I Fear They’re Going To Kill Him. . . Update On Jeff. . .

Jeff received a ticket for a dirty urine a few weeks ago.  This is the second one he has received since he has been in this prison.  The first time he lost his visits for a year and all of his privileges, phone included for nine months.  They kept him on Keeplock status in prison.  This means he was confined to his cell for 9 months.  While on keeplock status you’re unable to order commissary and he was unable to order any of his art supplies to paint.  His time ended a few weeks before I first made contact with him again.

He has been doing so well the past two years.  Due to this ticket, he was unable to put in a transfer request.  He had to wait 9 months for his classification to drop and then he would be able to see if he would be able to get back to Eastern Correctional Facility.  In Eastern, he was enrolled in the Bard Prison College Program.  Hundreds of men apply yearly, but only 15 make it.  Jeff was one of the 15 who made it.  We were also supposed to get married this March, but he received another “dirty urine”.  This would be understandable if his urine was dirty, but it wasn’t.  This is the same guard again, who just doesn’t like him.  He went for his hearing and was served another year loss of visits and 9 months keeeplock.  He fought his case during his hearing with all of his evidence, but ironically, the hearing officer is the guards wife and he lost.  He has appealed and a service called PLS (Prison Legal Services) a pro-bono firm picked up his case.  This doesn’t happen often and in order to pick up a case, they have to believe there is wrong doing. Obviously, they see this and they have signed on to assist him in fighting this ticket.  Due to this ticket we are now unable to get married and he is not able to speak to me daily.  This is causing him to go crazy in his cell and his mind is all over the place.

Two of Jeff’s Paintings

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After he received the ticket I contacted Albany and informed them of the situation.  I was irate on the phone and spoke to the IG department.  They had initially investigated an incident that occurred with him when he arrived at this prison.  Jeff had nothing to do with this incident.  This is an excerpt detailing the incident from Jeff’s book:

“Auburn is the second oldest prison in the United States and it is the oldest prison that still houses inmates. Auburn is also the most violent prison in New York State. The presence of death can be felt as soon as you enter the prison. I had gone from the least violent place to the most and it was time to readjust. I am a survivor and I do what I have to do. I was trying to change for the better, yet I was caught between the old me, Dutch the Gangster and the man I wanted to be, Dutch the artist. I was conflicted because I was questioning if I could be more than a Gangster. After all, the woman who was supposed to love me since she was 14 years old, didn’t believe in me. People loved my paintings but I couldn’t sell my work due to being in prison. When I tried to do right, no one helped me, but if I was scheming on illegal money, people believed in my plans and helped. This fact made me question if I was just meant to be nothing more than I was. It’s hard to believe in yourself when no one else does, but at this time I was so passionate about art, I had to work. Art allowed me to have a voice through my visual images. Continue reading “I Fear They’re Going To Kill Him. . . Update On Jeff. . .”

 

I Broke Him. . .

Click To Read Our Full Story – 26 Years 

The past few days have been emotionally draining for me.  He just can’t seem to get over it.  Of course, I know this is all brand new to him. I came back after 10 years, with a child, after leaving him for dead in prison without even so much as a “goodbye” or an “I just can’t do this anymore”.  We don’t necessarily argue, but he vents, tells me how he feels and he’s broken down twice.  This makes me feel horrible, and I deserve to feel horrible for what I did to him.  I will never be able to fully understand what I put him through, just like he will never be able to understand what he put me through.  I was young, I was too naive, I couldn’t deal with his life in prison.  He tells me I didn’t love him, because if I loved him I could never do what I did to him.  I get it, I do. . .one would think I didn’t love him, but I will NOT allow anyone to tell me how I felt.  Because NO ONE knows how I felt.  No one knows how difficult it was for me to leave.  I have had my share of Karma, my ex broke me down. . .made me question everything about myself.  I had never felt so trapped in my life. . .it wasn’t just me, I had a family to consider.

I am in love with Jeff.  He has always been the one.  I thought about him constantly.  He literally haunted me.  I was going to post about it, the visions, when he was sitting by my side after my father died at the Cheeca Lodge, I actually have a full blog post about this, but even I knew it sounded crazy.  I sent one of my readers the blog post and although she didn’t come out and say it, I knew what she was thinking.  She told me, “you’re tired, you can edit it in the morning.”  But this is not how I write.  I do not edit, I do not change, what I feel is what I post.  I opted against sharing the “crazy post”, because even though it was so real for me, I didn’t think anyone else would be able to understand. . .Perhaps I am just crazy, I don’t know.  I just don’t know what to do at this point.   Continue reading “I Broke Him. . .”

 

26 Years. . .Told by Jeff. . .

“This was very difficult for him to write.  He really had an issue with writing about the point where I left him for dead.  Due to this, he said he couldn’t write everything he feels, at least not now because the pain is too fresh”.

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The music was loud on the cellblock, the racket was so normal, that any seasoned inmate has the ability to tune out the noise.  At this point in my life, I had already been in prison for 5 years, so I had no issue reading my book during the regular chaos.  My cell was #17 out of 40 cells on the prison tier.  I was in the middle but even through all the loud music and noise, I heard a woman’s voice, “female walking on the company”.  In prison, when a woman is on the cell block, they will announce their presence so the men know to be dressed appropriately. Mrs. Scott was my inmate counselor and once every three months she called me into her office to check on my progress with my programs and such. When Mrs. Scott stopped in front of my cell it was a little bit of a shock. However, the message she was about to deliver was one I never saw coming.  This message would change my life.  After a quick greeting, Mrs. Scott told me a friend from my past had called her and wanted to come visit me.  I was excited and told Mrs. Scott to please tell her to come.  Mrs. Scott gave me such a scare because she said she wasn’t sure if she had kept her number, but god was on my side and she would make it up to see me. When she left from in front of my cell I laid back in my bed, my book forgotten and drifted back in time.  

The year was 1991 and I had been sent to Saint James out on Long Island to live with my Grandmother.  I had been getting into trouble in my old neighborhood, so they all decided I needed to go live with Grandma.  Smithtown High School was located in a middle to upper class area in Long Island, and I was coming from a different world.  When I walked into Smithtown High School I swear everyone was looking at me like I was from outer space.  I had my leather 8 ball jacket on and my Nike Air Max’s which matched my jacket.  I don’t think they had ever seen anything like me.  I had a cousin who went to the school and I knew a couple of the girls who had ridden horses at my family’s horse farm, but I didn’t have any friends yet.  I have always been a people person, so I started making friends quickly. Plus, I was already in the drug game so I became popular real fast.  Sadly, at this time I was more interested in making drug sales, instead of going to class.  The school had an area called the commons where kids could smoke cigarettes and hangout when they didn’t go to classes.  This was my area because it was the best place to make money in the school.  One day I was out in the commons area and a kid named Tom was introducing me to people and teaching me the ropes of the school.  He introduced me to a group on girls.  One of the girls was a cute brown-haired, brown-eyed girl.  She had her pinch-rolled pants on and a pull over and when I looked at her she gave me the cutest smile in the world.  This was the girl who was due to show-up on the visit the next day. . .

Here I was, sitting in my cell in a maximum security prison convicted of a drug related murder and I was waiting for the hours to pass so I could see the woman I first met as a little girl.  My life in prison was crazy because of the violence that was a part of my every day, but the mention of her name allowed me to travel back in time in my cell.  I drifted back to my youth and my memories of her.  There was always something different about her.  She had this innocence.  She was a good girl and I was a “bad boy”, but I could talk to her about anything.  I had respect for her because she wasn’t like the other girls in my life who I never respected.  She would come with me and the boys when we would go surfing and she would sit on the beach and watch us surf for hours, even as late as November when we needed dry suits because it was so cold.  She would come to the different Raves with me, we went everywhere.  She was a good girl though.  Never one who was into drugs and she wasn’t one of the other girls who were spreading their legs for everyone.  She had too much respect for herself to be like the other girls.  I was very protective over her and kept her close so she stayed innocent.  

I was a wild kid.  I was selling drugs and getting involved in all sorts of nonsense.  I called my princess one night and told her that me and a few of the boys were going on a “surfing trip”.  A few minutes later I got into a stolen car loaded with drugs and surfboards, which seemed like a good idea at the time.  Of course I left out all the illegal details when I called her.  She made me promise to stop by her house.  I promised her I would and this would be one promise I didn’t keep.  I ended up getting locked up in Florida and when I got out, she was the only person from home I was speaking to.  She made me Christmas cookies with her mom and sent them to me.  One of the cookies she “thinks” put a small crack on my back molar, but I told her I ate all of them (even though they were horrible) because she made them for me and they were delicious! 😉  I was still wild and I needed to come home.  I liked Florida, but I have always been a New York boy. My mother (my aunt who raised me) came down to Florida to bring me home, but it wasn’t going to be peaches and cream upon my return.  As usual, the law had questions for me. Sadly, this would be a recurring theme in my life until one day, a judge would match my age with the time of my sentence he would eventually hand me.  
Continue reading “26 Years. . .Told by Jeff. . .”

 

I Will Always Be In Love With You. . . (Part 4-26 Years)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 

I couldn’t believe he was on the phone.  Oh my god, how I missed his voice.  My entire body was filled with butterflies, and I was beyond nervous.  I swear at this moment, memories just started flashing right before my eyes, the first time we locked eyes, the first time we kissed, us at the beach, the way he looked at me when I first went to see him in jail.  The love of my life, I could hear him, he was still here, he was still the man who loved me more than any man could dream of loving me. He was the one 26 years ago, and somehow he was still the one now. . .

They say when you’re young, you can’t possibly know what love is. They say puppy love isn’t real love.  I recall my mother telling me, one day when I become an adult, I wouldn’t even remember his name.  Obviously, she was wrong.  I tried for years to forget him, but was never able to.  And now he was back, on the phone speaking to me. . .my heart was pounding and I realized I was still so head over heels in love with this man!

My business was funny to him, he asked all sorts of questions.  I mean, I am in Bail bonds, which is probably the last business anyone who ever knew me would ever think I would end up building a career in.  Bail Bonds is a very male dominated industry, especially in Maryland.  But to be honest, I believe everything that happened in my life had a purpose.  I didn’t understand jail and prison.  However, being in the industry I was in gave me a strong understanding of how prison was, and it truly opened my eyes.  Bail bonds in a way, stripped me of my innocence.  I was no longer naive and was now extremely street smart.   Continue reading “I Will Always Be In Love With You. . . (Part 4-26 Years)”

 

Left For Dead. . . (Part 3 – 26 Years)

This is part 3. Here is Part 1 & Part 2

I was on my way to work when I emptied the mailbox.  He sent me 2 letters.  I was running late and had to get into my office.  I called my best friend on the drive in and just panicked.  She asked me what they said, and I said I didn’t know, I hadn’t opened them yet!  I knew I was going to open the one with the oldest date stamp first, but I was beyond nervous.  Oh, how my phone was ringing that morning in my office!  I was the only one working and just wanted a few minutes of peace and quiet so I could read the letters.  My stomach was churning, my hands were sweating, I was beyond afraid. . .Once it finally slowed down, I opened the 1st letter. . .

 

Letter #1

You have caught me at a loss for words and this is rare.  I don’t know how I feel because you fucked me up.  You’re the only woman I have loved in my life.  You don’t need to tell me how long it has been, because I’ve thought about you every day.  It’s nice to hear you moved on, because I never did.  You’re right, you don’t have a good reason for what you did because I was head over heels in love with you and you were getting on with your life.  You left me for dead like everyone else in my life.  I can understand that you wanted a man who was home, but I have always had to ask myself what’s wrong with me that I’m the only person who cares about Jeff.  It’s easier to think of me the way you remember someone who has passed away.  You claimed I saved you at a time where you thought you couldn’t be saved.  It’s funny the way you repaid me.

I’m sorry to hear about your father.  I lost grandma and you know how I felt about her.  My life is fucked up because after you abandoned me, I went crazy and I really hoped I would get killed behind these walls.  I don’t know if this letter makes any kind of sense, because on one hand I love you more than you will ever know, but on the other hand I want to spit in your face because you were supposed to love me for the rest of my life.  I don’t know what I am supposed to say to you, you didn’t even care about me enough to pay me the respect of coming to tell me face to face.  I understand more than you think because I understand this life of mine is fucked up.  I want to hear from you, I would never shut you out because I’m not you, but you are not forgiven.  I don’t know what you want from me.  I have shit going on because I’m trying to set up my life because once I get out of prison, I’m not coming back.  I just finished writing a book, “from handguns to paint brushes; how art changed my life”.  I am really good at painting and drawing now.  I was in two different college programs, but I keep getting kicked out of these prisons.  Right now I am in ad-seg because I told them I was done and they sent the hit squad at me 3 different times and couldn’t get the job done.  I ended up hurting them each time. I am not about to have shit go down like when I was “hit” in Greenhaven.  I’m just tired of all of this shit, I want to go home.  I have now spent more time in prison than I have free.  I almost married a girl I hated just because I was tired of being alone.   Continue reading “Left For Dead. . . (Part 3 – 26 Years)”