What's happening beautiful people? We have arrived, the season is right up on us. By tomorrow night you'll be sitting at someone's home or they'll be sitting at your's and after the hugs and the bullshit and a few eggnogs you're thinking, What The Fuck! Another Xmas added to my resume and in the words of John Lennon, what have I done? This is fucking amazing. I have a family and a job and a life and a few skeletons but who cares we're still here! So what we're broke and in the daily grind, this is why we do it, for times like this. I never understood that early on in my life, I thought it was about money and presents, then something happened on the way to the dance that I'll never forget.
As you know, I did a little time in my youth. Sometimes if you're lucky, you get to spend it inside during the holidays. I sat there the beginning of November thinking, Thanksgiving is going to suck but it turned out to be all right. We had turkey and what not and the meat was dryer than a motherfucker but since it was minumin security, we were allowed to bring in food, so I got together with some other invicts and we had our own little party, Nutter Butters and Tamales and home made nacho's with the cheeses that gets melted by the hot bar in an iron, Yummy and fun, I made it and it made me forget about what I was missing but I still dreaded Xmas, what will I do. I would cry to myself like a little bitch at night. By that time the death of my mother was starting to sink in and I felt guilty about where I had ended up. I had let her down, not to mention myself.
It was 88' and Aids was spreading like wildfire. Rock Hudson had givin it light but no one really knew much about it. By that time the government was getting slack for proper housing and facilities, so one of the things they had to do was to segregate prisoners with the disease in prisons, so one of the facilities they had set up where at our prison. They housed about 6 guys in there own barracks that was beautiful. We all lived in old barracks but they one they had for them was spotless, the walls were painted and they had a couple of microwaves which at the time were gold in a place like that, new furniture and a huge color TV.
I had met a couple of the guys in the gym and they would always invite me over. I can't lie, I was apprehensive because like others, I didn't know the limitations of the desease. I think four of them were heroin addicts and the other two were gay but they were Gangster gay. The one dude ran a national drug ring that supplied heroin and something like Ecstacy. Finally an Italian mobster guy from Cleveland named Serafino took me over there. He liked to cook and as long as the guys got food, they didn't care. He was a bookmaker that also ran his action out of the Aids unit. He really loved those guys. On Sundays, he would cook and we'd watch the games, then we'd go back to our units and rest a while and come back to watch, Married With Children and America's Most Wanted and we'd cheer for the bad guys, it became a weekly ritual.
It was Xmas eve and I was down in the dumps. I hear a knock on my window and its Serafino telling me that theres going to be action at the Aids unit to come by. I told him I wasn't in the mood. He said that they were making a spread and that one of the guys had smuggled in a couple of gallons of wine. The Guards were really scared of the gay guys so they would never come over, and since it was a Holiday, no one would test us for alcohol for a couple of days. I told him I would be over in a few. I got a good cry out, wiped my eyes and thought to myself, why not? Let me walk over and say hello.
When I walked in the place was decorated to the nines. They didn't have a tree, so the made one from branches and what not. They had music blasting and there was food everywhere. Cold cuts, cookies, Tamales, nachos, all homemade. They got a VCR and had movies and a few pornos. They were singing and laughing. There were no drugs and I didn't drink but a half hour in, I sat down and looked around, these guys were having fun, especially the guys with Aids. Here I was feeling sorry for myself and I was surrounded by men who had a death sentence on them, and didn't exactly know there future and to boot, were locked up but they were celebrating like they were getting out, I was blown away!
It got late and I remember saying my good bye's and the guys hugging me and telling me it was great that I had come over, that I had made there night but walking out I started to think that these guys had made my night go by painless but that they had also givin me a new outlook on life and that was that no matter how bad life gets, one person could make it better and that person is you. These guys didn't give a fuck about there situations. There were no gift exchanges, there was no fancy wine or fancy silver ware or people talking about there vacations, the only thing that was in that room was happiness and in reality, that was the last place I would look for it or think that I could find it.
Thank you very much for reading and from the bottom of my heart have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and thank you for the love and support you've shown me in the last year, its the reason I wake up some mornings! Much Love and STAY BLACK!
2012 is going to be beautiful!
R.I.P. James "Fat James" Price.