Saturday, September 21, 2013

Colin Abbot

I was housed on the same block as Colin for the first three months of my incarceration. We became acquainted through our love of Scrabble. He is a sharp guy, and he has a dry sense of humor like my own. He is generous and kindhearted.

I will not be using this entry to discuss his case. My opinion is that the man I played Scrabble with for 3 months is no killer, and from what he shared with me of his Discovery Packet, the state's case is wobbly at best. Colin plead No Contest today and received 35 to 80 years. This is no admission of guilt...it is a matter of a man being up against the most dire odds, an uphill battle where even his own lawyer doesn't seem to be doing all she can. Sometimes we who find ourselves on the wrong side of the law, innocent or guilty, accept pleas because it is the best we can hope for dealing with a proven imperfect and sometimes incompetent system.

Colin took great delight in absurdity. We had an ongoing game of lying to each other...the most audacious shit that could never pass for truth. Zombie attacks outside the prison walls, cyborg spies, etc. I had this routine of taking my shoe off and I'd talk into it, as if were a phone...I'd do this when I was off on my own but I'd make sure people could see me.

Colin is from Jersey and knows some of my haunts in NYC. We talked about having some Nathan's and a couple beers on the boardwalk when we we're both out...I honestly believe there is still time, I think he has a good chance on appeal.

You hear of people forging friendship from mutual necessity. In jail this usually means strength in numbers; a protection/survival issue. For us, it was to stay sane. Jails are not full of bright people...w/o other minds to joust, you brain will atrophy. This may sound arrogant, but it is what it is. Colin kept me sane.

People in Butler will talk for a while, as is their nature. Then Colin's case will bore them and they will move on. As for me, once I'm out I'm going to light two cigars & let one burn while I smoke the other. I'll watch the clouds move and have a moment for my friend in absentia.