This morning, while rummaging through some old books and papers, I found this brief and lonely paragraph. It was inside of a notepad of writings I composed from 2002 to 2003. Most likely, it was written at some point in 2002, a couple of weeks or months after I was released from prison. I read it today and I hear a young man trying to gain a rational perspective on his feelings, trying to define his experiences, trying to make sense of his reality. What do you hear?
“I can only describe my post-prison state of mind as a confused mixture of ecstatic aimlessness and wonderful bondage. I was overjoyed at my release, but it wasn’t total release. It was reverse incarceration. For nine years my body was held captive with my mind free to roam the world through the portal of literature and vivid imaginings. Now, my body is no longer captive, but my mind remains behind the tall barbed-wired fences of an institution. I traded mental freedom and physical imprisonment for mental enslavement and physical liberties.”