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Namaste-Stoked (eBook)

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  • 14,388 Words
  • 74 Pages

Recently, I hitchhiked across America, from Washington State back home to Saginaw, Michigan. I hitched four rides and took three different busses and two different trains.

The first person I sat down next to on a bus was a young woman who had gotten out of prison that day. Me being me, I started cracking jokes, so the first thing I said was, “Orange is the new black, right?” We giggled, and a genuine conversation was born.

I asked her if the inmates wore Kool-Aid on their eyes as eye shadow, and held pockets, as they do in a men’s prison. She responded, “Yes, and they look beautiful when they do. Although, some guards, in some prisons, like to write citations, so it isn’t commonplace in every prison.”

I asked her what she did to get locked up. She told me “publishing and uttering”—she had been forging checks. She then stated that she had been locked up for six months the first time, and then she had violated her parole, as she had been addicted to heroin. At that point, the establishment locked her away for two years.

In this genuine conversation, she related to me that she hadn’t seen her children in the last two years, so I asked her, “How old are your children?” She told me six and four; they had been four and two when she had gotten locked away.

As we pulled up to our stop in Wenatchee, Washington, she got very excited and began slapping me on the leg. She squealed, “Look it! Look it! That’s my girl! Oh my God, that’s my baby girl!”

And me being me, I said, “Let me be the first one to welcome you home.” I stood up and held the traffic of the bus back so that she could be the first one off the bus, because whatever she had going on that day was so much better than anything anybody else had going on that day.

Recently, I hitchhiked across America, from Washington State back home to Saginaw, Michigan. I hitched four rides and took three different busses and two different trains.

The first person I sat down next to on a bus was a young woman who had gotten out of prison that day. Me being me, I started cracking jokes, so the first thing I said was, “Orange is the new black, right?” We giggled, and a genuine conversation was born.

I asked her if the inmates wore Kool-Aid on their eyes as eye shadow, and held pockets, as they do in a men’s prison. She responded, “Yes, and they look beautiful when they do. Although, some guards, in some prisons, like to write citations, so it isn’t commonplace in every prison.”

I asked her what she did to get locked up. She told me “publishing and uttering”—she had been forging checks. She then stated that she had been locked up for six months the first time, and then she had violated her parole, as she had been addicted to heroin. At that point, the establishment locked her away for two years.

In this genuine conversation, she related to me that she hadn’t seen her children in the last two years, so I asked her, “How old are your children?” She told me six and four; they had been four and two when she had gotten locked away.

As we pulled up to our stop in Wenatchee, Washington, she got very excited and began slapping me on the leg. She squealed, “Look it! Look it! That’s my girl! Oh my God, that’s my baby girl!”

And me being me, I said, “Let me be the first one to welcome you home.” I stood up and held the traffic of the bus back so that she could be the first one off the bus, because whatever she had going on that day was so much better than anything anybody else had going on that day.


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by ryan mf gembarowski, ryan mf gembarowski

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