Journal Excerpt from Robert Melzer
A good friend of mine is leaving soon. People think that we come to prison and just look for partners in crime. But the reality of it is most of us, free of substances, find the friends we never had on the streets. I can only think of one guy on the streets that I grew really close to- Tim. We experienced sobriety together and got to know each other for who we really were.
I grew so attached to material security that I forgot how alone I truly felt. When you come to prison, stripped of all material securities, humiliated, defeated, you realize the full extent of your emptiness – the extreme terror of loneliness.
We find men in here who do not give in to the evils of prison life- men who uphold their moral integrity. Once you learn to trust a little – you can find lasting friendships in here. These are men who I would introduce my family to- decent guys who made mistakes along the way. You have to remember, “not all who wander are lost.”
I have made several good friends in here, and its so hard to see them go. But one day I will join them. I will seek the heart of people not the benefit.