To Anyone That Has an Ear to Listen:
I’m not writing this letter to tell you what to do. How can I tell you what to do, when at times I don’t even know what to do myself. Older people who have experience and wisdom seem to always have the answers. That’s not me. All I can do is give you my account of what I’ve been through. If you choose to listen to my confusing story you can. If you choose not, then you don’t.
My name is Aaron Cornelius Manuel Daria, I’m 31 years old, I was raised in San Francisco. I got half-brothers and sisters, but I was pretty much raised on my alone. I had a roof over my head and food in my belly. Even though I had parents I felt like I didn’t. I had what I needed, but my parents never paid any attention to me. Other parents hug their kids when they get an ‘A’ on their report cards, mine never noticed. They just argue about paying bills, and my dad being a cheater. So I never really had a great childhood. Since I never got any attention at the house, I got it out on the street where similar kids like me had the same type of problems. We all seen eye to eye, and we had no one to look up to. It was just us and the street, and we hung out on it all day and all night. I learned how to drink, smoke weed, and snort coke. By 16 years old I was looking strung out. All of us did. I was a good liar, it came in handy when I was cutting class to go get in trouble. I ran into some older guys that tried to steer me straight. But I didn’t listen because I thought I knew it all. My mom was trying to say something but I didn’t listen to her either. My dad stayed drunk, all he was good for was beating my ass, which helped me get hard. At the same time, I had no respect for anyone, including myself.
I started hanging out with some older characters in the neighborhood. I looked up to these guys, they taught me how to get money, have things.
Sell dope, jack dope dealers, rob houses, steal cars, the whole deal. I got good at these things and liked to impress everybody. All I cared about was filling my greed. I felt like I was finally becoming somebody, and becoming something, even if that meant becoming a monster. If one homie had beef, we all had beef, and we’d handle it. I felt like we were family. I really thought I was doing something, playing with guns and tooting on cocaine, robbing innocent people and terrorizing my won neighborhoods and every other place.
Time came when everything hit the fan, I’d made enemies and those same homeboys I thought were down with the business started falling off. I felt abandoned… just like I was a menace, there were a handful of guys worse than me. It was too late, I was buried in what I idolized. People got hurt, and some got killed. Because I thought I had a reputation to uphold. That same reputation I held onto was the reason for my downfall, or my saviour depending on how you look at it.
Prison opened my eyes to a trap that was set for me, and people just like me. One day you might see that I’m not talking crazy, but believe me, somebody wants you to fail, they want you to be a stat on their lap top, you actually satisfy its hunger. I can’t tell you who it is, but trust me this person exists. I fell for his trap.
I’d made enemies and those same homeboys I thought were down with the business started falling off. I felt abandoned…
just like I was a menace, there were a handful of guys worse than me. It was too late, I was buried in what I idolized. People got hurt, and some got killed.
I was 16 years old, a young knuckle head who never had guidance, and who wouldn’t listen anyways. I thought I knew it all. It turns out didn’t know anything. All I know is a 17 years 9 months to life sentence. I was a kid in an adults prison. I started out in the toughest prisons, level 4 on down. This system didn’t have mercy on me, just like I didn’t have mercy on anyone else either. I chose the wrong path, and this is what I have to deal with: a police pointing his gun at me and telling me to get naked so he could see my booty hole. Then he tells me to get in a cage and locks me in, every day for the last 16 years. I don’t even know if I’m ever going to go home. I missed graduating high school, going to my senior prom, having a wife, raising a family, and having anything to love. All the good things in life I could have had, if I chose the right route. The right route is a hard path, and it may seem like a long road, but the reward is great if you can just hang on. It beats getting naked and being trapped in cages, or worse, dead and gone. After a few calendars pass you by, all them homies is gone. That girl you thought loved you, she gone too. Probably with that homeboy you thought had love for you.
My advice to you is, if you’re listening to this, is to stay away from the lies. The ones you tell and the ones you’re told. All that glitters isn’t golden, just like you heard before. That kid who’s going to school in the raggedy shoes trying to do good in school, I see them now, they have everything. Happy families, good jobs and all, maybe not millionaires but they’re happy. Everything I always wanted. Instead I got to eat these dry beans and hard rice for the rest of my life because when someone tried to tell me something good, I didn’t listen.
Okay I got to go now. I got to jump in another cage, and then take a shower with 10 other men. If you get bored, write me okay, it gets lonely in cages. I’ll always be here in the California Department of Corrections.