In Hebrew the word we translated as eternity doesn’t mean endless. It’s a sort of faraway horizon. Don’t get me wrong: it’s long. It’s just not forever. Heaven, hell, wherever you’re going, it’s not a chance at immortality. People think of hell and it’s a place removed. Somewhere far away where eternity and mortality meet. But there’s an end. I think that’s the torture. Hope. You can’t just let the despair and the dark consume you whole. Time stops. Forever’s tick by like minutes.
People start believing in God in here. I don’t understand it. I’ve seen murderers take communion and swear they can taste heaven. It makes me wonder what kind of people are the chosen ones.
They have mass every day. Twice on Sundays. Most people aren’t Catholic, but once it’s been a couple years you aren’t that particular anymore. Just somewhere to sit and pray. No one cares what you call Him.
I don’t call Him anything.
I’m waiting for the burning bush or the cross in the sky or maybe the hole in the concrete walls. Yeah, that’d get me believing in miracles.
They keep telling me to get right with God. That I just got to ask for forgiveness and I’m back in. I don’t believe that for a second. I know what it’s like to be a god. To have people kneel at your feet. Asking for forgiveness don’t do nothing. You’re too far away. It’s hard to even look them in the eye.
Anyway, they tell me that I got to start praying. Tell me, we got a lot of time to just sit and think, might as well sit and think about God. I don’t think that’ll do me a lick of good. If it does I don’t want any part of that god. They really shouldn’t take me. But then again, they shouldn’t take most of these guys and they all seem to think that fifty to life is nothing compared to an eternity without walls.
I’m fine with the walls as long as there’s no chair sitting in the middle of them. It’ll come soon though. My lawyer’s in the prosecutor’s pocket and the governor needs a face to put to the rising crime rates. Lucky me.
But it’s not too bad. None of the guys in the row have got handmade knifes in their pockets. It’s always quiet in here. No one talks to the guy across the way too much. You don’t want to know his name once he’s gone. Mostly, when they do talk, it’s to no one. Maybe to God, I don’t know. It’s a lot about their family, the girl they left back home, what his momma used to make him for Sunday supper.
The last meal’s always a disappointment. I haven’t decided yet what to pick. In the movies, they always make it seem like some sort of feast. It’s hard to treat yourself on less than $20. I’d like to think that I won’t be able to eat but in all truth, it’ll probably be a relief. At least I know how I’m going to go. I won’t get hit by a bus on the way home from work one day. I won’t have to fight my way through some terrible disease only to lose in the end.
I wonder who will be there. I’ve always liked an audience. I don’t know who they invite to these things. I’ve certainly never been. It seems like an odd way to spend a Friday night. I haven’t got anyone, not a last face I’d like to see.
They don’t execute anyone on a Sunday. I guess they figure thou shalt not kill applies more then than any other day. Or maybe they don’t want to bother the big man on his day off. It’s Monday now, so I guess I’ve got until the end of the week. Man, that seems like some sort of eternity.
But it’s alright. The last week is always the best. It don’t matter what you did to get you thrown in here, everyone just gives you a pass, figure you’ll pay for whatever it is you done soon enough.
Before they take me down that green mile, they’ll ask me if I want a priest to pray with me. I don’t think I’ll take them up on that. It don’t do much good to ask for something you don’t really want. I don’t need nobody’s pity. I knew what I was doing.
I don’t know though. It couldn’t hurt.