Things Missed

I’m watching an old interview with Damien Echols on YouTube and he mentions that he’s not been outside in twenty years; he says the “outside” they have in prison is a cell with a roof and bars but no bed or anything else. He says he misses the rain. He says he doesn’t remember what pizza tastes like. And he said that he’s never actually seen the internet, used a cell phone, or seen a computer since 1986, when he was in junior high school.

And they haven’t had sex in twenty years.

I imagine that today will be loud and confusing for the West Memphis Three. I am sure friends and family will buzz around them, holding them, sometimes just touching them to know for a fact that they are really home.

I hope they are bowled over by the things they have missed. I hope that the world lives up to the hopes and dreams the young men had when they were locked up every day for twenty years.

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Comments

  1. I am reminded of a time travel story by Spider Robinson in which the time traveler was a Christian missionary who had been captured by communist rebels in a South American country and imprisoned for decades (during which his wife died in a separate cell). He had no time machine, but nonetheless he travelled into the future when he was finally released. The America he returned to was nothing like the one he had left 20 years previously and he went to Callahans Bar for refuge.

    These three apparently falsely accused men are in the same boat. They must now reenter a society for which they have little or no reference (besides, possibly, television). I grieve for their lost youth and pray for them to put this behind them and lead “normal” lives.

    Lee

  2. Cara Ellison says:

    I’ve been watching video of the WM3 all freaking day and in one of them, the interviewer asks Echols if he’s ever seen a laptop (she’s holding an Apple laptop). He looks a little shy, and says, “Only on television.”

    My best guess is that they probably have headaches from the assaults of smells, tastes, visions, sounds, all the people, the high adrenalin, etc. At the press conference today Echols said he hasn’t slept in four days, so I would guess that despite the greatness of today, they probably feel pretty crummy physically.

    But then when they feel good again, they get to experience rain and grass, Christmas, maybe snow, the ordinary domesticity of family, soft sheets, having keys, and living on their own schedule. It will be a shock for them. But I’m glad that they finally get the chance to experience it all.

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