By Cheryl Dean
Editor’s Note: The article below purports to be something that Martin Bryant wrote from prison to his sister — but there is a little surprise in it. Recall my article on the 7th December 2015 regarding the “sleazy” presentation in the Daily Telegraph about Lindy Bryant, in which she allegedly told that she had to run away and change her name. Now we publish a different approach by Cheryl Dean.
To my dear sister,
I’m so grateful and happy that I’m allowed to write to you. It seems a small thing, but here in my tiny cement world, it’s everything. I get to write some of my words on paper. Words that fill my entire body, but most that I’m not allowed to ever say or express. Sometimes I feel I will burst from all that I must contain within me.
It’s so abnormal, to expect a person to be so much less than they are. Sometimes I don’t feel human anymore. Who or what am I now? I’m alive only because my heart continues to beat, but I’m not living. I am but a shell of a person — more like a zombie, even worse than zombie apocalypse, at least they could walk around, be outside and see people.
I am not my own person anymore. Someone else owns me now, worse than a slave. It’s as if I were someone’s car, just an object. They can wash and polish me if they want to, or take me for drives, or to run errands. Or they can neglect me and put me in the windowless garage alone for years, never to see the daylight again.
It’s like a dog that lives his entire life cruelly chained to a dilapidated dog house. He looks and barks like a dog, but does nothing that dogs do, never runs free, never receives love, never plays or fights with other dogs, never buries a bone. Can you still call him a dog? I don’t think so. I have no say over my own existence.
They have taken my dignity, my privacy, my character, my personality, my intelligence, my rights, my loved ones, my friends, my physical and mental health, and every other single thing they could possibly take from me. That aching and longing for life never subsides, I wonder if it ever will.
So many lives have been ruined, for nothing.
I am thinking of not going outside anymore. What is the difference if I sit in this cage or if I sit in a cage outside? I can’t see anything there. At least inside I don’t have to endure being searched from head to toe. I don’t have to worry about the wannabe-soldier guards with their high powered guns pointing at my head.
I often fear that I will suddenly trip while being taken outside or if I sneezed really hard, would they become so startled that they would all shoot me in the head and kill me for that. I guess they could say they feared for their safety, and let’s face it, those are the only people whose safety matters.
I don’t even want to take a shower anymore. It’s the same procedure, and it’s not worth it. I can wash in my cell just as well. The showers are usually cold and only last for a minute, so it would be no loss to me. It would be a disappointment to the guards though, one less person to humiliate and take all dignity from. This is the sum of their daily job here.
I lie here day after day and wonder what is the purpose of this. Why have a person be barely existing, barely alive? Is it for extreme control and inhumane punishment, or for the pleasure of those in charge here, does it make them feel like big, strong men? I think so.
It certainly isn’t to protect anyone, since I’ve never hurt a fly in my whole life and never would. When I think of those who run the country and this prison and all prisons, I get nauseated. What an evil, sick world we live in. A world that God created for all of us to live freely, as good people, but the powerful and greedy have desecrated it.
God must weep day and night. I’m sorry if my letter makes you sad, but I have to release a bit of the dam of words in my head or I will go crazy, and I can never write such thoughts to mama. She is already in too much pain.
I wonder when I will see you again. Even when I do, we can hardly talk about anything. You sit across from me and look into my eyes to try to see how I am, how I am feeling, what am I not saying. You ask what I actually eat and how much I eat. You look and smile at me. I look at your face and try to convey my brotherly love, and ease your worry over me, although it doesn’t work, does it?
None of this is fair and I cry at the thought of how my family and friends have suffered. I don’t believe it can ever be undone. I can’t wait to hug them and be hugged again. I’ve never wanted anything so badly in my life, as a simple hug.
And now, allow me to confess that this article is “metaphorical.” Mr Bryant did not write it. I — Cheryl Dean — wrote it. In point of fact, I wrote it with a different prisoner in mind, namely Dzhokhar (“Jahar”) Tsarnaev.
Those two men have suffered a rather similar fate. Yet it may be that unfairness is the lot of many more people than we realize. My letter may be ‘customizable’ for thousands, or even millions, of prisoners!
If Lindy is listening I hope she was glad to hear that her brother wants a hug. To Lindy — and the sisters of Jahar — please tell the prisoner we are watching, we will not abandon. Abandonment is “not happening” here.
— Cheryl Dean is one of Gumshoe’s court reporters on the Boston Marathon case. Go to the top of the GumshoeNews website and click on “Boston” to retrieve her latest articles.