The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get use to the latter.

Episode Nine:  Living In Shawshank

john armijo blog pic

In October of 1994, I went to the theater and watched The Shawshank Redemption. Being a huge Stephen King fan, I just had to see it. I did not know who Frank Darabont was until many years later when helped create The Walking Dead for AMC. But he took this very short story of Stephen King and made it into the classic film that it is today. Just watch for it on cable. It probably shows somewhere, everyday.

I tell you that to tell you this

After many viewings of the film, I started to believe it fit my life.

Here’s a guy, Andy, that has committed a crime he didn’t commit and sent to prison. In a way, I’ve done that to myself. I’ve committed myself to my own prison for crimes I didn’t commit. Then there have been times I did commit ‘crimes’but I kept myself there for too long. And with some, I’m still locked up.

Now, he’s in there for years and he learns to make a life and have friends and with his knowledge, he even gets in with the warden. In my prison, I have done the same thing. I have made a life and made friends. But they don’t see the bars and walls that surround me at all times.

Andy dreams of getting out and going where nobody knows him to start a new life. I can’t go that far. I have a great wife and love her with all my heart and my daughter is the apple of my eye but I can understand how he feels. If I could pick up roots and take them with me, I could see doing this. Maybe by doing so, I could leave this Loyd made prison.

Andy makes his escape by way of the sewer pipe and climbs through a river of….crap to make it to the stream and to freedom. I feel I’m making it through the ka-ka river everyday. I wonder if there’s a stream and freedom at the end.

There is a moment with Red. He’s on his way to find the volcanic glass and the ‘something’ underneath that Andy says is under an oak tree in a hay field near Buxton. The moment is when Red is in one of the fields, in a clearing between two corn sections. He takes off his jacket and looks down at his compass and the music swells to a emotional tone.
It’s a feeling of hope. Hope that everything will be alright.

That moment means the world to me. It lasts three seconds but speaks volumes.

I know this blog entry is a bit all over the place. But what I really wanted to say is I have put myself in my own prison. A prison with bars and guards and razor wire and watch towers. Who’s in those towers?

I am. I’m there. I’m the prisoner, the guard, the warden.

I’m the walls and wire and the bars.

I’m all of it.

But I’m working on a plan. I have a rock hammer that I have hidden. And when I can, when I’m not being watched, I work on the walls.

Because I’m also my own salvation.

Like Andy…and Red, I’m going to leave this prison behind. I’m going to find myself in the openness of the world. There may times I’ll want to go back but I can’t allow that.

Just like we all have our own prisons we must escape from, we also have our own Zihuatanejo we’re trying to get to.

As Red said, ‘That’s goddamn right.’

-Loyd Elmore

May 5th 2016

I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.

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