Thomas Gordon: Thunder

I have been housed in the Secure Housing Unit at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center for over five agonizing years. During these five years, I have spent the majority of my time suffering through the harshest forms of confinement. I have been placed in punitive segregation, twenty-four hour mechanical restraints, and strip cells. I have been denied food; fed meager portions; fed nutra-loaf; abused both physically and psychologically; and cut off from all things that create a healthy individual. I have been introduced to the cruel tricks used by dog fighters to turn kind puppies into monsters. I have been malnourished, abused, separated and teased. Left alone in my rage waiting for the chance to strike back at my abuser. An abuser who will turn me free to strike out at someone else.

I was once told by Lieutenant Benson that “thunder is more than just a loud bang. It is a warning cry alerting the people to take cover and prepare for a storm. A storm that could bring joy or a storm that could bring sorrow.”

My period of incarceration has brought together all of the things that make for a bad storm. With no way of effectively releasing the negative friction that fuels my rage, it can easily be assumed that the storm will be that much worse when it finally breaks.

My release is evident. In under two years, I will be unleashed on an unprepared society. A fierce black cloud just past the horizon creeping so ever slowly near. I know not which way I will head next. Could it be east, to the dry deserts so desperately in need of rain? Could it be west, where a storm could cause floods reminiscent of the times of Noah? I know not which way I will head. Nor whether I will bring joy or sorrow, growth or destruction. All I know at this point in time is that I hear thunder and so should you.