Valentine’s Day in prison is probably one of the hardest holidays to deal with while incarcerated.
You really wouldn’t think so…
But it is.
I mean it really shows you who cares about you outside of these walls.
If you think spending Valentine’s Day alone out there in the free world is hard, well imagine being in prison and having to deal with that same thing…
Only intensified x1000.
And worst of all…
Especially when you know you don’t have anyone out there. And you know you are not going to get anything.
Not a card…
Not a letter…
I’ve seen many-of- prisoners standing around, as card envelope after card envelope is handed out to this guy or that guy, hoping that somehow, someway, someone might have taken the time to send them something.
But by the time mail call is over their left to walk away, tail tucked between their legs, feeling defeated, and like the loser they really are.
Oh, and by the way….
Many times over, and before I met Jen that is…
I had been one of these lonesome, defeated, nothing in life prisoners as well.
Last Valentine’s Day sort of broke the mold as far as what I expected to see happen at mail call…
As everyone stood hunkered around the CO as they pulled the mail out, you could easily see the different social classes of prisoner mail recipient…
“The mail all-stars…” guys who get stacks of mail all the time.
“The mommy mail recipiants…” guys who suck their thumbs and only get mail from their mommies.
“The mail D-H’s…” Designated hitters who only “hit” on holidays and special occasions.
“The mail wishful thinkers…” Guys who may or may not get mail, but you are more surprised if they don’t then if they do get mail.
And last and definitely least…
The lowest level, bottom feeders of prison society, “The defeated losers in life…” You know, they know, like the whole world knows, they are NOT getting ANY mail. Yet for some reason they still cling to hope and torture themselves to the possibilities of “what if”.
Well, this past Valentine’s Day a CO called out the mail, and everyone stood around waiting to hear their name called… One of these losers in life struck gold…
He actually got a letter.
The whole world stood still as the CO called out this guy’s name who we will call “serial killer” for the sake of this story because that is exactly what he looks like.
Everything went silent as he handed the card envelope to serial killer. Then we all watched as his eyes lit up and he said a little too excitedly “MY GIRL WROTE ME!”
What you can’t possibly imagine is what happened next…
Everyone was just as shocked as serial killer was that he actually got a letter on Valentine’s Day.
We were all shocked that “his girl” wrote him.
We were even more shocked that he HAD a girl!
“I knew she didn’t forget me!” serial killer said.
“I knew she still loved me and she would eventually come back” he continued.
We all watched as serial killer virtually walked on air back to his bunk. As he did so, he showed everyone he passed the letter he had just received..
“See, I’m not a loser in life!” He might have said to everyone that he passed.
“I DO have a girlfriend who is actually real and does exist and isn’t just some girl made up in my head!”
“And she wrote me!”
When serial killer got back to his bunk, everyone watched as he read his letter.
His facial expressions said everything that needed to be said.
First, there was amazement.
Followed by joy.
But then… everything changed.
What had started out surely as uncontrollable happiness turned to confusion…
The elation that serial killer had been instilled with not even 5 minutes prior was gone all of a sudden.
He then jumped down off his bunk and he rubbed it…
This caused about 10 guys in the housing unit to burst out laughing.
“Holly shit.” I thought.
There is no way these guys had played a prank of serial killer as sick and twisted as what seemed to be unfolding right then…
Or did they?
Did these guys take the time and energy to write serial killer a fake letter from his ex girlfriend?
Of course they did.
“Johnny”… the one serial killer had cursed turned out to be the ring leader behind it all.
Later, when I asked Johnny how and why he did this, he told me how he started by getting serial killers prison id number that would be needed when filling out the address on the envelope. ..
How he asked to see his prison ID card so he could compare it to his for some reason.
Serial killer was none the wiser.
Johnny told me how he already knew the ex girlfriends name from many previous conversations he had had with serial killer.
Then, he said came the fun part…
Writing the letter…
Johnny laid it all out for me telling me exactly what the letter said word for word…
Dear Serial Killer,
I just wanted you to know there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about you. I think about you all the time… I really think we could have something special. Do you want to have a special connection on Valentine’s Day? I know you were not expecting this, but I wanted you to know that I wrote you because I care. Because you mean a lot to me…I hope I mean a lot to you. I want you serial killer…do you want me? Please, let me know that you feel the same way.
What the hell would convince a guy to do something like this I really have no idea. I mean, this was really too much.
Too far over the line.
Even for me!
But then again, this is prison… And heart and feelings are rarely if not ever thought of here.
To break a guy down completely by toying with his akeeles heel just for the amusement of others is sort of like a normal occurrence.
I think what amazed me the most, was the amount of detail and extra time Johnny took preparing the envelope.
He knew the envelope would make or break the prank. So because of this Johnny told me the envelope had to be perfect.
The “to and from” addresses had to be just right.
The whole envelope had to be torn open and taped shut, just like any letters we receive after the mail room had snooped through anything incoming to us.
Even the stamp on the envelope…
Johnny told me he had to put a stamp on the envelope and then rip it half way off. Again, another thing the mail room does to try and prevent certain things from getting into the prison.
Johnny went through a hell of a lot of work to pull this off. And when I asked him why…
Why he would go through all this trouble to destroy guy, to completely shatter him, he said “Because.”
“I knew it would be funny” he concluded.
Miraculously serial killer handled all this quite well.
He laughed right along with everyone else.
Couldn’t have been me though…
I would have had to fight behind something like this.
I did ask serial killer if he had any plans at getting back at Johnny…
“Oh yeah”, he said.
“I’m thinking about waiting until it is rally late at night, then sneaking over to his bunk and waking him up with a knife to his throat.”
“That would be a funny way to get him back, right?” He asked.
I responded, “It certainly would be serial killer.”
“It certainly would be”.