I hold my picture to the glass.
He squints to focus on the figures there.
I swallow and will my tears to retreat. I can hear my heartbeat. This is not the place for tears. The lack of physical touch must be difficult for an affectionate man. A man of endless hugs and handshakes. My heart breaks. This is all his fault, or is it? Abuse of substances and people, turns into more of the same. Generations of pain, and sadness. The madness. Prison was nothing new. Prison is something passed down to you. I will find the key. Unlock the doors. We will not be locked in this prison anymore.
Rosa sits impatiently as opinions flow around the room. Her twin toddlers, Ava and Enrique, are clearly in the forefront of her thoughts. “Can we put this killer in prison, already? “, Rosa finally belted out. James, the “old school” seventy-two year old veteran, seemed convinced that, "The accused", Charles, was guilty from the start. Our randomly selected group of so-called average people...how could we be knowledgeable enough to determine someone’s innocence or guilt? Why would we be gate keepers standing to slam the metal bars and throw away the key? Am I too sympathetic? Empathetic? Naive? Charles, referred to by the judge as, “The suspect in question”, couldn’t have murdered his parents. His demeanor was somber and broken, yet he was the only one home..well, he and his ten-year old sister Sara, who allegedly never woke up during the sounds of bullets ripping through walls and doors; the sound of bullets shattering her mother’s leg; her father’s skull and arm. The sound of her mother’s last pleas for help and mercy before suffering a fatal shot. Did Sara’s fear convince her to rationalize the noises as part of a dream, or a scary movie playing in the den? Yet, the 11 other jurors are convinced Charles is guilty; but, beyond a reasonable doubt?! Juror #3, Bill; a regular, “Good ’Ole Boy”, couldn’t reason his way out of finding Charles guilty. Charles had been to the gun range every Sunday for the past year; according to his sister’s convincing testimony, but does that make him guilty? Apparently Bill thought so. Who could possibly provoke their eyes to create that many real tears? That was Bill’s reasoning for why he thought Sara had no part in the killings. Young blonde girls just drip with the appearance of innocence. At least much more than a young guy like Charles; dyed-black hair, painted finger nails, and a piercing in any tiny area of his body that didn't already have a tatoo. Here I sit, jurror #7, having been taught to never judge a book by its cover, or be influenced to believe anything that I didn't know to be true. I need more proof, something solid to hang my hat on. Then, as we walk, for the third week in a row, single-file into the jury room, I realize something that not even the lawyer's had discovered. The reason why Charles was willing to go down for a murder he didn't commit. Afterall, wouldn't we all trade places and take any pain and punishment, to save our own child?
The sunlight beams through the small window, forcing me to waken. I feel like I was drugged; or maybe I'm still drunk or just hungover. Squinting, I can't seem to shake the glassy haze blurring my vision. The cold concrete under my bare feet jolts me into focus before my eyes are ready for it. Why am I so sore, and stiff? It must be the lack of a mattress on the steel frame I'm now sitting on. Glancing around the room, I realize that there are vertical metal bars, and concrete walls. What happened last night? I wish more than anything, except for maybe a bottled water, that I could remember last night, or two nights ago? I've only been here for one night, right?? I wish something would jog my memory; I can't seem to remember anything! I hear faint voices coming from another room. I'm not fluent in spanish, but I hear them talking about last night's futbol match. Spanish? That's right! The futbol match that buddies and I came south to watch, but I don't think we made it there; or did we? Where are the other guys? I can't wait to tell them that I survived a night in a Mexican jail! I don't remember changing clothes, so that's horrifying. I'm now wearing orange prison attire that is at least two sizes too big. Not sexy, but my stories with undoubtedly "Impress the ladies", at the next gathering. I assume that it's the guards I hear laughing incessantly; then they come around the corner, into my view. They are making gestures with their fingers as if they are holding something tiny, and pointing at me while they continue their chuckling. They point to the small, outdated television on the distant table. I struggle to focus, yet at the same time, unfortunately, my memory begins to come into focus. It's the post-game show for last night's futbol match. I watch in horror, as I see myself strip naked, and sprint across the futbol field, just before being tackled onto my back. The small blur on the screen can't be excused by my previously blurred vision. I wish last night was still a blur.
I'm the goddess of wine
You're the god, that is fine
But, I'm more of an expert of course.
You guzzle it down
While believing your words are profound
Not respecting the work I put forth.
I've been stomping and tasting
While, you're busy wasting
The most precious commodity you claim.
Don't worry just sip
I'll stomp with my hands on my hips
While you gluttenly rise up to fame.
The smile on your face
You know you've been put in your place
So I'll leave you to put on a show.
Your wit can charm any crowd
Drink up, that's what you're all about
Hope you enjoyed this light-hearted roast.
Creeping through the trenches
The madness numbed what I once feared
Piercing sounds no longer startle me
Bring the wrath; that's what you owe me
Fighting 'til the end; there's no way out
Our souls are damaged; innocence shattered
We're not the same; can't right the wrongs
Can't remember what's alright, and what is wrong
There's no revenge; on my prayers I'm choking
Have the gates of heaven closed, or still cracked open?
Sweet revenge doesn't reflect winning
Our lives have soured, and now they're ending.
So weak; you felt intimidated.
I was obviously out of your league.
The time I wasted, stroking your ego;
You should have been bowing at my feet
The evil thoughts; the wicked plans;
All the pain I could inflict.
The fantasies that crossed my mind;
How I could make you not exist.
What if I posted all the pictures;
What if they knew how much you cried?
How you begged that night, down on your knees;
You would do nothing but deny.
Such a sad excuse for a man;
So weak in your manipulative monologues.
My Mom was right; "You always get fleas,
when you lie around with dogs".
So many days, I felt the cloud cover,
creating a darkness over my heart.
When all you were had finally lifted,
My revenge was, it was you, who fell apart.
I thought that I might waller
I would hold my head and cry;
but the peace that overwhelmed me
shocked the little girl inside.
No one else can hold the power.
No bitterness can encase
a heart that has found healing,
growing and learning from it's mistakes.
Breathing became easy.
My mind was intent on letting go.
I felt a lifting of the heaviness,
that once kept me moving slow.
Jesus wrapped his arms around me;
around the home that couldn't stand.
I blindly reached out for an escape,
and I grasped his steady hand.