San Quentin Prison, California

I got a letter from my cousin Flynn, who is currently sitting in the Carson Unit of the San Quentin State Prison, aka "the hole" aka solitary confinement, today. Flynn's a fuck-up, but he's not a murderer, rapist, or kidnapper, like the men in the cells next to him. He's in jail (again) due to his self-destructive nature and addictive personality. Drugs, to cut to the chase. And he's in solitary confinement for being clever-clever and trying to outsmart the prison guards. Apparently that doesn't go down well in SQ.

Flynn is a bit too smart for his own good. Well, maybe not. Maybe he has managed to stay out of prison for long stretches because he's so damn smart and charming. SQ is definitely taking things up a notch in the incarceration stakes, however. Or maybe that should be down a notch.

I fell out with Flynn just before he ended up in SQ. I had given him some cash a few months ago to get into another rehab programme, and I guess a few months into that he through in the towel, got high, and ended up owing the wrong people a lot of money. He called me asking to borrow, and I refused. I might be stupid (I reckon the first lot of cash went to pay off dealers as well) but I’m not dumb. Flynn always manages to find a female enabler, and I’ll be damned if I’ll be one. Anyway he ended up back in jail, and with a few broken ribs.

His letter made me sad. It’s the second he has sent me since being in SQ, and I guess he didn’t receive my reply to the first, so he thinks I’m turning my back on him. I’m not,  for some reason my letters aren't getting through.

Flynn and I have been very close…although we didn’t see each other for most of our adult lives, we led nearly parallel existences (okay well I was a “peace punk” in SF while he was a “nazi skin” across town) but we reconnected via letters at some point, and became very intimate. Our family lives were both a bit disrupted, his far more so than mine… but our shared experiences and our lack of a nuclear family unit pushed us together and we dug deep into each other’s confidence. I saw him at the family reunion last year, and it was strange, but great. Our family reunions…ah heck, that’s a whole ‘nother chapter.   Flynn is incredibly well read, and has a fantastic command of the English language.  I am trying to encourage him to write a book.  He has some incredible stories to tell.

Anyway, I will write to Flynn again tomorrow. I’m very sad that he’s in prison again. I don’t know how to help him, and I don’t guess I can, he has to determine his own path. Hopefully he’ll only be in SQ for a year or so. It’s his birthday next week. Damn.

By the way, I hate Firefox very much today.  Twice it crashed and I lost drafts of bits of writing.  This is a re-write from this morning, and not a very good one.