Forgive Me Not

Forgive Me Not

I realize some of my “Zap Tales“ are hard to believe, but for the most part they are as factually accurate as possible. At times, to make them an easier or more humorous read, I might change the order of events, or highlight a few points to give my audience a much needed chuckle.

I try to do this without turning my story into an angry rant from a convict, or one filled with gloom and despair. If you wanted a story along those lines, you could just stop at a newsstand as the headlines are either heart wrenching or scandalous. Even the happy lotto winner is buried behind five or six pages of grief.

This is why I consciously chose to no longer read any of them. Usually, after washing the ink off my hands, “it skeeves me.” I often wind up feeling like a cartoon character that just grabbed a high-tension wire. This includes the black face with plumes of smoke emitted from the top of my head. Frazzled.

More often then not, a defining moment in someone’s life (or a distorted version of it) is flung across the countertops of America. Then it is left to blow at the winds mercy on a subway or bus seat, only to be discussed by a water cooler later in the day. Most mistakenly assume those of us in prison wake up late, go to sleep later, and in-between working out and getting tattoos, sit idly eating potato chips while watching Jerry Springer.

I guess you could get a tattoo and watch Jerry at the same time, but that would take actual planning, which is beyond most convicts. After all, if they were expert planners, they probably would not be in prison in the first place. On the other hand , a late start for me is anything after 5am. Then – after the twenty or so minutes it takes for me to do the morning thing – right around the time I take my first sip of coffee, I wake up my typewriter as well.

That was until I made a horrific error in judgment and updated to a color television. Believe it or not, up until three weeks ago I possessed a small black and white model complete with the fake wood on the sides, and knobs to change the channels. The picture, well it is color. There are buttons instead of knobs, and I am amazed how thin it is. Plus now when PBS shows the vibrant colors of the elusive green tree frog, they really are green! The only problem with the new set is that I constantly have the thing on.

Over the several weeks since I got the new TV, I might have caught one happy ending, and that included PBS. The story that made me the saddest was about a certain woman who was on trial in Arizona. I don’t know her life history, I don’t know what caused her to blow a gasket, and I am in no position (nor would I want to be) to judge her or anyone else. What got me about the whole thing was the spectators cheering “death to her.”

When exactly did it become cool to revel in a person about to get executed? Didn’t this go out with the Romans when they occasionally fed a Christian or three to the lions? Did death just become a spectator sport all over again? The really hypocritical part of the broadcast was watching several self-righteous bible thumpers stating, “We forgive her, but hope she is prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” Isn’t that like making an appointment before you go murder someone? Notice the period at the end of the sentence, “Thou Shall Not Kill.”

This woman’s fate is going to rest on a group of people she has yet to even meet. This comes after the first jury could not agree on her sentence. A jury of her alleged peers, although I doubt she had anything in common with any of them. Unless there are a lot of people in Arizona referred to as the “three hole wonder.” I hate to admit that after having front row seats to four murder trials, I am all too familiar with the system in place. I can tell you with certainty, after the publicity this trial received, some sick bastard is currently praying to be on the next jury just to have her sentenced to death. You will see them on the morning news saying they only followed the law and hope it gives closure to the family.

Imagine having someone you conceived strapped to a gurney in that bright sterile room. Murder is murder, no matter who pulls the trigger, sentences someone to die, or injects their victim with chemicals to make it appear humane. Without a gun to their own head some think it’s okay as long as it’s not them or their loved ones. The truth is, they will probably pass judgment for their own selfish reasons, or water cooler conversation. Maybe they will do it for a past act committed against them, or their loved ones, or possibly just to get their own fifteen minutes of fame. They forgot that we are all bound by our own set of chains, and death does not allow do-overs.

They might be some emotional vampire addicted to control and chaos. Without finger pointing, most would soon realize who really had a problem. Like human anchors trying to drag anything alive down into the dark abyss, right fucking beside them. They mimic a line from the Bible “like raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame, causing the black of darkness forever.”

I am not overly religious, but whoever you are, I will put in a request to the big guy upstairs. I’ll ask that your defining act that gets you immortalized in print will not be of you rejoicing in someone else’s misery and soon to be death. I doubt this is what you want to be remembered for.

Father forgive them, as they know not what they do.