? Over there on the top shelf? Those are quotes and memoirs and musings by yours truly. You’ll find laughter and tears in them. Go ahead, look at’em, read’em. In a way I wrote them just for you. Grab one, open it up. Read…