When I got a letter back (dated August 31, 2014), I was giddy with excitement. Just seeing the red “Inmate Correspondence” stamp on the front of the envelope got me all a-twitter.
The second thing I noticed was the incredibly neat printing on the address. In pencil.
Inside was a three page letter on two sheets of yellow legal-sized paper (the first page with both sides filled) written completely in pencil in that super-neat printing.
Pat’s First Letter From Jail To Me
He began by apologizing to me.
I didn’t expect that. I didn’t think he owed me an apology, but I think he has a lot of general guilt about any trouble he caused to anyone when he was arrested.
The truth is: that poor little theatre was on its last legs financially and I’m pretty sure that the publicity from his story did not hurt us at all (“if it bleeds it leads”).
Nonetheless, I thought it was a nice gesture on his part, assuming it was genuine and not just “the right thing to say.”
He thanked me for writing to him and, logically, asked me why I did.
He talked about how much he had loved acting in plays and how it was easier pretending to be someone else rather than being himself. This was right after Robin Williams had killed himself, and Pat mentioned that he’d always been a big fan.
He talked about depression and suicide attempts (both considered and actualized: Pat tried to kill himself soon after his arrest and ended up in a coma).
He wrote about his fiancé. Now, she was his ex-fiancé.
She had been his only friend and his life had revolved around her. He was devastated when, after he’d been in jail for three months, she cut off all communication with him.
Truth be told, I wasn’t exactly surprised that she’d “dumped” him, considering the situation.
It wasn’t just that he was being charged with murdering two people. She actually ended up getting arrested herself as an accessory after the fact. She’s out on bail and is also “awaiting trial.”
Did I mention that she was on Dr. Phil?
Pat talked about life and freedom and lack of freedom, and making a difference, and doing what you can to make things better no matter your circumstances. He’d just helped his “celly” pass the GED.
He talked about God. He asked me to not characterize him by the crimes that put him there, but by the man he is today. He hopes I can see that he is not an evil man.
He went on to tell me that he’d been using a lot of drugs at that time in his life (when he was doing the play at my theatre and getting arrested for double murder). He abashedly admitted it was a very “foggy” time for him, and that he wasn’t sure if he remembered me, but a picture would help refresh his memory…
I immediately went looking for pictures of me where I look cute.