On April 30th this year I wrote a post called we all make mistakes where (among other things) I mentioned I'd sent a letter to an American prisoner through the Write a Prisoner scheme. It was my second attempt to make contact with an inmate and now almost 5 months later (hard to believe) it's time for an update.
I received an unexpected reply to my letter about 3 weeks later. And we've been corresponding ever since. In fact I've got a stack of letters here - 16 as of today. I write to a man who goes by the nickname 'Gypsy' and I was initially interested in him because as well as being gay we happen to share the same birthday (different years). A starting point.
The first letter he wrote to me was pretty brief, which he pointed out was because (in his experience) a lot of people who write to him never write a second time. Not me. I wrote back gay away er straight away. I then received a second brief letter, which took about 4 weeks to reach me. He'd been transferred to another prison unit and had had to wait for my letter to be redirected/catch up with him.
Since those initial 2 letters every other letter he's written has been very long (as most of mine are to him). Sometimes we receive more than one a day/week. (No wonder I haven't been blogging). In each letter we reveal more details about ourselves. And as he opens up with each letter he writes I see a change in his attitude. His letters have become lighter. We make each other laugh a lot. We joke about things, we discuss our similarities, share our frustrations, talk about the weather, teach each other slang words n sayings. We discuss books, food and music and how fucked the (Texas) prison system
I've just sent him a batch of photos I took in Croydon of native Aussie birds - a kookaburra, a rosella, galahs etc - and other local identities. So I can't wait for his response. I've also recently started sending him
Of course Sheila's predicting I'll become "like one of those women who fall in love with a prisoner". But I have no intention of switching gender and becoming a woman... Not surprisingly everyone asks why is he doing time. The way I see it, his biggest crime is that he doesn't watch Television. I guess I'll learn to live with that. The mistake I made was not putting pen to paper and writing sooner