Hello, my name is David, but in the Twilight Zone I’m known as the Strange One. I got that name honestly because I’m just a little bit ‘out there’ or as Twilight would say, “Strange.” That’s not a reference to my lifestyle, but to my personality. I’m also gay and that’s a reason others think I’m strange but it ain’t no sweat off of me. I am who the Creator made me to be. We recently found out some very bad news here in the Twilight Zone and I decided that I wanted to express my feelings about the situation. I wrote most of this on June 13, 2018.
I heard that Skeeter overdosed and died. It shocked me slightly, but honestly it wasn’t a surprise. When he left a few months ago I figured that was probably a possibility, but I didn’t think it would be so soon. When I first heard, I had to do some fact checking because we have this thing we call inmate.com, which is similar to any old rumor mill that you’re used to, just with a funnier name. The person I heard it from wasn’t known for spreading rumors, especially ones of that magnitude, but I still had to check to make sure,something I call research and development.
Let me tell you this: being in the Twilight Zone is hardest at times like these when you want to be able to just call whoever and find out if they know anything, or check facebook, or get online and check other sources that would have the information that you’re looking for and have the answer instantly. Unfortunately, you can’t do any of that here. I could have done a few different things to find out the information I wanted to know: I could have gone and asked other guys if they knew anything, but that would, if it wasn’t true, spread a rumor of bad news around and ruin other guys’ days, so scratch that idea. I was able to get on the email computer and sent a request to my people to look it up, so I might be able to find out, but being that they’re in a different part of the country than he was, and they don’t know anyone in that area, it was hard for them to find any conclusive information about him. They limited their search to the obituaries. It hadn’t been long enough for there to be an obituary yet so that search was a bust as well. I had to suck up my pride and go ask an officer (always the last resort) to see what he could find out for me. He went online right then and couldn’t find anything about the rumor either. I breathed a sigh of relief because I thought maybe it was just a rumor, or maybe he had overdosed but had been saved and hadn’t perished.
The next day, unfortunately, I found out the worst. The same officer that I had reluctantly asked to look into the matter saw me on the way to chow and told me he had done some more research “last night and this morning” and that my friend was no longer with us. Let me tell you, that will ruin your appetite immediately.
I know you’re not supposed to form attachments to people in an environment like this. But that doesn’t stop it from happening. He wasn’t my ‘best friend’ or anything like that, but we understood each other in a way that a lot of the others didn’t. We always made sure that the other was okay. If one of us could help the other in some way that was needed ASAP we always did, no question. We had many talks about our struggles with addiction, and how we weren’t able to manage it. He didn’t have the greatest support network for him once he was released. He wasn’t locked up long enough for him to lose the insatiable cravings. Heroin was his weakness, and we were lucky enough to be in a facility that didn’t have any available. Once he was released to the area where he was from, it was everywhere. I’m not from where he is, but the prison I’m in is quite close to there. We watch what was the local news for him. People are dying left and right out there and unfortunately he was one of them.
Heroin, is also big in my hometown area, and I’ve lost a few people to it already. However, because I was going through my own struggle, I never really processed the loss of those friends. I wasn’t around them or in their day to day lives because I was already locked up and going through the court process of my case. I know I hadn’t been a part of Skeeter’s day to day life anymore once he was released, but he had been a part of my day to day life for the past year. Somehow that hit me harder than finding out about my other friends, but it has also brought up feelings and emotions that I had had to suppress while going through the crisis of coming to the Twilight Zone. Once you’re here though, you’ve got plenty of time to process things that you’ve suppressed. Skeeter’s death, opened a flood gate of emotions about him and others that I’ve lost recently. In my current state of mind I’m going through a lot of emotions, but anger is the most surprising of them all. I’m mad at him for hurting himself, I’m mad that it’s made me deal with other things I had been avoiding, and I’m mad at myself for avoiding those things. Worst of all, now I’m scared of making connections with anyone else while I’m in the Twilight Zone because I don’t want to lose anyone else like this.
I know people come in and go out of our lives all the time. Death is something we will all experience, but that doesn’t make it any easier. I’m still kind of checked out of my whole grieving process because I really don’t know how to do it properly. I do know this: Skeeter was everyone’s little buddy and he never made anyone feel bad about themselves. He was a light in a dark place and it has been darker since he left. Now there is a different kind of darkness surrounding him and hopefully something good can come from it, but I’m not sure how yet. To sum it up – I’m feeling some type of way about this, and I don’t like it!
If I were going to leave you with a message it would actually be a quote from Dolly Parton, “The way I see it, if you want a rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”
The Strange One