Randy Halprin

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September 2014

Randys Journals

As I'm writing this, I'm waiting to go outside.,The past few days have been
a bit ill, but I´ll get through it. I  always manage to do so. Actually, some
sunshine might just be what the doctor ordered as I'm due to go outside and  maybe play some basketball. If the guy that I'm scheduled to go outside with  doesn't want to play I'll either practice my shot or just jog...not sure.
I'm up to about 32 miles a day now which is pretty freaking good considering  in P.E.' class I was that kid who was trailing behind everyone else when the  couch would make us do laps. I'd get to that point where everyone else had  passed me like two times and I'd say to myself " Awww screw it. I'm walking  the rest in." Now I'm probably in better shape than the majority of the P.E.  class. One one of the many ironies of prison.
I turned 37 on September 13th. I'm extremely grateful that I'm still on this  planet and haven't had to utter my famous last words " So long and thanks  for all of the fish " (an inside joke for nerds...) I honestly didn't think  I'd make it this long and I do think it speaks volumes of the extreme luck  and fortune I've had...For the longest time I was convinced that I was going to be dead by 32 and I've made it five years past. I don't know why 32 was
the age I thought I was going to check out on...could be the palm reader that  oaid ' you'll be dead by 32' back in the summer ur 1996 but I really don't  believe in psychics 'cause that would be,uh, crazy...That is actually a true  story. Some friends and I went to see a palm reader tripping on LSD. I was  told I had a short life line on my palm and I guess she was a former tree  ring reader to have the skill set to determine that number. I had forgotten  about that incident for years until I was awaiting my trial. It became a sort  of self fulfilled prophecy to me.
So, there I was sitting in my cell at the newly minted age of 37 and I was  hit with an overwhelming sadness that THIS is what has become of my life.  I've spent the last half of my life locked up. I thought, what kind of 'life'  is this?
Why can't I wish it all away. Why can't I wake up and have it all be one bad dream-or even better be THE MATRIX. I just want to hit the reboot  and start it all over. Do something right. Change one thing. It's scary to  look back at your life and be able to pin the EXACT moment everything turned  fqr the worst. To be able to say with certainty had I just gotten in that  
suburban with my dad and gone to Kroger's for groceries instead of waiting  on the Taxi Cab To Hell...That I would've accepted my dad's gesture as an apology instead of being a stupid stubborn teenager.
I can say with CERTAINTY I would not be sitting here typing this BS right now. This life I'm living would've never materialized. It was that moment in time that forever changed  the trajectory of my life. Yes, I believe that things happen for reasons  there are too many coincidences in life that happen to convince me otherwise. I'm not exactly sure as to how I fell about life the universe and everything, but I know that there's too much evidence at least in MY life to suggest otherwise. I can rationalize that thought process. This current path is what has made  me who I am. Now. I accept that. Doesn't mean it doesn't suck and I wish I  could change certain things.
This is how weird I am...I just told a friend this idea I had...what if there  was a medical procedure or drug that put you into a medically induced coma  and the doctors could pin point exact moments in time, or memories, and you  could, in this vegetative state, relive that particular memory. It could be  for hours, could be for years, but the point is you relive that exact time  for that duration. Almost like a total recall type thing. It would be a paid
service. People would do this ( probably rich people) as a vacation or entertainment very Phillip K. Dicksian...would 'you do it?
What moment in your life would you like to re-experience? I'd like to be on a loop in 1994. That just seemed  like aperfect year for me. Probably one of the greatest years in the 90's.  From a historical vantage point. If anyone steals this idea for a novel or  screen play I want creative credit!
There were some good moments in the day of my birthday, however, some guys  made me some food. Made some 'pie' and I relaxed so it wasn't a total bummer.  As I said, I'm grateful. I'm very fortunate. I know this. Believe me, I know. I just wish I could hit the reset button.
We went on lock-down at the beginning of September which was completely unexpected  as it was 30 days early. Ever since the great cell phone scandal of 'OB they've been putting us on lock down every 90 days to due a search for contraband and whatever...They typically only last about a week. General Population was  scheduled for their annual lock-down so I suppose they decided to get death row as well. Even though our next 90 day period wasn't due until the first of October. It went by relatively painless. I didn't personally lose anything
I wanted to keep in terms of property. So I have no complaints, really. Though,  I will be upset if the rumors are true that their going to put us back on  lock-down in early October to keep things on a normal schedule. That will
I've been reading a really good translation of Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov.  I've found myself reworking my way through some of the great classics recently  because while I read many of these books when I was younger, I think I'm more  mature intellectually to really understand them, it has been an interesting
process for me. Anyways, in reading the introduction to this book the translator  was talking about Dostoevsky's life and he published a letter that was sent to his brother when he believed he was about to be executed Il sentenced to  death, along with member of a secret utopian society by Emperor Nikolai I)
I was really moved by the letter itself. I could only wish to have the ounce  of strength, spiritually as he did. And so I wanted to copy it here and share  it with you:
Today, December 22, we were driven to Semyonovsky Parade Ground. There the  death sentence was read to us all, we were given the cross to kiss, swords  wore broken over our heads, and our final toilet was arranged white shirts).  Then three of us were set against the posts so as to carry out the execution.  We were summoned in threes; consequently I was in the second group, and there was not more than a minute left to live. I remembered you, my brother, and all yours; at the last minute, you alone, were in my mind, and it was only  then that I realized how much I love you,my dearest brother! I also succeeded  in embracing Pleshcheyev and Durov, who were beside me, and bade farewell  to them. Finally the retreat was sounded, those who had been tied to the posts  were lead back, and they read to us that His Imperial Majesty granted us our  lives. There upon followed the actual sentence...
Brother, I'M not depressed and haven't lost spirit. Life everywhere is life,  life is in ourselves and not in the external (geeze, just typing this part  out gets me all emotional...the strength in the words, the beautiful language  used...]There will be people near to me, and to be a human being among human  beings, and remain one forever, no matter what misfortunes befall, not to be come depressed, and not to falter- this is what life is, herein lies its
task. I have come to recognize this. This idea has entered into my flesh and blood. Yes, it's true!
That head which created, lived by the highest life of  art, which a knowledged and had come to know the highest demands of the spirit,  that head has been cut from my shoulders.
(Here,get that he is saying that  he has let go of the material, the things that have kept him tied to earth...  not that they don't matter, but in a greater spiritual existence his 'head'  isn't what makes him what he is... this next part is particulary beautiful] Memory remains, and the images I have created and still not molded in flesh.  they will leave their harsh mark on my, it is true! But my heart is left me,  and teh same flesh and blood which likewise can love and suffer and desire  and remember and this is, after, life. On voit le soleil! Well, good-bye, brother! Do not grieve for me...Never until now have such rich and healthy stores of spiritual life throbbed in me.

This letter, these words do give me a certain strength. I'm hoping one day  that I can have that same spiritual freeness that he found. In a lot of ways,  and a fault of mine is that I can still be connected to the head...I can be
a very neurotic individual. I hope one day I can let go...

There's a storm a brewing on good of polunsky unit. Some real funny business.  So, a few years ago they started restricting us on our use of razors due to  something someone did. Never mind the fact more staff assaults happen in General  Population and they can Buy personal razors, than they do on death row. Infect,  I'd say less than one percent of staff get assaulted yearly. Inmates are bit different. Anyways, so we can now only shave-in the shower- three times a week. Sundays/wednesdays/fridays. Now, anyone who hasn't shaved since sunday  is going to look like Grizzly Adams come wednesday. I mean, I look like I  haven't shave in a week in two days, never mind four...Well, today the ranking  officers went around various pods writing cases for NOT SHAVING to a bunch
of inmates. One guy was on the way out to visitation, hadn't even had the  chance to sahve yet because he was at recreation when they got him for his visit and the captain sees him in the hall way. " Write him up!" she is reported  to have screamed at him. Well, there was an exchange of words between the
two and by the time the guy returned from his visit guards had already showed  up to his cell, taken all of his property and put him on discipline Chat
is called Level 2) No kangaroo court, no due process, just wham ham thank  you ma'am. Every now and then things get really laid back here. There's a  nice rythm where the guards aren't messing with anyone and the inmates are  relatively calm and complacent. Then, it is like someone gives an order to stir the bee hive and rile everyone up. It makes no sense tome. Why wouldn't  you want a peaceful environment to work in? Why would try to shake things
up when they're obviously working? This is one of those great mysteries of 18 years of incarceration.
Someone told me an interesting theory back here of why this is suddenly happening  and I'm not one to give into conspiracy theories but it does kind of make sense. In recent months there's been a lot of discussions of giving death
row prisoners and people in administation segregation more priveleges because  of the concern of solitary confinement. What it does to an individual and so this guy said, " You know, I think they're trying to get people to go off  so that they can justify treating us like animals..." Hmmmm. It does make you wonder. Could there be officials so spiteful that they would intentionally  create a hostile environment so that they can say " See! This is why they shouldn't have this or that!" I don't know, but it is an interesting thought.
Toady has been one of those blah kind of days...I went outside earlier this morning, got my butt kicked at basketball came in, did some writing, had my  shower 1 and shaved!) and now I'm winding the day down with this entry and  than I'm going to listen to news. I've been keeping with Scotlands vote to  break away from the UK and I find it all very interesting. Plus, the ISIS stuff  in syrai and Iraq. I typically listen to the news from about 4-7 P.M. at the  end of the day. I prefer world news over local news because geeze, if local  news doesn't make you want to throw yourself off of a bridge, I don't know  what will! It's all death, weather, more death, then sports! Yay! I like to
go from firery auto crashes right on into who won yesterdays ball game! I'm  more interested in the politics of world news. Scary? You bet! But for me,  a bit more cerebral.

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