Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bet you haven't read this kinda thing before!

MY PRISON PEN PAL -- check out my feature in this month's OUT magazine: "why I befriended a convicted sex offender and never regretted my raunchy missives from 'Randyland'." Being a highly sensitive, not usually touched upon topic, I spent a lot of time trying to get the tone right (my natural instinct is to go for glib, which was not exactly going to work here). So I hope you like it. There was a lot I didn't cover with the limited scope of such a story. I did actually meet my pen pal, was able to buy him that Denver omelet.
As I wrote about Randy's release, his "after-birth" being like a time traveler to the future -- I got to wondering how many decisions we've made that we wish we could time travel to the past and redo differently. I know there are a lot of guys who read OUT magazine in prison, and I wish them hope.


Tony said...

Nope - sure haven't read anything like "Prison Pen Pal" before. Even though Randy was in for something heinous, you have to hand it to the guy for being strong enough not to get "chewed up." And for his utter candor, allowing you and us a look inside both him and the system. I guess it's been few years since you saw him after his release. What's he doing now? I'm guessing you must have been in touch to get his ok to write about him. Fascinating story.

Jesse Archer said...

Thanks Tony. It hadn't been that long actually, and I didn't get his permission to write this story, but obscured and altered details so as not to identify him. He taught me a lot about compassion and empathy, and it upsets me when some reactions to this story so adamantly refuse to allow for redemption.

Tony said...

Those "adamant" persons must have an unreasonably high estimate of their own perfection. Do they really think they won't do something in their own lives that will need forgiveness or where the opportunity to redeem themselves is available? Good luck to 'em, but I hope I never meet one.