A requiem for my freedom

“Get money, evade bitches, evade tricks, give playa haters plenty of space and basically just represent for you baby. Next time you see your niggas, you’re gonna be on top, nigga. They’re gonna be like, ‘Goddamn, them niggas came up.’ That’s right baby, life goes on.” — Tupac

This is the last blog post I’ll be updating personally until I’m released. Best case I’ll be out in 9 months, worst case it’s 21 months, could be anywhere in-between it all depends on good behavior. 9 months isn’t so bad all, in the time it takes a woman to be knocked up and have a kid, I’ll be in and out. It doesn’t feel like I’m going to prison, it feels like I’m going to a really, really shitty summer camp, like Kamp Krusty.

I’ll be writing my lawyer and friends in the U.S., they’ll type up my letters and post them. It’s going to take a while for the letters to come, it takes a month for my letters to get to the states because the prison sends my letters by boat. I’ve asked if I could pay more for airmail and they said “No.” Since I’ll be writing every week, after the initial month or so delay, they’ll be a steady stream of letters coming. As soon as my sentence is over, I’m going to be deported back to the U.S.. Most people get kicked out of bars or nightclubs, my hustling ass gets kicked out of countries.

I know where I should be and I know how I’m going to get there. Sure, there are going to be some minor setbacks along the way, but follow me and I will take you to the promise land. If my legacy in the game is that I change the game for a whole country, I’m cool with that. A game changer, a visionary, a pioneer, everybody after me is a copycat. I believe that weed should be legal and I’m willing to go to prison for my beliefs. I’m a political prisoner. A motherfuckin’ Fugee.

It was hard going from the airport to the prison, now that I’ve time to prepare it’s easier. I’ve been preparing myself mentally and physically for my sentence. I spent the last few months bulking up, I weighed 187 lbs when I first got out, now I weigh 210 lbs. Hopefully some of that is muscle. My friends, family and loved ones also know where I am now, that’s a relief. I’m going to be writing everyday. The first thing I’m going to buy when I get in, besides my essentials, is going to be journals, pens & paper, and envelopes.

I told my grandma, “Don’t worry about me grandma, I’ll be fine. I won’t let anybody push me around or bully me.” “Oh, I know. I believe that. Problem is, you can’t bully anybody else. Don’t go around causing anymore trouble. You’re not in America, you can’t go around solving all your problems by fighting and smashing things.” My grandma is the real gangster in the family. I’m going to miss my grandma.

I’m going to miss my friends, family and loved ones. I’m going to miss the little things, it’s the little things that make up life. I’m going to miss eating warm food. I’m going to miss star fishing it in my own bed. What’s star fishing? It’s when you lay in your bed with your arms and legs spread out as wide as they can be, like a starfish. I’m going to miss taking a real shower, running water and a real toilet. I’m going to miss the sun shining on my face, a cool breeze on a hot day, I’m even going to miss the rain. I’m going to miss women, damn, am I going to miss women. A beautiful woman can make you feel dizzy, she can make you feel high, full of the single greatest commodity known to to man. Promise, promise of a better day, promise of a greater hope, promise of a new tomorrow. I’m going to miss talking to them, going out with them, looking at them, I’m even going to miss the way they nag at me, they only nag because they care. That’s probably the only time you’ll ever hear me say that.

I’m going to miss my moped. I might even get one when I get back home to Monterey Park, picture me rolling down Garvey with on a tiffany blue Vespa, rocking a helmet with a little spike on the top. I’m going to miss listening to music, music heals the soul. I’m going to miss going to the movies, at least I got to see Suicide Squad while I was still out.

I thought about smuggling myself out of the country every single day. How easy it would be. I even got quotes, it would cost me anywhere from 100K ($3,183)— 500K($15,917) NTD depending on who I asked. I would get on a boat and the captain would take me to Fujin, the captain would also have the visa stamp for my passport. From there I would make my way to a major city (Shanghai, Canton, etc) and hop on a plane back to the states, but I could never come back. Never is a long time, and I have family here, even after all this bullshit, I still love Taiwan.

I’m not a fragile person, I’m not a frightful person and I don’t look forward to being ruled. I don’t fear the future; I shape it, I embrace it, as a man willing to accept the consequences for his actions. It’s as if when a kid fell off of a bike we told them “you’re just the kind of person who falls off of bicycles” — only the most brutally tenacious and self-confident people would be able to ride bicycles. As it stands now, only the most brutally tenacious and self-confident people wind up being great men, and it’s because they faced their own fuckups and refused to be defined by them, and in fact strove to become defined by the opposite of them. Self-rationalization is one of the most powerful tools that humans have. We are constantly reinforcing our beliefs about the world and about ourselves and our actions. As time goes on, we become more and more entrenched. It is a mental-health defense mechanism. It is much easier to deny anything happened than to own up to failure and grow, so that is the path that we automatically take.

What’s life without a little bit of danger, without a little bit of excitement? If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking too much space.

I’ve often said, “I’m high class, I’m just surrounded by low-lifes.” I’m joking of course, but I’m serious about the classy part. The perception of being “classy” doesn’t just happen. It’s not something you purchase. You earn that tag, day after day after day, with the relationships you build, with the connections you make, with the things you say when you don’t have to say them. Every story counts.

People talk about a thing called “resilience.” You’ve got a built in resilience, so you can bounce back when you get knocked down. My argument with that is you will not be bouncing back to what you were before. You will not be bouncing back to who you were before. Because you won’t be the same person. If you think you are meant to be the same person, you can have problems. You’ve had an experience that has changed you. Coupled with that is that the society, the world you’re coming back to has certainly changed in their perception of you.

Humor is a signature characteristic of survival and in a survival situation, it is the first thing to go and the last thing to come back. So if you got a survivor that shows a proper sense of humor, then that person has adapted.

The thing about survival is that there are moments when you have to be active in order to survive, but there are also times when you have to be passive. I’m a survivor first and and a whole bunch of shit second. In many ways it’s easier to be in prison, I don’t have to think as much. If they’re going to treat us like animals, then I’ll just revert back to my native state, a grimy savage. If a bitch has something I want, I see it, I want it, I’ll take it. Vedi, Veni, Vici. Survival of the fittest? Shit, survival of the realest.

This needs to be said .. if I should die while in custody, I did not commit suicide. I was murdered. Avenge my death. But, in the immortal words of Jay-z, “Whatever deity may guide my life, dear lord don’t let me die tonight. But if I shall before I wake, I’d accept my fate.” Hell yeah? Hell yeah.

Somehow in some convoluted way, this is what I’ve been looking for my in my life. How else did I come to be here? We create our lives. I don’t fully understand why, but little by little I get that somehow I wanted something like this to happen. I’ve been looking for an adventure and I’ve found it. I did get myself into this.

Most people would see this as the end of their life. I, on the other hand, see it as a rebirth. I’m fortunate enough to be reborn without having to die. Eventually, when you’ve lost enough friends — to alcoholism, drug abuse, cancer, crime, etc. — you just stop getting sad. Because you know that’s what’s coming. Times like these test a man’s heart, nuts, and soul. It’s heart check time. You know what they say, clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, then you slang it. In a fucked up way, I should be thanking this snitch, because of this snitch, I discovered a latent writing ability. I could be working in an office right now, making money for somebody else. Not all prisons have bars. I just hope wherever he is, he’s safe, because it’s a dangerous world out there and I’d hate for something to happen to him.

I’ll be like a caged lion, a thoroughbred straining at the halter, a bird beating against the bars of its cage. At least now, I know why the caged bird sings. It would be easy to just give up and lose hope, it happens all the time in a place such as Asian prison. The loneliness, isolation, depravation and inhumane treatment can do serious, irreparable damage to a person’s physical and mental health. Staying positive doesn’t mean I don’t have negative thoughts, it just means I don’t let negative thoughts consume me. I will always be full of life and of the relationships that make life worth living.

A season of isolation and loneliness is when a butterfly gets his wings. I’ll go into an enclosed space; with no fresh air, no sunlight and emerge in a few months skinnier, with whiter skin, having learned Taiwanese, and more handsome than I’ve ever been before, you know what that makes me?



Songs of the moment — Life goes on, Save tonight, Me, myself and I, Soul survivor, Adam’s song, Viva la vida.

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