I was caged, but how was I free? I had just been sentenced to eight years in state prison and at eighty percent because of my strikes. The guard at the courthouse had forgotten to lock the door of the holding tank that he’d put me in right after I’d seen the judge. He went to another area of the building, and I was left behind to make one of the most important decisions of my life. Should I run and try to get away, or should I surrender and submit to change?
I have never been that great at making decisions or doing the right thing. There’s nothing more obvious than that. I’ve always turned left when I should’ve gone right. I was impulsive, and I didn’t think before I acted. I never thought about the consequences. I was getting way too old for all this. It was time for me to start using my brain. That is if I had any brain cells left. Considering the massive amount, of drugs I’d consumed in my life, I would’ve been surprised if any had survived the torture I’d put them through. I could only hope and pray that there was at least one cell left behind, “my little army of me” and that it would somehow help guide me in the right direction toward change.
That’s it. That’s all I needed. It was so simple. It was black and white. It was either yes or no. There could be no in between. Yes, I’d change, and I’d have a chance at a decent life or no, I wouldn’t change, and I’d most likely die in prison or alone on the street. I’d been given more than my fair share of chances to live when I should’ve been long gone. There were plenty of times when I didn’t feel human, but I am. I’m not a cat, and I don’t have nine lives. I realize that’s just an old wives’ tale, but I also understand that I shouldn’t be here right now.
It was time to get strong. I needed to give up my past lifestyle in, order to live. It was time for me to put on my big girl shoes and grow up. It was time for me to open my eyes and start the process of my metamorphosis. The prison would be my chrysalis. I’d learn, change and grow. When I’d transformed, and when I was ready to fly, I’d break free from my cocoon, and I’d parole a butterfly. Could I do it locked up? Could I do it in a dark, lonely and controlled environment? There were just as many drugs on the inside that lonely, razor gated community. They were just a lot more expensive. The temptation was everywhere, and it would be up to me to avoid it. The question was, did I have the strength and the will to do so?