I'm actually a little freaked out about the idea of visiting him. But not because I'm afraid of him. You see we were raised pretty much the same way by pretty screwed up parents, experienced the same bullying scenarios in school, were both moved around a lot and so therefor prevented from making any close friendships during our school years. So we understand one another. And when we write to each other, we focus a lot on our commonalities. And I can ignore our differences.
It's not that I ignore his crime, I don't. In fact I asked about it repeatedly until I could understand it and analyze it in depth. It's been very challenging and satisfying to try and figure out how some one so very much like myself could go over the edge and commit such a crime. So much so that I've developed a very strong interest in criminal psychology. But I still feel pretty far removed from the actual crime. I'm afraid that when I see him, I won't be able to remain removed. Like I'm going to walk into the visiting room and think...my god, look at his hands. These are the hands that committed one of the most horrible crimes!
And even if that doesn't happen, what are he and I going to talk about for 4 and 1/2 hours!? I mean really! Writing is my preferred method of communication. It allows me time to formulate my thoughts and thoroughly listen and contemplate what others have told me before responding. Once Alexander and I are face to face, I will be disarmed. I will be forced to converse on the spot, without the thought or preparation that writing gives me.
I think my biggest fear is based on the fact that Alex and I have become friends. And I'm scared to death that I will spend 5 hours getting out there, sit across the table from him...and realize he is actually a total stranger to me...and that I'm stuck there with that stranger for 4.5 hours until the shuttle leaves. Yes, I'm very scared of this. Ten hours of traveling and 4.5 hours of who knows what will happen. But I figure he's got another 50 years of hard time and suffering and lonliness ahead of him. The least I could do is give him 14.5 hours of my time.
If recent incarceration rates remain unchanged,
an estimated 1 out of every 20 persons will
serve time in a prison during their lifetime.
-U.S. Dept of Justice