By Robert Pruett 999411, aka Simple Man

Week 23 2006

June 11, 2006
Darkness. The window blocked out, all the cracks in the door sealed up, the light turned off. Just past midnight, I sit in the full lotus position in dead silence, breathing slowly and deliberately, methodically observing every inch of my body with my mind’s eye, taking a mental note of each sensation and moving to the next. I’m relaxed yet aware. Throughout the day, I can comprehend the Eastern concept of Maya, but here I feel exactly what they mean. Wow. It’s at once scary and exhilarating; scary because of my overidentification with this form, exhilarating because I know it’s just a dream, it’s not really real.

This realization makes it hard for me to go on sometimes. The position I’ve been thrust into hasn’t been very comfortable. Not that any other one is, it’s just that mine seems extra screwed up some days. I’ve entertained thoughts of disengaging, but I know I won’t do so of my own volition, if that’s even a possibility. Somehow, I believe I’m doing this for a real reason, like there’s a purpose. So I stay here, making the best of the situation, learning everything I can. Furthermore, I’m feeling the fire again, the burning inside that I’ve only partially been experiencing: passion. It’s like dancing gleefully in the rain, releasing a thunderous growl, or singing at the top of your lungs! These moments had been far too infrequent, but I know I can confidently lunge forward and laugh in the face of death because it’s all an illusion anyway, there’s no reason to be afraid. Of course, when the doubts resurface, I can always retreat to the abyss for a moment and feel what’s really real.
In case you’re wondering, Simple Man comes from the great Lynyrd Skynyrd song, but, truth be told, I was really inspired by Shinedown’s cover. And, no, it’s not an oxymoron (although, I do feel like a moron sometimes! :-)), it’s something to strive for, a lifestyle I’d prefer to live. You don’t have to be dense to live a simple life.

On Saturday, June 3rd, I was out at visitation waiting for my sweetheart (Hi Jolee ;-)) to arrive for a second round visit. As I sat in the booth, they told the first round visitors to leave and I watched them pass me. A young black guy, probably in his late 20s to early 30s, walked past me, did a double take and looked directly at me, then picked the phone up.

“What’s your name?”
“Robert Pruett.”
“You look familiar.”
“Where are you from?”
“San Antone.”
I shook my head, “I’m out of Houston. What’s your name?”
“Les.”

Before we could continue on and determine if we knew each other, the guard out there made him put the phone down and leave. We looked at each other as he walked away and I thought he looked very familiar, just couldn’t place him.

On Sunday night, as I was laying in bed trying to sleep, I thought about the encounter with this guy the previous night and wondered where the hell I’d seen him before. I kept replaying the scene, asking myself if I knew a Les, when, all of a sudden, it dawned on me! Of course! Les was a guy I worked out with for a few months while on Connally Unit in 1997. He used to call me Nature Boy because I was about 160 pounds back then and could lift the entire stack on the bench press. I worked out with him and a couple of white dudes named Kevin McDaniel and Oklahoma (don’t remember his real name). You never know who you are gonna run into, huh? It really is a small world. If anyone knows Les or who he was visiting, tell him Nature Boy sends his respects and regards!

Chapter Two of my autobiography is giving me more trouble than I ever thought possible. I'm probably about a week away from being finished with it. At this rate it'll be after September before I finish the autobiography, but I'm optimistic that things will pick up shortly. I hope so.

One of the reasons for my optimism is that I've switched my schedule to the night shift. It's very quiet at night and I can get much more work done.... when I get enough sleep during the day. Sometimes it's a bitch sleeping in the day with all the noise and the guards waking you up for a variety of reasons, but I'll manage. There's no real reason to stay up during the day until late July when my next visits are scheduled, so I'll take advantage of this opportunity and try to get some work done.

Ah, the Dallas Mavericks, team of destiny. Everyone I talked to prior to game 1 said there was no way they would be able to handle big Shaq and the slippery D. Wade. I countered by saying that Miami didn't have anyone to contend with Dirk Nowitzki and they weren't nearly as deep, but no one listened. Sure it's only one game, but the boys from Dallas made a statement: Shaq's over the hill and D. Wade will just have to wait until next year. Oh yeah, and Jason Williams, aka White Chocolate, can't guard the explosive Jason Terry. And don't bother bringing the old man Garry Payton in to guard him anymore, he has lost a few steps. I thought Dallas would win it in six or seven going into the series, but I have the feeling they'll close it out on the road in Miami in four or five. The year of the Big German.
On that note, I'll close this up and get ready for game 2 of the finals. Got a chili spread in the works, holler at ya next week.

One day at a time,
Simple Man