we wore blue

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No, no, please go on. I’m listening.  I’m trying to listen.  I’m just going to get some more coffee.

The door is open. I had to make my Christmas wreath out of toilet paper rolls, and I know it’s biased, but I think it looked just as good.  You know those scenes in movies where the incarcerated person looks at their stuffed animal made of sheet scraps and body hair and kisses it like it’s beautiful? I wonder if I remember my wreath as beautiful because of similar blinders.

It sounds like you’ve been doing as well as can be.  I am glad.

The door is still open. It could shut any second now.

You know if you need anything, you can just ask.  I don’t have that much going on.  I simplified a lot last year.

The door is still open. It could shut any second now.

The only imperative on my whole agenda this week is grocery shopping.  A girl’s gotta eat.

A girl’s gotta eat. I have to go.  I can’t skip again this week.  I can’t live off of Snickers Bars just because they’re easy to pick.  I used to do this.  I can do this.  Buy just three things and leave.

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Oh! I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to block your way.  I guess I got distracted by the flowers.

Yellow. Red. Magenta. Green. I can touch them if I want. I am allowed to touch them. Buy it.  Reach for it. It’s okay. It’s okay.  Maybe they have sunflowers, like the postcard by VanGogh that I taped to my locker until I had to trade it for a chance at being able to wash my sheets.

 Oh! I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to block your way.

He bumped me. It wasn’t on purpose.  The contact doesn’t mean anything about how safe I am.  I am safe. This is a grocery store. I am safe.  Go buy some baby carrots.

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I wonder how much of this food just rots in here.  I wonder if people know how hungry I was some days.  I wonder if people know how many girls I saw cry themselves to sleep in hunger.  I wonder if they know how much of the food they bought for me went to other people because I could handle the hunger better than the sobbing of friends.  I was 130lbs when I came home. I was 110lbs when I arrived in prison after my time in county jail.  I am 160lbs right now.   My stretchmarks look like bars, too. Maybe I should write about that.  Don’t write about that.  Don’t buy a Snickers.  Just leave.

Yep, just a handful of things.  A quick errand, indeed.

I’ve been here for two hours, lady.  She isn’t being unkind.  She doesn’t know.  Smile.  Keep smiling.

Thank you! Have a happy Wednesday!

I don’t even know how much I paid for this stuff.  I forgot to look at the money marks again.  Oh no. I can’t request an Uber.  My eyes are doing that thing where they don’t understand how to use the smart phone.  It’s probably my brain, not my eyes.  Take a deep breath. I overdid, is all.  I can walk from here.

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Yes, it is a beautiful day for a walk!  I mean, look at that sky.  Have a good one!

Just look.  It’s the sky.  It’s okay to stop walking.  No one is watching.  They can’t hurt me, even if they are.  They aren’t allowed to take away my things here.  They aren’t allowed to punish my friends. 

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Stop. Focus.  Don’t think about the restricted and controlled sources of news and information.  Don’t think about newspapers with articles cut out. 

Oh, hey, neighbor!

He won’t stop jiggling his keys. Why is he doing that? Why would he do something so meanhearted?  He’s not being mean. He doesn’t know.

It sounds like you’ve been doing as well as can be.  I am glad. Not much going on here.  I had a late start to the day, went grocery shopping for a thing or two, and took a nice long walk back.  Now I think it’s naptime.

His keys are going to make me puke. Don’t puke.  What am I going to puke up anyway?  I forgot to eat again and all I bought are chives and heavy cream because I panicked. 

There’s a Snickers bar in the fridge.

Haha, yeah.  This is the life.  Have a happy Wednesday!

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I’ve been home from prison twice as long as I was in, but when freedom itself a trigger, life can get a little complicated.  It isn’t everyday, but it’s some days, and those days can really play havoc on the scheduling for a week.  The more time that passes, the less comfortable I feel explaining to those around me when I am struggling.  It’s easier to delete facebook, ignore text messages, cancel events– and let it pass.

Because eventually, like all things, even the chunky bits of expired trauma pass right by.  Sometimes it just takes a Wednesday, sometimes it takes 8 Wednesdays.

Wednesdays are cornbeef and hash days.

This year, I am trying to put myself back on a schedule– which for me means pushing through the days where I still feel like I’m in my prison blues.  It’s a lot of hope to fit into a tiny year, but hope is a good thing.

Maybe the best thing.

What are your hopes for this year?
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♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Ra Avis is the author of Sack Nasty: Prison Poetry and the girl behind the dinosaur at Rarasaur.com. She is a once-upon-a-time inmate, a reluctantly-optimistic widow, and an exponential storyteller.

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