Archive for the ‘Prison Life’ Tag
I am being released from Federal Prison in a few days time. This will be the very last blog that I write from behind the wall. In fact, by the time this is posted and most of you read this, I will already be a free man.
I still can’t fucking believe it…to be perfectly honest. The mere thought of being free seems somewhat surreal to me. I know it’s in a few days and all but it’s almost unbelievable. I used to dream of the day I would have my freedom again and now it’s going to be a reality. My journey has come to an end–I made it. Even writing this and realizing the validity of what I’m saying is kind of bugging me out. Like…I am really getting out in a few days?!
I think the toughest part to wrap my mind around in all this good news is the fact that three years has passed me by. I don’t care what anyone says, that’s a long time. Three whole years have gone by without me. Not three days. Not three weeks. Not even three months for that matter. Three fucking years! That’s one thousand ninety five days…all of which I’ve spent behind bars and away from the world. Now all of a sudden I’m about to get out? Just like that. Shit, put yourself in my shoes for a second, you would be bugging the fuck out too. Just sayin’.
Don’t get me wrong, I may be buggin’ out a little, but I am fucking elated to be leaving this shit hole of a prison. These past few days kind of remind me of how I used to feel when I was a little kid waiting on Christmas morning, except way more intense. My release is pretty much all I think about, even though I try hard as fuck not to. It’s actually all I’ve thought about since the day that the alphabet boys came through, slapped the cuffs on me and tossed me in the slammer. I feel like I’ve been waiting on this moment forever and now my time is finally up. I guess all of the waiting, the excitement and the nerves I get from thinking of what’s to come, mixed with the thoughts of all I’ve been through and all I’ve missed out on over the past few years, is kind of getting to me. Like I said, it feels surreal…overwhelming even. It kind of makes me think like, damn, three whole years passed and it’s finally over. Looking back at this journey the time flew by…but when I was looking forward…not so much.
Truth be told, I didn’t always feel the overwhelming sense of joy and excitement that I feel inside right now…far from it actually. Some, if not most days of my incarceration, I felt an overwhelming sense of hopelessness, sort of a desperation…especially when I first got locked up. I thought that the world had simply given up on me and forgot all about me. I thought my time would never come, as if I was destined to spend the remainder of my days locked in a fucking cage, stuck in a living nightmare while life passed me by on the outside. I never thought I would make it down the seemingly endless tunnel of darkness with no sign of light at the end. It was definitely bad at times for me mentally. I’d be lying if I said otherwise…
When I first got tossed in jail with no hope of freedom in the foreseeable future, I was a fucking disaster. Sure, I had been very much clean from drugs for quite some time by that point, but my mind state and priorities were all out of whack. My world was crumbling around me at a rapid pace in every possible aspect imaginable. I was thrown unwillingly into a highly unfamiliar and extremely unpleasant situation. I went through the whole spectrum of shitty emotions at first…from fear to sadness to hopelessness to whatever…but what sticks out primarily in my mind is that of anger. Let’s face it, I was mad as fuck at everything that was going on in my life at the time. I honestly didn’t think that I belonged in prison.
I was still blaming everyone and their mother for my problems. I can’t even begin to count how many times I said “those fucking rat fucks!” (or something along those pleasant lines) while speaking with a loved one or a friend via telephone or letter. I was bitter….but in my case I had a lil’ reason to be mad at rats…or at least I thought I did. I probably would’ve never been exposed to any type of criminal prosecution without the help of multiple informants. Remember, I had quit hustling many months prior. I was out clean. I cleaned up my entire life and was working on cleaning up my soul. I honestly don’t even think I was on the Feds’ radar. But let’s face it…this was no one’s fault but my own. I am well aware of this. I just wasn’t at that point.
Let’s be honest here for a second. I’m no saint. I’m no innocent victim who was wrongly accused. I fucking smuggled and sold drugs–lots of them at that. I’m a fucking idiot if anything. I broke the law. Shit, I broke the law over and over, letting greed and addiction blind me of consequences or repercussions of my actions. I simply didn’t give a fuck. Nobody forced me to do any of that shit. Therefore I have NO ONE to blame but MYSELF. Regardless of who told whomever what..its all moot. I fucked up. Not them…ME. I am here because of ME and ME alone. I hold no grudges. I’m honestly over it. I’ve moved on and I’ve let go…
Letting go of all that anger and resentment that I held inside of me for so long was tough and it took some time, but I did it. Another really tough feat for me at first was realizing that the world simply does not revolve around me as I once firmly believed. Only child–don’t judge! When I first got locked up, everything was me, me, me. Do this. Do that. Send me money. Send this guy money. Call this one. Message that one. Get me this one’s address. Call the lawyer. Call him again. Send more money…and so forth (you get the idea). I acted as if life stopped once Matthew McDonald was incarcerated. I didn’t take the time out to think about the massive amount of pain, shame, and embarrassment that I had caused my loved ones. All I was worried about was my being comfortable in jail and more so that my pretty little life was being ripped from underneath me…not about how any of them felt inside. Sad…but true. While I was making the load heavy, I was bitching for more commissary. I was such an asshole back then…a selfish fucking asshole. It kills me inside when I look back….
I guess now that my journey is coming to an end, I can’t help but keep thinking back to the very beginning of it all. Even though it feels as if three years went by in the blink of an eye, it also feels like it was a lifetime ago since I first walked into prison (if that makes any sense). When I look back, I honestly cant believe the type of person that I was back then. It’s really quite embarrassing. I definitely had a lot of growing up to do…that’s for sure. I was in desperate need of a wake up call and a major reality check. What better place for such needs than in prison?
Regardless of however I happened to be feeling when I first walked into jail–whether it was anger, selfishness, despair or whatever the fuck else I may have been going through–I learned quickly that I had to check all that shit at the door. There was no room for tears, me-me-me, or walking around angry in jail. I had to learn how to carry myself without showing any type of emotions at all. Most importantly, I had to learn how to be humble…especially when I was facing some serious prison time.
If I was going to survive in this new world, I only had two choices. I could either continue being angry at the world, caring only about myself, blaming others for my problems and continue to be the immature cocky little asshole that I’ve been accustomed to being… or I could man the fuck up, accept the fact that I wasn’t going home any time soon and use the situation as both a learning experience and a chance to grow. I could work on my body, my mind and perhaps most importantly my soul, so hopefully I could come out of this a better man all around. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I chose the latter. Thank God I did…because who the fuck knows if I would’ve made it out of this shit alive if I was walking around with a chip on my shoulder for three years. That wouldn’t have been pretty.
I realize that there will be some skeptics out there…and that’s to be expected. I’m sure there’s people reading this right now claiming this is all bullshit….thinking I’m going to get back out there in a few days and be the same old Matty that I was before I went in. That’s fine. Think what you want. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Some people believe that human beings are incapable of change. Shit, maybe they’re right. Who really knows…I sure as hell don’t. The only thing I do know is that when I first came into jail, I had a long road ahead of me–both figuratively and literally. I really needed a kick in the ass. I needed to get over myself and whoever the fuck I thought I was. I simply needed to grow the fuck up…
I’m not claiming to be a changed man. On the contrary, I’m still very much the same person that I was before I came in. Prison didn’t suck all of the life and all of my personality out of me–thank God. So what I will say–and proudly I might add–is that I have grown a great deal since the day I first walked into the unknown world of prison. I may not be a “changed man” or any of that bullshit, but I have definitely learned a lot, I’ve matured greatly and my perspective on things has changed dramatically over these past few years.
The most important lesson among the multitude of others that I’ve learned in all of this is that freedom is a privilege and it should never be taken for granted. Losing mine made me realize that life is way too fucking short to be spent rotting in a prison. I learned that time is a valuable and precious commodity and should be treated as such. It should never be wasted. I now know that I have to cherish every moment when I’m out, no matter how seemingly insignificant, because who the hell knows which one is going to be my very last…
I learned that family comes first–no matter what. Because at the end of the day–when push comes to shove–they ALWAYS have my back–no questions asked. No matter the situation, I can always count on my family. That’s a fact I’m so fucking thankful for. I can’t even put into words of how much I love, respect and appreciate every member of my family for all that they’ve done for me. I may not have the biggest Italian family on the block but I have the best family that I could possibly ask for. I’ve learned that its quality–not quantity–that truly matters in life. Without them I honestly would’ve never made it through this shit. Their love and support over the years is what kept me going every day. When I thought of giving up or that I couldn’t make it…they were there to lift me back up and push me to keep going. I wouldn’t be the man that I am today without them. I owe them my life…that’s the fucking truth right there. To my family–if any of you are reading this (you guys better read my blogs btw lol)–I love and thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
This whole ordeal has taught me a few valuable lessons about friendship as well. True friends are a rarity in this world. A couple of years ago, I quoted Queen of the South when I said “you learn who your true friends are when you’re in the hospital, in prison or in the ground.” The saying remains true three years later. I’m lucky enough to be able to say that I have a few great friends that stuck by me through all of this. When I was at my absolute lowest and all my chips were down, they were there for me. Whether it was sending me letters, pictures, taking my phone calls, visiting me, sending me money or whatever… they were there–no questions asked–just like my family was. In fact, those few friends are part of my family now. My mom got a few more sons and daughters…and that’s alright by me. Because their love and support during my dark days is something that I will never ever forget and something I appreciate more than any of them will ever understand. They may not know what it’s like to be incarcerated, but they bidded with me… they laughed with me… they cried with me. I’ll never be able to thank you guys enough. 143!
What I came to realize is that since I made it through this fucking nightmare, I can make it through anything that life throws my way. They say if you can make it in New York then you can make it anywhere…try Federal Prison…then get back to me on that one. I’ve been to six different jails and prisons in four different states over the past three years. I’ve met all walks of life–both good and bad–some of which I’ll remain friends with for the rest of my life. You know what I’ve learned… that prison is a bad place. It is literally a hell on earth. It is certainly not a place for the weak or the weak minded. Those types don’t survive… but you know what…I fucking did… I’m out of here!!
P.S. Even though I’m being released…I will continue writing my blog…thanks to everyone!!
Some of you may be wondering where the hell I’ve been…or why I haven’t written anything since ONE YEAR LATER. Well…keep wondering…cause I’m on vacation!! LOL…I kid I kid!
Sadly, I haven’t gone anywhere. I’m still very much down here lampin’ (or should I say sweating my balls off) at good ol’ Ft. Dix Federal Correctional Institution–finishing up payment of my debt to society. I’m almost paid in full. Too bad this place doesn’t accept checks or credit cards instead of time…PFFFFF!
With this nearly unbearable heat and humidity situation that I’ve had to endure down here with no fans or a/c over the past month, I’ve honestly had no drive or motivation to write. I know, I know…I’m sorry! Hey…relax over there Gary! If you’re that mad call any Federal official and tell them to install some air conditioners down here…then we’ll be in business. I’m sure the other 5,200 inmates here would really appreciate it!! The natives are definitely getting restless down here with this heat and no relief in sight. Shit…I’m fucking sweating as I type this…lol.
Every time I sat down with my iced beverage in hand, headphones in my ears tuned in to my favorite station, in the frame of mind to write, I would immediately get hot, start sweating and then I’d get aggravated…which in turn caused me to put my pen and pad away until the next day. Rinse. Recycle. Repeat. Finally after multiple failed attempts at writing due to inclimate weather conditions and lack of interest in sweating my balls off more than necessary, I got to the point where I was like fuck this shit. I needed a break…so I decided to take one month off and come back fresh and motivated….so here I am. I’m still definitely hot as balls, but I’m fresh and ready to make miracles happen…LOL. So I’m all yours…at least until the next heat wave. Now… where the hell was I again? Oh yeah………
Some time between the early hours of three and four in the morning, I woke up from a coma-like sleep in a groggy haze…confused as to where the hell I was exactly. I was laying on a seemingly familiar and comfortable bed, engulfed in a plethora of sheets and down comforters, and I was ass naked. I glanced over and noticed that there was a woman sleeping soundly beside me, facing the opposite direction. Still confused, I partially sat up…quietly as to not wake her…and curiously looked around the dark room. As I slowly began to gather my bearings, it all came back to me in an instant. I was home…I was in my bed…I was out of rehab.
Even though I was still half asleep, I smiled to myself. I carefully sank back into my bed under the covers, rolled over, closed my eyes and tried to fall back asleep. The only problem was…I couldn’t…and believe me when I say I tried. It’s not that I wasn’t tired, because I was still very much so. It’s just that something didn’t feel right….not with the situation of me being back home in the comforts of my apartment, in my bed, with my lady no less….no…it was something else. It was me. I felt kind of shitty…and as the minutes passed, while trying to get comfortable enough to fall back asleep, I noticed it more and more.
For starters, despite the air conditioning clearly being on, it felt like the heat in my apartment was set to South Africa. I was sweating a little and laying in a large area of wetness….which might have also been sweat…presumably my own…or so I had hoped. Unless of course the woman sleeping ever so soundly next to me was dreaming of toilet bowls and oceans LOL…and in that case I was literally swimming in whatever the hell she had going on. Nope…thank God…lol…the wetness came from me. I was perspiring lightly all over. The sweat was just enough to make it really sticky and uncomfortable under the covers, making it impossible to fall back asleep.
Naturally, I removed the covers from my body to try and cool off–and did I ever. It felt as if I flipped a switch. The cool air felt really nice at first, almost refreshing. Then it got a little too cold for my liking, so I slid back under the covers to warm up a little, in yet another attempt to fall back asleep. Only thing is it didn’t work. Despite the abundance of covers I was swimming in, I still felt slight chills all over. I had goosebumps everywhere…and I’m talking everywhere. Places I didn’t think were possible to get them had goosebumps. Laying in the small area of wetness wasn’t helping my situation either. If anything, it only made me feel more cold and uncomfortable. I didn’t like where this was heading.
After a few minutes of tossing and turning, going from slightly hot to cold, I decided to get out of bed, towel off the sweat and put on some clothes to get my body temperature back to normal. That’s when I noticed how shitty I really felt. My body had mild aches all over…not sharp pain per se…but achy. I also noticed that I felt kind of drained. At first I chalked it up to lack of sleep, but dismissed that idea quickly since I had experienced all these symptoms together before. I was beginning to get a sense of deja vu. My body felt like it was going through a very mild version of what I went through before I had gone to rehab…. opiate withdrawals. Pffffffff! Fuck my life!
Yes…the withdrawals were back….the only thing is I had no idea how or why. I was really confused as to what the fuck was going on. I even went as far as pinching myself because I thought I was stuck in some sort of twisted dream–a nightmare even. I wasn’t. Sadly, it was real. Now all I had to do was find out how to fix my problem.
I realize this whole opiate withdrawals bullshit sounds rather redundant. It seems like every other blog I’m talking about hot flashes, chills and feeling like shit. Well…that’s because every time I looked…it felt like opiate withdrawals kept creeping back into my life somehow. So imagine how the fuck I must have felt. You have to sit through reading it over and over in my blogs, and here I was going through them over and over in real life….pffffff.
I mean, I went to rehab–dealt with all the nonsense there for however long–cleaned up my act and checked out. I thought I was well past the point of physical withdrawals. I definitely wasn’t expecting to go through them ever again. I guess I thought wrong.
I didn’t take into consideration that I was on pills for close to two years…along with whatever other party drugs I added to the mix. A few weeks away in a rehab isn’t the end all be all cure all as I thought it was. I guess my body still needed time to fully adjust to not having opiates in my system. They say the biggest reason that most people relapse after their first time getting out of rehab is because you leave there with a false sense of security. You leave there thinking you feel great and it’s all over…like Matty – 1, Blueberries – 0 …all the while not realizing that the medication they put you on to detox off of pills will eventually wear off and you’ll inevitably have to go through feeling like shit for at minimum a couple more days…and at worst several more weeks…depending how bad your habit was. Don’t get me wrong, I felt great compared to withdrawals before I checked into rehab, but it still sucked just enough for me to consider using pills again…as I almost did.
What happens next is a little cloudy in my memory–so bear with me. I’ll try my best to describe what happened the rest of that morning as far as I can remember…
Still feeling like shit, I decided to shrug it off and take action. After getting dressed, slipping into a pair of Jordan shorts and a loose fitting tank top, I prepared myself for a scavenger hunt around my apartment. Operation blueberries (or anything equivalent for that matter) was under way. I went on a fucking mission to make the shitty feeling go away…one way or another. I had several squirrel stash spots all around my apartment…for just such an occasion. Sad…I know…but also very true. The only thing I wasn’t sure of was which spots my girl had cleaned out in my absence.
I started my quest in the bathroom. Yes…the bathroom. I told you I hid shit everywhere…no pun intended…lol. I looked in the three places where I would’ve hidden pills….the linen closet…way back engulfed among old bath towels…nope. The medicine cabinet…mixed in with a bottle of Vitamin E capsules…nope. Finally I checked the box of wet wipes on the shelves next to the toilet. I mean who would look in there…right? Fucking nope. Either she got to all my hiding places while I was away or I sniffed them a while ago and forgot to replenish the stash. Regardless, the bathroom was all clear…no pills.
Next I ransacked my living room…and believe me when I say I looked everywhere…even in places where I normally wouldn’t have hid shit. I tried to convince myself that perhaps in a drugged-up haze, I must have found new hiding places. If I wasn’t sweating and going through mild chills, semi-feeling like death, this would’ve probably been a fun game…like an Easter egg hunt when I was a kid…lol. I looked in pillows, under pillows, in the couch, under the couch, under the coffee table, on shelves, in books, under the book case, in picture frames, on the window sills, in closets, in clothing in closets, in jacket pockets, in jean pockets, in shoes, in the DVD player, under the DVD player….you get the idea.
Shit, I almost wished I had someone there rooting me on saying, you’re getting colder… you’re getting warmer…lol. If you think about it, that part was kind of true. I was getting hotter and colder every few minutes…but like physically…not just in regard to finding my prize…lol. I was on a fucking mission, which as it appeared, I was failing miserably, finding nothing….
After rummaging through the remaining areas of my apartment–all of which while trying to be as quiet as possible–as to not wake up sleeping beauty in my bedroom, I hit up my kitchen…in a last ditch effort to soothe my pain and discomfort.
This took a little time…seeing there were so many fucking places where I could have possibly hid pills in a drugged-up frenzy. I literally emptied my cabinets…looked in glasses, bowls, cups, pots, pans, and all dinnerware was searched thoroughly to no avail. I even went as far as looking in the dishwasher–only to realize how stupid that was because even if I did have something in there at any point in time–it would’ve been ruined by a single wash…lol. I opened up my food closet. I tore open boxes of cereal, cookies, crackers…anything that was already open. I looked in a bottle of whey protein. I searched drawers, in the stove, under the stove, in the sink and under the sink. I even decided to move out my refrigerator to see if perhaps I might have dropped a pill under there at some point. Nothing. Not a fucking pill. I was clearly getting desperate.
Although I did find a few hundred bucks hidden in a box of Kashi GoLean cereal underneath the bag at the bottom that I must have forgotten about….so all was not lost…lol. Seriously though, I looked everywhere and found nothing. I failed miserably. If this were a real Easter egg hunt, all the other little kids would’ve been enjoying their prizes and I’d be off in a corner sulking. Fuck it. It seemed as if I was going to have to tough it out til the withdrawals passed. Who knew how long that was going to be? At least they weren’t that bad.
By this time, I’d say it was roughly four thirty in the morning, perhaps closer to five. This is where it gets cloudy. Feeling defeated, sweating lightly, I decided to look in my fridge for something to drink. I was in no mood to eat. I was drained. I had no energy whatsoever. I was overtired. All I wanted to do was replenish some fluids lost and lay down…not that I could sleep even if I tried. Did I mention that insomnia was a big factor after getting off pills? As I’d later learn, I wouldn’t be sleeping much in the next coming months. I’ll get to all that later down the line.
Upon looking in my refrigerator for a cold beverage, I grabbed a bottle of Simply Orange (no pulp) and cracked it open. Then I got a bright idea. I opened my freezer. What I found there kind of saved the day. Guess who forgot to get the alcohol out of the house? I found a few open bottles of random alcohol…mostly vodka…which is all I really used to drink. I made the executive decision to drink myself into a coma with high hopes of eventually waking up without withdrawals. I figured it may not have been the pills I was so desperately seeking, but it would do the trick. So I did just that…I drank…not even 24 hours out of rehab…and I was getting bombed at five in the morning. Nice…huh? Mom must be real proud…LOL.
After I finished off one bottle, which I’m assuming only gave me two or three glasses of vodka and OJ, I remember stumbling back into my kitchen to retrieve another bottle…figuring this would be the one to put me over the edge. I reached in my freezer for the bottle and I pulled it out…and low and behold…look what I find chilling (literally) behind it…. a mini ziploc baggie (picture one that could fit a nickel) containing five 30mg roxicodone pills. I was drunk. I smiled. This day was getting better by the minute. I won the Easter egg hunt after all! Yippieeeee!
To Be Continued….
Today is a very special day. Well…it is to me…for it is the one year anniversary of when I…along with the help of my editor and favorite Auntie Christine…started this blog. Wow…I must say that year went by in the blink of an eye. It has been quite a ride…both literally and figuratively…and I’m almost home. Well…not home-home as in Boston… but my soon to be new home…the sunny land of ….. =)
I have to admit when I first started this blog I was really fucking nervous. I’m talking waiting on an aids test–what’s the results–type of nervous. I mean it’s not every day that I wake up and decide to bear my soul–my inner most thoughts–to even my closest friends and family…and now here I was about to put my shit show of a life on blast for the general public to read…
Remember, this was the very first time since I had been arrested that I was going to publicly address all of the nonsense that had happened. The real story…not just some made up bullshit that the media got a hold of and ran with. It was pretty nerve-wracking for me. I didn’t really know how the public would react to what I had to say. Shit…I didn’t know if people would even take the time to read what I had to say for that matter.
The only thing that I did know for certain was that once I plead guilty and was sentenced to prison…all bets were off. I no longer had to bite my tongue regarding everything, as I had so patiently and unwillingly done at the request of my attorney. I had so many different thoughts and emotions bottled up inside at the time–for some 15 months–I just had to get them all out. I didn’t care who the fuck heard what I had to say…just as long as someone did. So I finally said fuck it…what have I got to lose? Here goes nothing.
Despite my fuck it attitude, it certainly wasn’t easy at first to put my life on blast by any means. Truth be told, I didn’t sleep one bit on the night of my first post. I remember laying there, on my pathetic excuse of a bed, imagining the absolute worst. I must have played through every negative outcome possible in my mind that night…it was awful. I even woke up my cellie in the middle of the night to ask him if he thought I made a mistake. I certainly had regrets…that’s for damn sure.
Imagine you have something you’ve been dying to get off your chest. So you decide to confide in a friend. Imagine putting yourself out there… I mean really out there–like butt-ass naked–to someone you know well and trust. You’re telling this person something about you that no one else knows. Your semi-embarrassed with a slight hint of shame–fearing the outcome. You have no idea how whatever it is you’re telling this person is being perceived…yet you continue to let it all hang out…then you suddenly realize that the very person who you just straight-up told your whole life to…now looks at you differently because of what you told him or her…judging your every word perhaps. How would that feel? Or even fucking worse….the person wasn’t even fucking listening to what you had to say at all….like you just poured your heart out to this person and they were preoccupied. Yeah…imagine that? Shit…that’s how I fucking felt that night. Except I didn’t bear my thoughts to just one mere person who I knew and trusted. I laid it out there for the world to read…think it over.
I will say as time passed, however, nothing was ever as bad as that first night. The more blog entries I wrote, I found that it became easier and easier to just let it all out…no longer fearing the consequences or the possible reactions of others. I just wrote what was on my mind–not giving a fuck. I found that as long as I kept what I had to say raw as hell…real…and most importantly honest…it was nothing to put my shit on blast. I guess I figured that if I just came clean with all of the nonsense that I had done over the years without implicating others (I’m no rat) then I’d truly be free. I’d have no more skeletons in my closet. I’d have nothing left to hide. So when I walk out of here…I’d be me…take it or leave it. I could carry my head held high, knowing I owned up to all my bullshit and I didn’t point the finger at anyone else. And maybe…just maybe…if I shared my story in a way that didn’t glamorize anything…it might prevent someone else from making the same poor choices that I had made along the way…and that would be the greatest reward of all.
So many people ask me how I’m able to put myself out there in the way that I do… BALLS!!! haha! … I tell em’ I have big fucking balls…that’s how! haha! … I kid, I kid…kind of. Truth be told, I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. If I had to guess I’d say (since I’m currently locked up) I find my freedom in writing. I’ve come to find out over the past year that writing has been very therapeutic for me. It’s given me an opportunity, not only to let out my skeletons, but to come to terms with how fucked up I was living when I was free.
They say that hindsight is always 20/20… I couldn’t agree more. It wasn’t until I started traveling down memory lane…writing these blogs and really soul searching…that I finally became honest with myself about everything. Not just with my addictions to drugs (both selling them and doing them), women and the fast life…but in the way I was living my life in general. The truth hurts…I’ll say that much. I was a real asshole…a selfish fucking asshole. They say that assholes finish first–pffffff! Whose first? I’m in fucking prison. Tell that one to Tucker Max. Sure I can say I was young and reckless, but it’s no excuse. I fucked up…plain and simple.
But all of that nonsense is in the past. Not to be forgotten of course…but to be used as a lesson learned….a major wake up call if you will. I’ve come a very long way from the person I once was…again both literally and figuratively. I can say that proudly…and it’s in part because of this blog…and the people who take the time out of their busy lives to read what’s on my mind. Without this blog and the people who read it, I may not have grown into the man that I’m fast becoming…and for that I’m grateful. Which is why I feel that this day is a special day to me….
With that being said…I want to take this opportunity to give thanks…to YOU…the reader…whomever you may be. THANK YOU!! Whether I know you personally or not…thank you…thank you all for taking the time out of your hectic lives to read my stories. To those out there who share, re-post, re-tweet, or re-anything having to do with what I write–THANKS! To those who comment on my thoughts, whether it’s positive or negative feedback…I thank you. Regardless of what you may think of me or how I’ve lived my life thus far, I owe you all a great deal of gratitude. Without all of you reading, posting, and/or commenting on what I have to say, this would be a blog with no audience… a tree falling in the woods with no one to hear it… so I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. As much as I’d love to sit here and thank everyone personally, I’d be here all day. I DO want to go home sometime soon LOL.
Also…the most important thanks of all…
I want to say thank you again to the person who makes this all possible for me. Without her time, effort and insight…this blog wouldn’t even exist…and I may not be the person I am today. I’ll keep this as brief as possible, for she has to edit for spelling and grammar errors and I certainly don’t want to add to her work load…lol.
I’ve grown a great deal over the course of this past year…moreso than in any one particular year of my life. I’ve had ups. I’ve had downs. I’ve learned so much about myself. You gave me the opportunity to help me to help myself grow as a person…if that makes any sense…lol. And…I know it wasn’t easy for you to overlook all my f-bombs (even though I know you deleted some…lol). I know that I’ve expressed my overwhelming gratitude and thanks to you for creating and running this blog on my behalf in my absence many times before, but I’ll say it again…and with pleasure I might add….THANK YOU SO MUCH.
I hope you realize just how much I truly appreciate everything that you’ve done for me…not just with this blog and over the course of this past year…but over the course of my life. You have helped and inspired me in a way that I could never repay…although someday I will surely try. Everyone tells me all the time how lucky I am and how my Auntie Christine is the best. I couldn’t agree more…you are the best and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Remember that….
Love ~ Matthew
As you are well aware, I am incarcerated. In my free time…when I’m not working out or writing…I’m reading. I’ve had the pleasure of reading tons of books since I’ve been down. All sorts of genres. My favorite genre has to be crime fiction. Non-fiction autobiographies or memoirs come a close second. Okay, I’ll admit it…I love the Twilight series as well…LOL. A few of my favorite authors include, but are certainly not limited to: Chuck Palahniuk, Stuart Woods, Sidney Sheldon, Lee Child, Stephenie Meyer….I could go on for days.
Even though I am such a fan of all these authors…and many more…I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting any of them. Recently I had the pleasure of reading ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME by Jimmy Blue Eyes. Needless to say, I loved it. It’s well written, captivating, intense and utterly raw….the very type of reading material which I love. Without giving the story away…. it’s about three lifelong friends who are involved in a series of crimes spanning 25 some odd years. Afterone of the three friends gets caught and turns informant for the FBI…it all goes sour…. picture “Goodfellas” in a Las Vegas setting. It’s great…I promise.
Until recently, I have yet to meet an author of a book in which I’ve not only read, but very much so enjoyed. Jimmy Blue Eyes is not only a great first-time author, but a personal friend of mine… so check out his book. I promise you wont be disappointed.
And don’t worry, my book will be on shelves as soon as I’m out of this shit hole! Stay tuned…….
You can purchase the book at Amazon:
or at his website: www.jimmyblueeyessouthphilly.com
The last time the New England Patriots played in the Super Bowl they had a perfect season and eternal greatness on the line. I had a fairly decent sum of money and years of bragging rights on the line. They lost obviously…as did I.
I had watched every game religiously that season (07-08). I watched my team straight up demolish every team they played that year. It was fucking awesome…however…I didn’t get to watch the Super Bowl. Not a single down was seen by me, nor did I get to listen to it via radio. To this day, the only thing I’ve had the opportunity to see from that game was the fucking miracle helmet catch by David Tyree and the game winning touchdown that ensued. It still breaks my heart…not merely for the loss of the game, the perfect season, money, or even bragging rights….no…what hurts the most is the fact that it was once again Boston vs New York and NY prevailed…in epic fashion I might add…typical.
It wasn’t my choice to miss the most important game of the season that year, of course. At the time I was sequestered while awaiting the premiere of Big Brother 9. Essentially I was locked in a hotel room for three weeks, somewhere in LA, with no TV, no radio, and no communication with the outside world whatsoever. All I had was room service, a small DVD player with assorted DVDs, and an iPod to keep me entertained…a luxurious prison if you will. While my team was losing, I was secluded from everything to make sure I wouldn’t go nuts before I entered the Big Brother House. It was sort of a test and preparation at the same time.
As for the game…I got updates by the BB staff every time there was a change in score. So picture me, with a minute left, thinking we won the game. I was dancing around my room like a maniac all alone in triumph. Then came the knock on the door…it was my room service and news that Eli Manning had just won his first Super Bowl. Needless to say, I didn’t have much of an appetite after that. I was now stuck in heartbreak hotel. Even though I didn’t get to see it with my own eyes, it still hurt like hell…but it wasn’t even as close to being as bad as…..
FAST FORWARD….4 years later…wow…has it really been four years? Time fucking flies…
Again I’m in a prison…this time it’s a real prison. Not a posh hotel room, living on room service and enjoying other comforts while I’m preparing myself for another time on television….nope. Now I’m in Federal Prison. BIG difference. However, the heartbreak remains the same. History has repeated itself in some sort of bizzaro world fucked up way. This time I got to watch the game. I watched my team, the New England Patriots, lose yet another Super Bowl, to yet again…the New York fucking Giants…Eli Manning….PFFFFF! Sound that shit out. That’s what I got to say about that….yeah…awful.
Now mind you, it’s ALL New York fans down here at good ol’ club fed in Ft Dix, NJ. OK, maybe not ALL NY fans, but def like 80%…bad enough…and five of them just happen to live in my room. Yeah awful, I know. So obviously since I’m from Boston and that’s what Bostonians do….prior to the game and pretty much all season long I’ve talked shit to all of them… Yankees suck! Eli stinks! Giants stink! Fuck NY! Among others. You name it, I’ve said it, and proudly…. all in good fun of course. Boston vs NY is the greatest rivalry in all of professional sports, what did you expect? I had to talk shit…it’s in my blood.
Well, during this shit talking and boasting of how great Boston is, I made a few bets….which is why I’m writing this blog entry in the first place. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days…you now realize that I lost every bet I made….so that being said…I owe the following:
- 1000 pushups – to be completed in one day…piece of cake…
- One hound dog – which if you are clueless…I have to, in front of the entire weight room, at 6:30PM when it’s busiest, get down on all fours and howl out at the top of my lungs three times…then I have to say the Giants are great!
- I had to shave “NYG” into the sides of my head…awful.
- I have to grow out a fucking handlebar mustache for one month, I can only answer to the name Joe Flacco, and I have to take pictures with the person who won that bet and post them on here…awful.
- I have to also make 3 pizzas which read N,Y,G in pepperoni for us to consume…I’ve done worse…
And…if these are not bad enough… here goes… in CAPS LOCK AS I AGREED:
ELI MANNING IS GREAT!… HE BEAT THE GREAT TOM BRADY NOT ONCE, BUT TWICE…HE NOW OWNS HIM…GO GIANTS!!
I can’t believe I just had to write that shit. If you are from where I’m from, that’s a fucking sin right there….to everyone from Boston. I sincerely apologize for that…but I’m a man who pays his bets….
DAMN YOU ELI MANNING….you ruined my liiiiiiiiife!!
PS: Pics with the shaved “NYG” and the handlebar mustache coming soon…. stay tuned…….
I’ve sat down and tried to write this very letter to you so many different times now, without succeeding, that I’ve honestly lost count. I guess I really didn’t know where to begin…or better yet…what to even say. I mean it’s been so long since…what…twenty some odd months that I’ve been away. Although it may feel like the time has flown by thus far, as I sit and look back, I realize that I have missed out on so much. It kills me inside to even think about…especially now…since the holidays are upon us and once again I’m going to be absent…I guess I’ve been feeling a certain way. Instead of keeping all of this shit bottled up as per usual, I figured now is as good a time as any to say what’s been on my mind…
I miss you…plain and simple. I have missed you since the very day that the Feds slapped the cuffs on me and took me away from the world. I don’t even think it’s possible for you to fathom the pain I feel inside every second I’m gone. You know, I always joke around with a few of my roommates in saying that every day I spend in here, I feel as if a little piece of my soul is chipped away. Chip…chip…chip…by the time I get out, there’s not going to be much left of me. I usually laugh it off with them and carry on this facade…like it doesn’t phase me…like this place ain’t shit…when in all reality that’s exactly what this place is…fucking shit…
Truth be told, sometimes it really does feel as if a small piece of me literally dies every single day I spend locked up…away from friends, away from family, away from the world…away from you. They say that time heals all wounds, but this shit is far too deep. I figured as time passed, this would get easier, I’d grow more numb, the holidays would mean less…I could brush it off, like I’ve always done so easily with everything else. I was wrong. Time has healed nothing. If anything, it has merely added to the stress of being away from life. It has made me miss you even more. Another holiday, another year…I feel even more disconnected with the world, more left out, more forgotten…with each day that passes, I am that much further from your thoughts, further from you. Out of sight…out of mind right? Shit, this is tough, but then again I’m tough. I’ll be home soon…not soon enough.
I think the worst thing for me in all of this is not doing the time or prison itself…that’s a piece of cake…it’s the feeling of being left out…feeling like the world has forgotten about me. That’s what really fucks me up on the inside. I had never experienced such a thing when I was a free man. I was always in the loop with everything and everyone. I certainly never had to worry about being forgotten in any way. I never had to question my self worth or if I mattered. Boy, how times have changed…fucking reality check that’s for sure. Being in prison is what I imagine death to be like…minus the dying part. The whole thing where loved ones cry for three days…then keep moving on with their own lives. Life goes on…with or without Matthew Michael McDonald. It’s scary to think about death, but shit, if it’s like this I’m well prepared in that aspect. That’s how I feel each day…like I’m stuck in limbo…helpless to anyone in the real world. I merely wait…for my release…for an email…for a fucking letter…any sign that you acknowledge that I’m not dead…I’m very much alive. It’s all waiting in here. I get to wait while I witness everyone, including you, move forward with their lives…happily I might add…without yours truly. No man knows my pain unless they’ve walked in my shoes.
Prison has definitely been a fucking wake up call for me…that’s for sure. I was once out there, where you are right now, world by the balls…not a care in the world. Now I’m on the inside…sweating little things like emails or letters, waiting, while wondering at all, during each day you if ever think of me as I do you. It’s pretty fucked up when I think about it, to wonder if I ever cross your mind. Time and distance do some tricky shit huh? I’m not used to not having control, not having the upper hand in life. I guess if I never put myself in this situation, I would have gone on living a lie. I’d still think that certain people who were once in my life were genuine, not riding along for ulterior motives, merely friends in disguise. I’ve come to learn that with friends…it’s quality, not quantity that really matters. I’m actually pretty lucky in that aspect. I can honestly say that there’s a few friends in my life that I know are real…who will always be there for me, whether it’s sunny skies or rain…and I am grateful for that. The rest well…like I said…out of sight, out of mind. I’ll be out of here in a few months. I’m still anxious to see who tries to weasel their way back into my life when they see me doing better than before. When the time I spent away will start to get fuzzy…they won’t remember any of that…and I wont remember them. Maybe time has made me jaded.
I certainly hope that you don’t think I’m complaining in any way to you…I’m not. I am well past my days of complaining. I’ve learned to adapt, to survive on less, to make the most out of what I DO have, rather than sweat what I don’t or no longer have. I’ve learned to accept my situation and embrace it as if it’s some sort of right of passage for me…like I’m off to war or something…there’s a war on my block everyday. As fucked up as it may sound, I feel like I needed this wake up call…a little break from reality…a chance to work on myself while I serve my debt to society. Where as I would have never imagined in a million years that I would have ended up here…I do feel it is for a purpose. What that purpose is remains to be seen. All I know is that I just have to continue using this time wisely…strengthening my mind and body…while reflecting on how I used to live so history doesn’t repeat itself…to hopefully come out of here a better man with a little more life experience that you can’t get elsewhere…in hopes of making you proud.
I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this, but I think the absolute world of you…I always have. I don’t think you realize just how much you have influenced my life…you are an inspiration, my muse, my drive for future success. You make me want to become a better man all around. When I travel down the bumpy road of memory lane, I cant help but smile from ear to ear when I think of you. My memories are the only place where I can go to help fill the void caused from the loneliness and emptiness I have been feeling. Sometimes I sit and wonder what could have been…what I could have done differently…if I had only done this…or if I didn’t do that…to be honest, thinking like that drives me crazy sometimes. I guess all I can do now is move forward. The rear view mirror of my life can only be used as a reference now. The only thing that provides some type of comfort to me while I’m stuck in here is knowing that you are safe out there. You are living your life…and most of all…you’re happy. When all is said and done, that’s all I wish for you, or anyone I love for that matter. If you’re happy…then I’m smiling…and shit, I know how much you love my smile.
They say that every man has a destiny in life…a path he must travel down to become the man he is supposed to be. Sure enough, in a few months I will start out on my life’s journey. I have to go my own way, somewhere warm, in search of my life’s purpose. It’s time for me to start fresh, a new life…the life I should have led the first time around. To be honest, I get excited and nervous at the same time when I think about it. Release doesn’t even seem real to me right now, even though it’s coming fast. I know that you and everyone else expects so much of me when I’m released. Luckily, I thrive under pressure. It may take some time and work, but I will make something of myself…that I can promise. Sadly, you and I will be far from each other yet again, while I pursue success…out of sight, but I hope I’m not out of your mind. I want you to know that no matter the distance between us, or wherever this crazy ride of life takes me, you will always have a part of me. Everything that I do, will be done for you. A little piece of my soul that this place hasn’t chipped away belongs to you. I will never forget you and what you mean to me. I owe you at least that much.
Regrets…I have a few. I wish I had told you all of this shit when I was a free man. Maybe things would have turned out different, then again, probably not. I guess I was too wrapped up in myself back then. I have a tough time letting people in. Call it foolish pride, or perhaps it was my ego that was in the way. I’ve had this shit bottled up for so long now. I think underneath it all, maybe I feared your possible response to all of this…good or bad. Because once I let you in, I’d lose control. I’d no longer hold the cards…which is what I have always been used to. Funny how life turns out sometimes…it took me going to prison to finally wake the fuck up and get over myself. If I have one regret, it’s not telling you sooner how much you mean to me…before it was too late. I guess that’s life right? In order to survive, gotta learn to live with regrets.
Until then…I’m here…just a man and his thoughts trying to get through the holidays. I need you not to worry about yours truly, for I am doing just fine. I know deep down that this time spent away was probably the best thing that could have happened to me in the long run. Look where I may have ended up….married–pfff stories, dead…or god only knows. Besides…overall, this li’l bid is a mere raindrop in the ocean of my life. There’s many good things and good times to come my way, of which I’m certain. But at the end of the day, none of that really matters, not without you. When all of the smoke clears and the dust settles, I just wanted you to know how I feel…that no matter what happens, where I go, where you go, however things may turn out…I love you.
Hi everyone! Last Friday, I was transferred to MDC Brooklyn NY…and then on Tuesday I was moved to FCI Fort Dix, NJ. I’m doing well…just a lot of MOVING in the past week or so. I haven’t really had a chance to settle in yet. Stay tuned for Part 2 of “How Addiction Took Over My Life”.
Rachel, thank you for mailing me the Patriots’ schedule. I really appreciate it! I will write you back soon…Matty
It’s Sunday…yet again. It was bright and sunny today. To tell you the truth, it ain’t so emotional ’round here in Wyatt…lol. It’s actually pretty chill here. I guess everyone was right when they told me that the hardest part of my bid was over. I’m talking about my time spent pretrial, being held without bond in county jail. Granted, I’ve only been here for a few weeks. I’m sure there are guys who’ve spent months…or even years here pretrial…who might have a different opinion on the matter. But…this isn’t their blog…lol…it’s mine. So, as far as I’m concerned, Wyatt is pretty decent (for a jail anyway).
I’m NOT recommending that anyone should commit a crime and join me for an extended stay. I’m just saying that compared to my last accommodations, this place is like night and day. Shit…I should probably put some disclaimer on this page…considering the traffic it’s been getting. With my luck, some braniac will try to slap me with a lawsuit, blaming yours truly, saying that I said prison wasn’t too bad. Remember, we live in the country that allowed someone to sue McDonald’s for the coffee being too hot…without a warning label. We allowed them to sue and they won. So on that note: I am NOT prompting prison, crimes, doing or selling any drugs or illegal substances. Anything I say is for educational purposes…DON’T do drugs…and to the kids…stay in school!
Anyway, now that that’s settled, I had a pretty good day today. My mind state is currently on “the glass is half full” mode. Optimism is the only way to do time right without stressin’…as I’ve mentioned before. I just keep telling myself that every day is but one day closer…
I worked out in the early AM and again later in the afternoon…doing mostly cardio and calisthenics. I used to never workout on Sundays back in Middleton…trying something new! I have temporarily stopped my AM yoga. I’ll start again when I get to the camp.
I watched the Women’s World Cup Championship game. I’m pretty bummed that USA lost, but hey, Japan definitely needed a morale boost after the year they’ve had over there, so it wasn’t too bad (see…”half full”).
I finished reading my latest book, Bridget Jones’s Diary. I really enjoyed it. It was rather funny to get inside the mind of a single woman in a comic manner. Now if only every woman I date would just let me inside their mind, we’d be in business…lol.
I wrote a few letters to a few friends. With my luck, I’ll get shipped outta here on Friday and I won’t get any of their responses…lol. By the way, every Friday, there’s a bus from RI to MDC Brooklyn NY…which is my next stop…so I can move once again at a moment’s notice. I don’t get to choose when I go, they just randomly wake you up at 4AM and say “pack it up”. Maybe this Friday…who knows?
Oh yeah, I got a visit from my parents today. That was a pleasant surprise since they didn’t tell me they were coming. They even remarked that I seemed happier. I guess I am…well…considering I’m locked up. It’s crazy how one’s surroundings can totally change your outlook on things. So…needless to say…I feel pretty good. I’ve certainly come a long way, that’s for sure.
My friend Stephanie recently asked me via letter to go more in depth with these blog entries. She asked me to really dig into my addictions. I wrote her back today, and to that I responded, “which one?”…lol. So, I sat for a while, trying to analyze my addictive behavior and why I felt that I needed those pills…among my many other vices…to function socially. That’s what got me to thinking…how addiction took over my life.
I can’t really pinpoint the exact day I realized that I was addicted to the “blueberries”. It kind of just happened. At first, I absolutely loved the way they made me feel, and when something can alter my mood or enhance how I feel, I go balls to the wall. I don’t stop. I’ve never been able to have just ONE drink, sniff just ONE line, or bet on just ONE game. I always go for broke. I don’t want the feeling to end…that rush. See, I was NO angel before I got hooked on the 30′s. I’ve done my share of partying. Shit…I’ve probably done your share too…but I always had limitations. I never really let drugs or alcohol dictate my life…well…not too much. If I was in school or working, I wouldn’t touch shit during the week. I’d only party on the weekends or on vacations. That’s pretty normal, I guess. I mean, don’t most young people work all week just to get wasted and loose on the weekends? Well I did…for a long time. I’ve done it all…well…all your party drugs anyways. You got your E, GHB, K, cocaine…you get the idea. By the way, I am in NO way bragging about my drug use. In fact, as I look back on it, I’m quite disgusted with myself. I was an absolute mess. I was an addict LONG before the pills…I just didn’t realize it…or I just didn’t care either way. Maybe I was in some sort of denial. Like, I didn’t fit the stereotypical drug addict description. I had a full-time job, I was in great shape, had no criminal record, I had a great social life, and I had a really close relationship with my family. I was what they call a “functioning addict”. I used to always say, “I hate cocaine…I just love how it smells.” See, I still don’t know specifically why I thought I needed drugs. I mean, it wasn’t to “fit in” or anything. It’s not like I was socially awkward. I just loved how they made me feel…I guess. In fact, I’ve been told in the past that I was a fucking weirdo when I did coke…really anti-social. Wait…isn’t that the opposite of why I did it in the first place? Then why did I do it so much? Addiction. That’s why. I guess I have been addicted to more than merely drugs over the years. Money, fame, women, steroids, gambling…all the things that alter my mind and enhance my mood in one way or another. But…it was those pills…those magical blue pills (no…not Viagra…lol…although these are quite magical)…those 30′s…that actually got me more than mentally addicted. I became physically dependent on them. It became more than just a poor choice, it became a necessity.
I remember waking up one morning in my Boston apartment. The girl I was with woke me up, semi-grossed out, because apparently I was soaked in a small pool of cold sweat. I laughed it off to the steroids I was on at the time, or that I might be coming down with the flu. Blueberries never even crossed my mind. At that time, I was only taking a few pills a day…for recreational purposes. Yeah, I said “only”. That day, for some reason, I didn’t take them as I normally would’ve. So then, all of a sudden, after being awake for an hour, I started to burn up. I was sweating profusely, as if I were in a sauna. It lasted about 15 hot minutes, so I hopped in the shower and then…boom! I was freezing my balls off…even under hot water. I had the worst chills I’ve ever had in my life. That lasted about 15 minutes. Then…you guessed it…back to sauna mode…sweating bullets. OK, that lasted ALL day like that, going back and forth from hot to cold intervals. Talk about mild insanity…so I figured I was sick. I must have come down with something. Then, out of nowhere, I felt completely weak. I was too weak to even walk. It was as if all my strength had been drained out of my body. So, I tried to eat something…soup…I think. Bad idea. Well…good idea…but it wasn’t happening. I was nauseous. I couldn’t eat or drink. I was so sick to my stomach that I began dry heaving uncontrollably. I was sprawled out on my bathroom floor, hugging the toilet bowl. Marvelous, I had the flu. I hate the flu, it sucks, but this seemed worse, maybe it was H1N1. Shit. Didn’t I get my flu shot? So, I figured I’d try to crawl to my room to lay down. Now mind you, I still have the “hot/cold” thing going on and I’m sick to my stomach, so lying down wasn’t exactly easy. It was really uncomfortable, I was blasting my A/C when hot, then cranking the heat and hiding under the covers when the chills came on. I couldn’t sleep. My legs ached as if I had just ran a marathon, and they wouldn’t stop moving, like they had a mind of their own. It’s called Restless Leg Syndrome…or so I’m told. In fact, ALL of my muscles ached…badly. I felt like I just took a beatin’ from Randy Couture. I tried to sleep…I couldn’t. Now all this is occurring over the course of the day, so the symptoms I’m describing are just getting worse and worse. This was it. I was dying. A slow painful death…all alone (the girl I was seeing at the time was now at work). I wouldn’t wish that pain on my worst enemy.
Then I had a bright idea. I decided to take a few 30′s. I figured I was in real pain and I had pain pills…made sense. Since I was getting rid of them in an abundance, I always had a squirrel stash of them around my apartment (for recreational use obviously). I took two…actually had to force ‘em down. It wasn’t easy since I was on the verge of death. It wasn’t instant gratification, but about 15-20 minutes later, I felt considerably better. Wow, these pills are the best. I sniffed another. No way was I gonna try and force another down my throat…with the dry heaves and all. I felt…wonderful…all symptoms gone. I felt as if I could actually run a marathon. I was a genius. I cured the flu! Wait…shit…then it all hit me. I was sick because I didn’t take the percs that morning, not because I had the flu. I’m such an idiot. How did this happen? When? Nah…can’t be. I’m no drug addict. Purely coincidence. Denial…it’s a funny thing…huh? But I knew what was up…I just didn’t know what was to come. I didn’t only want the pills now…I needed them. I loved them…
(To be continued…)
The United States of America v. Matthew McDonald…
Even today as I write this, those very words still give me the chills. I mean…try it for yourself…put your name in place of mine…anything? Thought so.
It’s not like I’m not used to it. I’ve heard it said aloud over half a dozen times at the beginning of each and every one of my Federal Court appearances…but this shit still fucks me up to think about. Like, the United States of America…all 50 states…versus l’il old me? That’s a lot of people against me considering I’m only one man. The odds were obviously against me…cause in the end they won…they got their conviction. I’m told the Feds have something like a 97% conviction rate…pfff!
I can still remember the very first time I heard that phrase said aloud…my life would never be the same…
Before I tell this little story…I need go back to the day before. It’s not like I just woke up one morning in a Federal Courtroom to some clerk telling me my life was about to be over. I had to be arrested first.
It was a Tuesday…my last true day of freedom. I remember that day like it was only yesterday. That’s relatively easy considering all the days after my arrest spent in jail were pretty much the same day over and over….until I was moved recently. I did my regular Tuesday things…as I always have. I woke up around 11AM, went to the gym, ate, came home, had a quick visit with my Grandpa (he lives on the first floor of my apartment building), showered and got ready for work. By getting ready, I mean I threw on sweats and a tee (I always change at work). Normally, I wouldn’t have to be in work until 6PM, but on this particular Tuesday, I had to be in a little early. The entire staff at the W Hotel in Boston did. There was a mandatory talent rally (aka staff meeting) that even I had to attend. Now usually I would have opted out since I had worked the night before, but there was no way around it. All 300 members of the hotel staff had to be there…so I went. I punched in…never punched out. Come to think of it, I’m probably STILL on the clock as you read this…lol.
I won’t bore you with the talent rally…and all that took place during it…because I can’t really. I lasted a full 10 minutes there before all pandemonium broke loose. All I know is that just as it was starting, it was ending for me. Everyone was there…friends, co-workers, managers, DEA agents…WAIT…DEA agents? I guess they liked the hotel’s benefits package…maybe they were applying? lol
When the two agents came in and walked towards me, wearing their blue jackets with DEA written in yellow and their badges around their necks, I knew what was up. They were there for me…unless maybe there was some other drug dealer working there…couldn’t hurt to hope. Nope, this meeting was mine…and mine alone. I remember the first thing I thought was, “Am I in some sort of fucking nightmare right now…you gotta be shittin’ me…like…really!?!…fuck my life . This can’t be happening. I quit selling pills months ago. I went to rehab. I cleaned up my act. I got a good job. I was turning my life around. I got rid of all the negative influences in my life.” But as I said before…the past ALWAYS catches up with you.
If you remember that a mere few days prior, I was arrested for that other nonsense…worst week of my life! I was ALREADY the subject of a hundred rumors around the hotel…thanks to our good friends at TMZ and various other media outlets…now this? I’ll admit I was scared at first…better yet…in shock. For the first time in my life I felt helpless. I couldn’t sweet-talk my way out of this one. Nope…this was serious!
I still had positive thoughts while all this was all happening…being cuffed and read my rights…“I’ll get bail/bond. I’ll be home in an hour. I’ll get a good attorney…he’ll get me out. I’ll be right back to work. Shit…did I leave my iron on? Fuck…my car’s parked in the garage…that’s gonna really cost me overnight! This better not make the news…one bad mugshot was enough. Hey, at least I have a fresh haircut (thanks to Brian). I wonder who snitched on me? I wonder what the Feds know? Fuck…these cuffs hurt! I hate being cuffed.” My mind was racing faster than my heart as I got led out of my work.
I used to think I was untouchable. No pills…no case. Now I was whistling a different tune. I was served a Federal indictment. Add it to the pile of shit I was already in. This shit was turning into a Lifetime movie…and fast. Where were the low budget B-list actors? Nope…it was real…and I was about to find out how real. “Goodbye W”, I thought as I was hauled off in some government-issued DEA SUV…
I spent the night in some holding cell in a city outside of Boston. I guess it was too late in the day to arraign me. It was nothing special. They were actually pretty nice to me…the cops there…not the DEA. They gave me the Boston Herald to read, some extra blankets, a cheeseburger, fries and a soda. Not bad…a ray of hope…perhaps? My emotions were on a rollercoaster in there…and I was completely sober. I went from sad to angry, fear to aggravation, doubt to certainty, embarrassment back to anger again. At that time, I was STILL blaming others for my circumstances. I remember calling my mom then my aunt, while in the cell, saying first, “that lawyer better get me out”, then again 20 minutes later, “do you think I even have a chance of getting out?”, then 20 minutes later, “get me out of this shit.” I was all over the place. I barely slept.
The next day I was arraigned. I was still in the clothes I was arrested in: white v-neck t-shirt, black sweats, black & white Nike Air Max 95′s (wonder if I’ll ever get them back…lol). Not exactly my Sunday’s best…but I’m sure the judge would understand…I hope. I remember looking around the courtroom…looking over at my parents. They had fear and sorrow in their eyes. They smiled. What else could they do…right?
The courtroom was immense, like you see in the movies. “So this is the Federal Courtroom…huh?” There was a ginormous United States seal over by where the judge sits, touch-screen computers, all sorts of clerks and other workers. Oh yeah…and two heavily armed US Marshalls…only a mere few feet behind me. I can still remember thinking while looking around, “You really did it this time Matty. You got yourself in some serious shit.” I greeted my attorney, James Cipoletta. I told him to get me out of this. He said he’d fight for me…and he certainly did…but there was no guarantee. Feds are different with bond than State. They do not like to give it…especially to drug dealers of the level they thought I was. Then, out of nowhere, I heard it…“The United States of America versus Matthew McDonald. Please rise for the Honorable…” Everything went silent in my head. My heart was in my throat. My stomach was in knots. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. I was shaking. The United States of America versus me? Like…what the fuck? I’m one man. The United States has me outnumbered by like…well…a lot…lol. I might be “lol” now, but I surely wasn’t then…I was shaken.
The hearing lasted an hour or so. The District Attorney went over the charges. They had a few witnesses (yes…even at a bail hearing), a cop and a narcotics agent…or something like that. They went over what they thought they knew to be true. How many pills I had then allegedly sold and transported from Florida via airplane, and how much money I had then allegedly made. They went over briefly what their “cooperating witnesses” had told them via Grand Jury testimony. Shit…by the end…they even had ME convinced I was fucking guilty. They made me out to be a monster and I needed to be kept off the streets. They said I was an extreme flight risk and a danger to the community. I was like, “Huh…me?” I don’t even have a record, and besides I stopped selling eight (8) months prior to that. What did they want with me? All I had to say for myself was, “Not guilty, Your Honor.”
In the end, I was denied bond. My lawyer fought for me…I’ll give him that…but the charge I got a few days prior conveniently played a part in my being denied bond. Guess it wasn’t “nonsense” in their eyes. Just a reason to hold me…
So that was it. Sure…I’d appeal bond. But that took time…time I’d have to spend in jail or wherever I’d be held. Round One: Feds 1 – Matty 0. “So, this is it…huh? I’m going to jail?” I remember saying that to my attorney. I was cuffed by the U.S. Marshalls and I nodded at my parents. They had the same look of sadness in their eyes. Their son was going to a place they knew nothing about, only from what they heard and what they saw in movies and on TV. I heard, “Love you Matt…stay strong.” That was it…
Funny thing is…I wasn’t scared to go to jail…well not of jail itself. I was more afraid of losing my entire life while stuck in there. Like…my apartment, my car…shit…my job! I later realized that all those things can be replaced. All material possessions can…time can’t though…that’s for sure. I was on my way to prison, and at the time all I could think about was this frivolous shit. I wasn’t thinking of how my family must feel…especially my mom. She must have been a wreck. I wondered what my friends were thinking…or if they even knew yet. Oh they knew…apparently everyone did.
I saw some of the shit the media had to say about yours truly. They were worse on me than the DA…in making me out to be a monster. “The Bad Boy of Big Brother”…fuck them. I wanted to lash out…to defend myself. Actually, it was for my family’s sake. I can take it, but it was probably tough on them to read and hear all that negative shit about me…and there was a lot!! Hey, at least they called me a D-list hunk (LMAO) in some NY paper. I couldn’t defend myself to the press. My lawyer told me to keep my mouth shut. I’d later find out why…
I was locked up and haven’t felt freedom since. It sucks. It was difficult at first. They say the first few months are the hardest. But now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel…it’s close…
As I sit here and write this, a lot of those old feelings flash across my mind…those painful memories. It’s crazy to see how much I’ve grown since then…even in terms of coping with being on the sidelines for a few years…while everyone I know and love goes on and lives their lives. I had to really cope. It’s the only way to survive in here without stress. I have two choices, basically. “One”, I can use this time being away to reflect on all my mistakes (not only criminal) and how I can become a better man…to work on myself physically and mentally…so that when I am released (soon…by the way) I can live life the way I should have the first time around. Or “two”, I can sit around feeling sorry for myself…stressing out over the so many “what ifs” that plague my mind…the regrets (I have a few)…and worry about what everyone has going on in the outside world. I choose “one”. It is what it is. That’s all in here…you either man the fuck up and do the time…or you stress and let the time do you. Let’s just say I’m not losing any hair in here. Sure, I have my days, but who doesn’t? I’d be lying if I said I NEVER stress, but I surely don’t dwell on it. I now use it to my advantage. When I’m sad…I write. When I’m pissed off…I write. When I’m gassed up…I write.
When I was free, three years seemed like a lifetime, especially if it meant being locked up. Like…three years? That’s (3) birthdays and (3) Christmases. Shit. Nah…fuck that. When you have no choice (like me) you just gotta do it. Well…I had a choice. Mine was to hustle (sell drugs)…obviously the WRONG choice…one of plenty. So here I am. I allowed pills to put me in a cell.
So that’s a little taste of how I got indicted by the U.S. Government. It wasn’t pleasant. What if I never went to that meeting at my work? How would my arrest have played out differently? See…so many “what ifs”. Fuck it. I went. I’m here. I’m on my way…
To Becky from North Carolina, I got your letter. Thanks for the words of encouragement…means a lot…even though you said you’d never let me date your daughter…lol! Best wishes…Matty
Sunday – July 10, 2011
Well…I finally left Middleton. Good riddance! No more shitty food, no more orange jumpsuit, and no more county jail bullshit. Sure, I’ll miss a few of the guys, but they’ll write…or I’ll write…or better yet…I’ll see them on the other side. I’m moving on to the Feds…or almost anyways…
I’m currently sitting in my cell (much better accommodations by the way) in Wyatt Detention Center in Rhode Island. I’m on the “new man block” for the next few days, so I figured I’d give you a quick update while I’m on 22-hour lockdown. They keep all the new detainees locked up most of the day until we get classified and put in population.
I came here with nothing…except the clothes on my back…or better yet…the orange jumpsuit. The US Marshalls don’t let you bring any commissary items from the previous jail, so I basically have to start all over. When I leave here, same story. Unlike Middleton, which gives you nothing but an itchy blanket, a sheet, a towel, and the middle finger, Wyatt gives you everything…well just about…basketball shorts, (3) tees, (3) socks), (3) pairs of underwear, standard toiletries, a towel, shower shoes, a few nice blankets (nice for jail), a pillow, and a 2-piece khaki uniform. No more orange…which made coming here a little more pleasant…lol. Also, as soon as I stepped on the pad, guys ask where you’re from…Boston obviously…and the Boston guys hooked me up with all sorts of stuff to make the next few days of mostly lockup more comfortable. Items such as a radio, magazines, various food, bag of coffee, and good toiletries…which really make a difference…especially when you just get somewhere and have nothing. Now if they’d set up my phone already…we’d be in business…lol. I’ve been here since Thursday and I still haven’t been able to call my mom. They keep telling me Monday. Let’s hope so…or else I’ll just have to wait longer. This place (so far) seems alright…decent for a jail anyways. I wish I got to do my first 15 months here…but hey…it is what it is. I’m told I’ll only be here for a few more weeks…then it’s on to Brooklyn, NY. “Brooklyn, Brooklyn take me in…”
I missed the premiere of Big Brother 13…since I got moved on Thursday. I still have no clue who the new house guests are…mainly because I haven’t been able to talk to anyone on the phone yet. Hopefully I can watch it tonight…if it’s on when my hour of freedom comes. If not, when I call people tomorrow, I’ll get updated, and hopefully by next episode I’ll be watching and reminiscing. Before I got here, I heard rumors that they’re bringing back some house guests from past seasons. That’s pretty cool…as long as it’s not people I can’t stand…lol.
So…as you can see…my journey has begun…my little tour of our fine United States…lol. Kinda wish it wasn’t a tour while shackled…but hey…like I tell myself everyday…this too shall pass, every day I wake up is a day closer to being free. I’ll keep this blog relatively short for now. Honestly, I only have two sheets of paper…lol. I’d give you a typical day here, but I can’t really do that since I’ve pretty much been locked in since my arrival. Must be nice…huh? When I get some more paper I’ll write again…but for now I’ll leave you with a little quote from our “good friend” Whitey Bulger… “It takes a strong person to reach inside himself and say I’m here because of me.”