Dear Friend

Angelo J. Vasquez

I’m writing you from prison like l always.  I’ve been here since I was sixteen years old and I’m twenty-seven now.  It’s truly amazing that I’m not dead.  My life wasn’t ruined when my mother and father got a divorce when I as five years old.  No that just meant more presents and two bedrooms.  It was when I first began to smoke weed.  When I was a nine-year-old boy I began to smoke rock, meth and PCP.  I couldn’t be sober once I started.  I began to steal from my family, anything of value was going to ‘the connect’.  Then an idea that seemed to solve my problems.

I bought a couple ounces and began slanging.  I got in a gang so I wouldn’t be robbed.  I got lost in the streets.  I didn’t even know who my family was anymore.  My mother would cry herself to sleep, driving around every street pulling up to every crowd looking for me because she loved me.  My father gave up on me, moving out of state.  I was so numb on drugs I didn’t even care.  I thought this gang lifestyle was the top, that it doesn’t get better than this.

I was fourteen then. I got locked up for sending my step father to the hospital.  I was sentenced to ninety days in Trinity El Monte boys home which I turned into one year and six months in Challenger District Camp Resnic where I was constantly fighting. I got out when I was sixteen and hit the streets again as what I thought to be a “man”.  I wasn’t. I was only a stupid boy with a gun, all the while my real family couldn’t control me and they’re not supposed to.   We’re supposed to love our parents!  Respect our elders!  Just because we’re not scared of nobody doesn’t mean we’re supposed to fight everyone.

Realize that you must gain control.  This is your life, live it right kid or let it die…either in the dirt or in these walls, if you even have a slight feeling that what I say is true; then you’re already on the right path. You just gotta chill sometimes. Take a look at your life, now take a look at yourself.  Be real, what do you see?  Regardless of all negative thoughts you may have, I can tell you what’s definitely there.  An unlimited supply of potential.  You’re full of energy, you just need something positive to aim at.  My advice is your education.  It wasn’t until I got my GED, that made me realize I’m smart.  Pick up a book, read some psychology, analyze yourself.  You know what’s right and what’s wrong.  You’re becoming an adult; it’s time to start thinking like one.  Well my friend, I hope I was clear enough for you.  I’ll write again.

You matter to me, don’t let any one stop you from your full potential.