The Boron Letters - Chapter 25
Friday, 7:14 PM
July 7, 1984
Tonight I am going to be writing about something I didn't
think I was going to be writing about.
I just had a minor confrontation in the chow hall with a guy
I've had a little trouble with before. He was giving out
cups of ice and when I insisted on two cups he said 'no' and
we verbally got into it. At one point, he suggested that if
I didn't like his refusal to give me more ice, we could go
fight behind one of the dorms.
I glared at him and walked away. We were starting to attract
attention and there were (always are) guards in the mess
Really, this is no big deal except in a way, it is. This guy
is not very much like the room mate I had some trouble with.
This guy is young, tattooed and stupid. He is a loser and I
know from previous conversations with him that he is pretty
much lost when he is on the street.
He is always messing up, he smokes dope and he is in the
Lieutenant's office often for disciplinary action.
I would probably kick the living $#!+ out of this guy. You
never know for sure, I could be wrong but he is not a big,
bad type. Mostly, he is just plain stupid.
But what may be instructive in all this is why it happened
and what I hope to do about it so I, hopefully, don't have
to deal with it again.
First of all, let me explain that both the incident with my
roommate and this incident happened when I was "off". As a
matter of fact, I am off right now and I have been off for
more than a week. When I am off, when anybody is off,
this is communicated!
Right now, also, (or in conjunction with) being off, I am
also quite vulnerable. I have fasted two days this week, I
am missing L and I have been, in general, feeling sad.
No big deal. Except when you are in prison. When you are in
prison, even a very easy one like this one, your "Karma", I
believe, is extra important! It's important on the street
too, but it is especially important here. This is a bad
place to be weak, even a little and even momentarily.
Remember how I told you, you could sort of tell if you were
off by how close you could guess what time it is? Well,
another indicator is if you bump into things just a tiny bit
or you are just a tiny bit clumsy. Don't forget HALT.
Hungry. Angry. Lonely. Tired. When I went into that mess
hall, I was all of this except angry and I was probably a
little angry too.
Now, here's an interesting thing about both of these two
incidents. In both cases, I was "wrong". Not big deal wrong.
But wrong from a not being aware and on top of things
aspect. You see, in the incident with my roommate, if I had
been aware, I would have realized that my radio was causing
an infuriating disturbance. And, in this recent incident in
the mess hall, I should have realized that this guy was
deliberately positioned there for the express purpose of
rationing out the ice and here I was responding to his "What
about the rest of the guys?" with the answer, "To
hell with the rest of the guys!"
And, believe it or not, I said that a little unconsciously
because I sort of thought he was joking. You see, I just
wasn't on top of things.
On the street, neither of these things would have been a big
deal. But here, there is a lot less slack.
So, now that I know I'm off, what do I do? Well, I certainly
don't intend to fight this guy who I refer to as "The
Rodent". That could cost me six months extra in the joint.
But, I don't want many more of these incidents either. So,
what I intend to do is lay low for a while until I am
feeling strong and not feeling vulnerable.
You know why I'm going to lay low? It's because I'm
concerned. Not physically scared ("The Rodent" isn't very
threatening) but concerned that I better get back on top
mentally to be more prepared to deal with this environment.
Does it seem like I'm making a big deal out of all this?
Don't kid yourself. It's serious. I'm missing L like crazy
right now, I am missing my freedom, I am angry about having
to be here, I am diminished by my previous confrontation, I
am weak from fasting, I am tired (albeit pleasantly) from my
long run and all the time I spend in the sun and, in
general, I am a bit weakened.
I am starting to make mistakes.
No good. Not here. So, what I intend to do is fall back and
I am, for a little while, gong to try to avoid (as far as
possible) my fellow inmates. I'm going to fast tomorrow and
sort of hid out. I don't intend to fast again after that for
another week. You know, when I'm on the street (God, I even
talk like a con now!) I also avoid people whenever I fast
and it is even more important here.
So, first I'm going to lay low and secondly, I am going to
try not to "emerge" until I have pumped a little iron.
You know, I may be wrong but, I think had I been "pumped"
neither of these incidents would have happened. I think this
for two reasons:
1) I would have been more alert and never did the things
that perpetuated these incidents.
2) And secondly, when I am "pumped" and on top of things,
people react differently to me because I send out different
By the way, another way I can tell I am stressed right now
is my vision is a little blurred.
So now, after all this preamble can I relate any of this to
your success at DM and MO? You bet. At the time in my life
when I was making the most money, I followed the same
procedure I am talking about here. Namely: I pay attention
to myself and when I am off, I drop out of sight and do what
is necessary to strengthen myself.
It is important here, it is important out there, and it is
especially important in business dealings. People can smell
it when you are weak. When you are vulnerable. They can
smell success too. They can sniff out a winner.
And you can't fake it. Not for long. You've got to be
Lord I'm tired. My vision is more blurred. And, I have just
made some minor but maybe important changes in my planned
routine over the next little piece of time. I'll tell you
what they are when I resume writing.
What I have decided is, I had better not take a day off
running right now. I intend to run in the morning and fast
tomorrow. And, then, run again Sunday, even though I fasted
the day before. What I'll do I think, is I'll get up early
like (sun up) 5AM and eat a couple oranges and drink a
little coffee and maybe take warm up shower or a longer than
normal warm up walk and then run Sunday too.
Boy, did I just have a good talk! I found a guy here who is
very much like me. His life is stones, he's intelligent,
he's Cherokee Indian and he has had some "incidents" also
and he gave me some good advice. He said you can't sink to
their level. Just don't talk to them. He also said avoid
cursing. And, it's funny; he does the same stuff I do: He
runs, he pumps iron, etc. Maybe a valuable friend.
I'm so tired. I really want to get out of here now.
Since this is the last of my first batch of letters (this is
#25) to you, I am going to try and think of something extra,
maybe a little special to say.
I don't know what. Let's see. How about this? One of the
things I have learned here is how precious the good times
and the good people are. I hope I have learned never
again to not take fare of my special relationships.
Like the one I have with you. Let's remember we've got
something very special and really take care of it.
I Love You and Good Luck!
P.S. I've got four more minutes to do to get my hour
in. Let's see. I guess what I want to focus on here at the
end is my resolve to "go underground" and quietly strengthen
myself. I've really got to do it. I've got to transcend
And, what I think my theme will be is to make a game of
becoming an expert at quietly diffusing explosive situations
and sending out stronger vibes so I have fewer (or maybe
none) encounters to begin with.
Copyright © 2005 Gary C. Halbert. All Rights