I’m having a bad fucking day… make that a bad fucking week. The last three or four nights I haven’t been able to sleep well… or at all for that matter. Bunny is some sort of alchemist. He’s made me a few concoctions to help me sleep but they seem to be sending me into some kind of mental tailspin.

You ever had that feeling where you’re pretty sure you’re awake but for whatever reason you can’t control your arms or legs and it feels like you’re suspended or maybe even floating in space? It’s that weird space between consciousness and REM sleep. Your cognition is just barely functional. I know I ain’t making much sense but that’s how it feels.

It feels like there’s someone hovering over me. When I snap back awake I can feel their presence behind me. It’s tangible. I can touch it. My senses are on high alert and I get defensive, in fight mode even but when I turn around there’s nothing there. Except I’m sure there was someone there because I can feel them breathing down my neck and I can smell them. Do you think I’m crazy? I think everyone has felt this before but would never admit it.

RJ is the philosopher and he always talks about the other realms. I think the spirits in those realms move about freely but we’re limited because of our human bodies. Sometimes our minds can give us a hint of what’s there but it doesn’t really know. It’s only working off intuition.

…I’m rambling.

So I did most of my time in Lieber Correctional Institution aka LCI.  The name itself just pisses me the fuck off. It’s suppose to sound as placid as possible. Institutions are universities and medical research centers not fucking prisons. LCI was a shit hole. State sanctioned murder machine. Do you know as of 2011, 282 men were executed in SC and only 74 were white. Not sure what the current stats are but I was a unicorn, the only ‘white bread’ on my block at the time. The guys used to joke that I must have done something real bad to get the needle. Of course I got off but there are others that probably didn’t deserve what they got… shit or maybe they did. In prison, everyone acts like they’re a victim of the system. I guess after awhile it becomes an us versus them mentality… But that’s another topic for another time.

About a year to my scheduled execution I woke up with the sharp taste of metal in my mouth. It was vile. I brushed and used mouthwash to try and get the taste out but it came back with a vengeance. Everything I ate tasted like I was feasting on metal. I asked a guard to see a doctor and they thought it was bullshit. One of the guards told me just wait it out, I was about to die anyway, ain’t no sense in wasting and antibiotics on you.

You see in prison it doesn’t matter what your illness is– you could have HIV even and when they send you to the infirmary, guess what, they give you fucking antibiotics. That’s the magic cure for everything. Aspirin or antibiotics.  You could be dying of cancer and they won’t give a shit.  Here’s some antibiotics. Good luck and hope you die soon.

Lieber Correctional Institution (LCI), right outside Ridgeville was home for almost 6 years. We called the death row wing D block. 

The metal taste stayed with me for almost the entire year. Drinking and eating was a chore. I wasn’t interested. I’d wake up gagging, thinking some of the guys on D block got into my cell and were shoving a lead pipe down my throat. That’s how visceral the taste was. I became afraid to go to sleep.

There was a Filipino guy, Romy, that worked in the kitchen. He’d sneak me ground coffee beans and I’d stick it in my cheeks to give me a boost to stay awake. It would work and I’d be up for two to three nights straight but then at that point reality and dementia form tortuous marriage. It was hell. Pure hell. I didn’t know when I was awake and when I was asleep, what was real and what was fake. They finally put my ass in the infirmary to do an eval. When they were done they gave me fucking aspirin and sent me back to my cell.

Then my time came. Judgement day. It was the longest and shortest day of my life. I was scheduled to be executed at 12:02 AM. When they strapped me into bed, I just laid there. I could feel my heart. It was as it doubled in size overnight. All of a sudden I was aware of everything in my body. I could feel my blood flowing through my veins… I’m not making it up. I literally could feel it. It was like my senses were heightened. It was the most in tune with my physical self that I’ve ever been. I don’t know why… maybe I took life for granted but let me tell you how bizarre it is knowing that you only have a few moments to remain in your body.

Ronan Madoch (the amnesty project attorney) once asked me what it was like being strapped into that bed… I told him it felt lucid. I’ve never felt that pure and clear before so when the call came in halting the proceeding it was like coming off a high that I would never experience again.  My mind felt like it had expanded. It’s a similar feeling after I’ve gone on a mushroom trip. When I come back, it’s like I experience something so spiritual and it takes me a moment to shake. The mushroom trip is a bit different from what it was like on death row… it’s less heightened, less pure but exponentially more spiritual.

Anyway tonight I look up at this mountain that I’m trying to climb and think to myself why the fuck did I choose this path. The stakes are high… I don’t know if I’ll even achieve what I want. The CPD machine, Chesapeake politicians… Hess family… why the hell do I think I can take them on by doing my own investigations and posting shit online…. like anyone is going to give a damn. That’s the thing, the cost might be too high and I’m probably going to fail and my existence will be wiped away and it will be business as usual. Like I said, I’m having a shitty week. I’m tired.