The Josh Bolton Show

School Teacher by Day Author by Night | Caroline Giammanco

August 30, 2021
Show Notes Transcript
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Welcome to the Josh Bolton show where we dive interesting and inspiring conversations. And now your host, Josh Bolton. Before we get started, tell me about yourself what you do and a little bit about your books. Well, I am a high school English teacher, okay. And I've been teaching for about 25 years. Okay. And my first three books were nonfiction, True Crime books, okay. And mainly about having to do with the criminal justice system. And they were really difficult, emotional books for me to write. The first one is actually about my husband's experience going through the prison system. Okay. And then my second book was about the stigma that the families of inmates go through in society, of guilty hearts, because society, like really frowns upon families that have incarcerated loved ones. And the families have to carry the same guilt that their loved ones to whether it's a husband, a boyfriend, a son, whoever it is, Father that's in prison, people just kind of devalue you immediately if you have somebody in your family that's incarcerated. So I don't go around and say, there are people I know who don't know, I'm married to an inmate because I don't go around saying, Hi, I'm Caroline, and I'm married to an inmate. That's not a good. Yeah, it's not a good cocktail introduction. Yeah, exactly. Especially as a teacher, it can it can go bad, pretty quick that way. Yeah, it gets political. And they're like, Oh, my God. Yeah, she's gonna do something. Yeah. Well, I actually was teaching one place where they're like, Oh, my God, she she's got access to the school, he could run the concession stand. Yeah, my husband is in prison for robbing 12 banks. But notes, I have a feeling that concession stands are a little below his pay grade, if he had any inclination to commit more crime, you know what I mean? That's just really stupid to say that he could rob the concession stand Plus, they obviously don't know how concession stands work. Because the money is not kept there in the concession stand, you turn it into the school immediately after the game. So I take Snickers bars, if that's what they're worried about. But that's just ridiculous. And so then my third book was called inside the defense's memoir of a whistleblower because I was a prison employee. I taught the maximum security men's prison. And it's about my journey from going from a naive public school teacher to becoming a whistleblower on corruption within the prison system. And my my efforts to clean up the system and testifying in front of the State House of Representatives and, and things like that. So yeah, it's, it's, it's a really ugly system that most people never see. And that's what kind of makes my husband and I can tell him is because he was just a regular middle class guy next door, before he made some really bad decisions in the heat of being panicked about losing his home and, and having his children be homeless at the time, because the great recession is going on, right? I mean, three months before he started robbing banks, he never would have thought he had told you you're crazy if, if you told him he was gonna rob banks, he's like, what? No. So people sometimes make stupid decisions. But so here we were to middle class people. My dad was a sheriff's deputy. And the chances of us ever seen the inside of a prison, a maximum security prison had been pretty slim in our previous lives, before ending up there. And so we were able to look at it not as somebody who was conditioned to the system and who had lots of family members that were already in the system, you know, we're headed for the system. All of it was fresh and new to us. And so we were able to look at it like what regular everyday people would be surprised by Right. Yeah, and there's a lot I, I at one point was thinking of being a prison guard in one of my cop buddies, like, Oh, yeah, I used to work that I'm good with the warden, but he's like, it's a rough life. Even for the guards. He's like, I You're too nice. I don't think you would end well for you. And not just because of the inmates. Right? Yeah, he sees face. Oh, no, he actually said that. He's like the inmates viewed long as you give him respect to give you respect, but he's like, the officer. So he's like, they're criminals. But they're not. He's like, but they're not in the system. That's the problem. Exactly. My at my pre hire drug screening. The officer who was doing that we, you know, chit chatted while we're doing the test and everything. And he goes, you know, you seem like a pretty nice lady. He said, and a lot of people are going to tell you, you need to be aware of the silver tongue devils, who are the inmates, because they are going to try to talk you into doing and saying things that you shouldn't do. But I'm telling you right now, you're going to have to be just as careful with your co workers because he said a lot of times the only way you can tell the difference between the inmates and the employees was by the color of the uniform that where he was right. And that was a big one because I talked to him and I was talking to a nice lady before all the pandemic lockdown since she even said the same thing. She's like, the the officers just as bad as prisoners, but because they have the shield, nothing really happens to them. Yeah, but the same major that I was blowing the whistle on. Six months after I left the prison, of course, I was the the horrible employees supposedly, right. I was the one I had gotten rid of, because I was just, you know, awful. Well, six months after I left, that major was arrested by an outside Drug Task Force for drug distribution. That was vindicating to go well, huh. He said I was bad. Yes, maybe you should have listened to what I was saying. You know, but sadly, it turned out the wardens didn't know. Or they usually get it on it. Well, they had been told by a sheriff turned out a year before the arrest, what was going on and that they were investigating the major? And they still covered for him? No, no, that was the thing he was telling me. He's like, the police union in general. It's good. But he's like, the way it's it's gotten in too many people have corrupt power have gotten into the union. Essentially, he's like, that's why the shootings have gotten out of hand the the prison stuff because he's like, essentially, the union is going to stand there and block everything. And he's before the Union would have been like, Oh, yeah, you're right. He's a bit of a criminal. Here you go kind of thing. But now that he's like, it's, he's like, I'm appreciative. My job safe. But he's like, at the same time. I get to He's like, the one bad apple makes the whole batch bad. He's like, I don't like associating with them either. Yeah. And what happens is, they then train the young people coming in to do the same thing to do the same thing. And so that that one bad apple becomes entire bushel falls. Yeah. To two or three cycles later, officers, they're all bad. Yeah. Yeah. And it's really hard to to rehabilitate inmates and get them to be better human beings when they get back out on the street, because 97% of all inmates do get back out on the streets. It's really hard to rehabilitate them when they're looking at the authority figures around them who are behaving criminally. So it's like they can do it. I can do it. Yeah. And sometimes they're taught worse lessons like the the people who get their jollies just by intimidating people, you know, inmates and harassing inmates and jerking them around. It teaches these people, especially when they've been in 510 15 years of being treated like this by multiple employees. It teaches them that as long as you have the upper hand, you can do what ever you want to people. A horrible lesson for them really goes. Yeah, fame, and for some, you know, totally unrelated type of crime, but they come out fairly hard and chip on their shoulder and angry at law enforcement and anybody who wears the uniform so that it's just really a bad and they look at other people as Well, why can't I do something to you? Because it happened to me all the time. Right? You know what, Caroline, I love this. Can we do a quick introduction? I'm just gonna keep all the introduction of what we were doing. Yes. So please introduce yourself. Hi, I'm Caroline Jia Mako. And by day, I'm a high school English teacher. But I'm also a writer, I do True Crime nonfiction writing. And then my most recent project, it's called into the night, it was something that I wrote for fun, because I was kind of burned out from the nonfiction and it. It is a collection of science fiction and paranormal short stories, and all of them have a twist to them. Oh, I like it, we're definitely gonna have to talk about the other three too. Okay, so we we already did the introduction of what you were doing and where you're at with your books. So what was your initial inspiration to write a book about your husband's conviction? Well, it was a, it was a crime spree that took national attention, it had garnered national attention. And he had refused to talk to any of the reporters, he did one Good Morning America interview, and one with a local station. And those were the only interviews that he did, where it king wanted to interview. geraldo rivera wanted to interview them. And he just wasn't going to do it. And one of the local interview that he did got twisted and turned to where it wasn't at all what he had said in his interview. And so he was like, Nope, I'm not doing another one. That's it. And this was his opportunity to tell exactly how the middle class guy next door, the guy who had been the successful independent stock options trader, went down the path of becoming a serial bank robber in the St. Louis area. And he always used notes, he never had a weapon or threatened to have a weapon. So he hasn't been a violent guy, or anything like that. He was trying to keep the lights on and keep a roof over the heads of his twin daughters that he had sole custody. So he trusted me enough to write the story. So that he actually got to say, not just about the crimes, we actually focused on the individual crimes very, very little. Okay. The goal wasn't to glamorize or glorify the crimes because he feels horrible, but he did those things. Most criminals do it. Surprisingly. He's, he's very repentant about it. And if he was in another place in time, he would have never done those. He just people do stupid things when they panic. He felt like he had no place to turn nobody to talk to him at the time. And he started making some poor choices for nine or 10 months out of his life. And now it's cost him 20 years out of his life with prison term. So this was our opportunity to talk not about the crimes. But what happens to that regular, everyday middle class guy who doesn't have a criminal history, what it's like to go through the prison system, the court system, and then the prison system, because it's not a worldview that many of us ever get to have. Right? Yeah. And like I was saying earlier, like, I've heard it secondhand from an officer that's been in it. And he's, he's pretty lawful by nature. But yeah, I don't. There's like I had a navy seal on a couple weeks ago. And I told him, like, there's certain things unless you're in the shit, you'll never understand it. And it's the same applies for that one. Yes, unless you had been inside. And so what we tried to do because I was an employee, at the time inside the prison system, and I had never anticipated being inside a maximum security men's prison either. But there I was through just fate, basically, because with the Great Recession, the district I'd worked for that I loved. It lost student population, and it had to cut back staff. We had four full time English teachers, and we were down to 181 kids in the high school. If they couldn't sustain that staff. Yeah. And so I was the last one hired, so I had to be the first one fired. So I lost position there. And I substituted for a year. And that was okay. But it definitely was not the same thing as being a teacher in a classroom. And that's your identity, you know, you've become a lot of times the job that you have, and the career that you love. That's part of how you self identify, right. And I was starting to worry, because things were looking horrible with the economy that maybe I'd never get my own classroom again. And I had put in an application to work in the prison system. As a teacher, back when I was losing my job, when I first found out that the budget cuts were going to have to be made, right. And a year later, over a year later, I got an email or I got a letter saying, Would you be interested in applying and are interviewing for this position that we have at the South Central Correctional Center. And honestly, it wasn't on my bucket list to work inside a prison. But it was a steady guaranteed paycheck. That would give me a classroom back. Though, I had taught in alternative high schools in the past, and I had taught gangsters and hardcore people that had, you know, probation, or parole officers, and everything, and I thought, yeah, I, I can handle that situation. So I went ahead and interviewed and I got the job. And both Keith, my husband and I, I didn't meet him until I've worked there for a year. And we, we saw a lot of the same things going on. And we're appalled by the exact same things, not just behavior by the inmates and and what was going on there. And where we see systemic problems and lack of rehabilitation and things like that, but also corrupt criminal, non productive behavior that taxpayers are paying employees for that are they're being criminals on the job, and our tax dollars are supporting the system. And so we felt that it was important to let people know what really happens inside our prison system. And also the fact that whether you want to believe it or not, well, a lot of people want to say that everybody in prison is a monster, and there are monsters in there. It's not everybody in prison is a monster. Oh, least they didn't start off that way. Right. And they were people like your brother, your son, your next door neighbor, who ended up there. And sometimes they're even like you, and people don't feel comfortable with that concept, because they want to believe that inmates are monsters to try to mentally and emotionally separate themselves from the people who go to prison, because they don't want to think about how awful be to go to prison themselves. Yeah, I actually have chatted not on the podcast, but just in general in passing. A few people I knew that went in the system. And they all told me they're like, yeah, they say they give us food. And he's like, technically they do. But it might be like three month old Bologna with mold in the middle and you only get to eat the edges. And he's like, it is so preserved. It's like you're better off night eating anyways. Yeah, or the portions are so small that a kindergartner would still be hungry at the end of lunch if that's what they were given. And these are full grown men. And then that causes its own problems. When you look at things like okay, they then they need money from their families to buy items on canteen. But the canteen items are all that health, you know that healthy either. A lot of starch and sugar honeybuns are about the cheapest thing you can buy on the canteen, so a lot of guys will eat three or four honeybuns a day. And that's not healthy. So then they start down the road having health problems. And I know the former director of the Missouri Department of Corrections what was saying in an interview a few years back that well the high cost of medical care in the prisons is because of the lifestyles that the inmates are choosing. The inmates aren't choosing these diets. That's what's available to them, right. Yeah, like one of my co workers I used to do security. And his his like brother or something did was really stupid and he got like this max think like he tagged a wall or something and you got like 15 years for it. I'm like, that's overkill personally, but He said, yeah, we have to go like once a month. Essentially, we had to work it out whoever like the canteen like these Kansas tuners are just for we'll call him Tony. Like, when he comes, you only give it to him as somehow they worked it out. But he's like, yeah, cuz because he told me same thing, the food really doesn't exist or it's so preserved and sugary, it doesn't even matter if you eat it, you're still going to get sick? Yes. The number of students that I had, and that they were my students, but these were full adult men, these were not kids in my classroom. Who were diabetic. I, at least 25% of every one of my classes were diabetic. And that's way more than the general population. And so the only other way of looking at it is either diabetic people are more likely to commit crime, which I don't believe is true. I don't believe it either. Or there is something that happens to them inside the prison system that causes them to become diabetic, which I believe is what the cause of that is. Because diabetic people are not diabolical. No. At least like majority, there's always that like 1%, though, right? But that's true of any type of person. Right? Like, it's, it's not just that, oh, brown haired people are more likely to go to prison? No, that's that's not the same thing. Right, which is great. You know what I mean, it's not that diabetic people are more likely to commit crime. It's that once they're in the system, between the sketchy health care and the poor diet that they have available to them. Their bodies change, and they develop these conditions. And then that also leads to heart conditions and things like that, that also cost the taxpayers money in their health care. Oh, absolutely. My one buddy from high school, his one grandfather actually intentionally got himself in prison, because he had a very rare like brain disease. And he's like, if I commit a small crime, it'll be two years in my life, but they had to fix my head. And he's like, that wouldn't cost me $1,000,000.02 years of my life. That's not hard. And I'm like, really? He's like, Yeah, he did it. He literally he's literally just getting out now. Oh, that wouldn't work in Missouri, Missouri. No, it would not work in Missouri. In my classroom. I had a guy who had to leave class to go to the dentist. Okay, no problem. So he came back towards the end of class classes were three hours long, came back towards the end of class and his entire jaw was swollen. I mean, it was like he had a baseball on the side of his face. And I'm like, sturgeon. What did they do to you? What happened? Well, the dentist didn't just drill into his tooth. He drilled all the way down into the guy's job. Oh, why? And just because and then the my students said, What am I supposed to do now you've like, you've ruined my job. And the dentist said, well, you're gonna have to have reconstructive surgery after you get out. Haha. Yeah, no, that wouldn't work here in California. That's the kind of thing that happens. I mean, Keith has seen people like he was in the same wing with a guy who for a couple of years, had a horrible cough. And he kept going to the doctor and saying, you know, there's something wrong with me. And they kept saying, well, you have allergies, and they give them allergy pills, or you have bronchitis here. Here's some more allergy pills. Well, finally, he got so bad. He was coughing up blood and everything that turned out he had by then had stage four lung cancer. And it died a few months later. Yeah. So when I see these cutesy comments, or memes on social media that say that we should put grandma in a prison and inmates in a nursing home, because at least in prison, they get free medical and free food and all this kind of stuff. And believe me, you get what you pay for. And it is not quality care, and it's not quality food. You should never wish anybody that you love is living in those conditions. It's the so I read a book recently recommendation of one of my guests called the Gulag archipelago, it was essentially the concentration camps concentration camps for in Russia during the Soviet Union. And it was one of those he told me it was an eerie comparison. He said if you listen to that, because I I listened better than I read. He's like, you're going to notice. There's something very similar about our prison system, but the way we're structured to, and I listened to them, like, holy shit, he's right. Like is designed when you get in the system, you're not getting out, or at least, you're not leaving the same at least. Right? Is it this time trying really hard. He's been in 13 years now. And he has made a conscious effort every single day to not get sucked into the prison mindset. Yeah, he really truly has tried to keep himself as normal as possible. And that's the hardest part. But as long as he has a goal, because he embedding his reason to keep going is to eventually be with you, but still be a normal person. Yeah, I think that could be wrong. No, it is. He wants to be out and be here for me and for his daughters, and not be the messed up person that he sees around him every single day. So he doesn't talk to many people in prison. He doesn't have friends homeys in prison, he stays completely out of that. And some of them think that he's really aloof and then probably a jerk or whatever, because he doesn't join in with them. But he sees people within six months of going in go from being a normal person to becoming a prison, dude. Yeah. Yeah, I'm just curious. I've heard this from a different person, like a guest. Is tuna cans, a currency in Michigan? In Missouri, yeah. Sorry, Missouri. They're not allowed any kind of metal at all. So okay, then would be like some sort of food like a protein. Is that like a thing they pass around as payment? Um, not necessarily. I mean, guys will trade canteen items, coffee, that kind of thing. And cigarettes aren't allowed in our prison system any longer. So they can't trade cigarettes for anything. They will trade, postage stamps, things like that. But, and guys inside there will create stores. They'll order more of everything. And then guys have to come and buy from them and astronomical rates of return. Yeah, so that happens. Yeah, it was someone I was talking to he. He was in the system for four years in England. And he's like, what's the one weird thing that you didn't think was going to be a thing and he's a tuna cancer, he calls them to and attends. We're current. He's like, because he's like, all the guys that get wind up become the hard monster. He's like, you can't grow your muscles unless you protein. So they would do he's like they do some crazy stuff to get the protein. He's like, I wouldn't even consider. Yeah, there are some really strange things that happen inside the prison system. There is. Yeah. So then I'm curious. Are you touched on it earlier? You said your husband for he didn't fully Tuesday It was kind of like a situational I'm gathering. How did he make his money as an options trader? He, he was just an independent stock options trader. That's what he did. And then when the market crashed, he lost everything, like a lot of people did. Yeah, a lot of people did. And ironically, back in 2014, I took a plane trip to New York to see my youngest son at Fort Drum. And I got put in first class, which was kind of funny, but I'm sitting next to this guy, who he was a stock trader on Wall Street. And he told me that he knew a guy, a guy who had been his friend, who had lost everything in one of those big houses where the whole trading house went bust, right. And he didn't have the guts to tell his family that he was unemployed. And keep them about anybody know that he had lost all this money either. And this guy would get dressed every morning, kiss his wife and kids Goodbye, take his briefcase and had the Central Park. And he'd sit there in Central Park all day long until it was time to go home and acted like nothing was going on. Well, then when it was getting closer to when, Hey, wait a minute, there's no money coming in. He resorted to robbing banks with notes too. I just thought it was interesting that maybe people who are financial type people might gravitate towards bank robbery way before they go, Rob Gas Station, you know, out there? Because that's where their mind is that is, is the financial arena. Yeah, cuz options are very much an instrument of the banks, essentially. And if he if he was very successful, he would pretty much know the ins and out of a bank be like, Oh yeah, they're getting their payment Wednesday. So I'll do the thing Tuesday. So Wednesday comes, boom, I get my money. So he would know the basics and ins and outs. Yes. And interestingly enough, you want to know where he learned most of what he needed to know to rob banks? Were the FBI website. Really? Yes. In fact, what he was arrested, the FBI agent said, How did you go? You're just like a regular middle class guy. How did you know how to rob banks? and Keith said, You taught me and the guy the agent was like, What? And he goes, I went to the FBI website. And on there, you tell about all the bank robberies, and the people who were caught, I read what they did to be caught. And I thought, Okay, I won't do that. And then the unsolved cases, I read what they had done. And he said, I'll do that. And that's how he knew how to pull off the bank robbery. So it was actually a fluke, an employee broke protocol, and followed him into the parking lot. And that's how he was finally identified. And the FBI agent told him, if you had stopped at number 12, or number 11, we never would have known who you were, he said, We thought you were coming from Chicago or someplace to do this, instead of living right here in the community. So yeah, I mean, he's, he's a very smart guy. He just part of it was ego and pride. He didn't want to admit that he had lost everything. Right. He'd always been the go to guy for his family, if people ever needed money or backup or something. He was always the one they went to. And he didn't want them looking at him like a loser. Yeah. Most people in a competitive industry like that, take pride in that I can make it work. I can do this. And yeah, when it doesn't work out, they're like, well, I don't want to be like, Ah, you said you can make it work kind of thing. Yes, exactly. So that's, that's how he got into it. And as I had mentioned before, the second book that I wrote was about, it was called guilty hearts. And it was looking at the profiles of different families who have an incarcerated loved one. And it's called guilty hearts, because families carry the guilt and the shame and the stigma of their incarcerated loved one. And it's kind of a shadow existence, that they live in plain sight. Because nobody wants, wants to be punished, or dropped is a friend, or lose their job, because they love somebody who's incarcerated. And I've had people say to me, Well, how could you love an inmate? How could you marry an inmate? And my answer is simple. I didn't marry an inmate, I married Keith, the man that I love, right? And he happens to be incarcerated right now. But that's not his identity. He's not just an faceless inmate, one of masses. He's a full fledged human being who made mistakes and is now paying for them. But if I didn't go out looking in life to marry an inmate, I just happened to find the man that I love in a very unusual circumstance. And so go ahead. I would say just love appears in manners that you don't even fathom. And you just have to strike when it does. Exactly. And I wasn't going to pass up an amazing person just because he's not out there still pulling in the money as an independent stock options trader. I mean, that that just seems extremely shallow to me. And so yeah, I'm the one paying all the bills right now, but it's not the first time in my life that I've been the one paying the bills. So that's, that's just the way it is right now. And so I wanted to give a voice because a lot of people at book signings for my first book thing notes about kids crimespree. In his experience in prison, a lot of people say well You seem really normal. And, and well, yeah, I guess you and Keith, they're, you know, they'd read and they go you and Keith, you guys are okay, you weren't. I'll tell you what some of those other people, they're just like the crazy cat lady. And I thought now I know a lot of people who are very normal, decent people who just had something unfortunate happened in their lives, and they're not going to stop loving their husband, they're not going to stop loving their son or their brother, just because he made a mistake. And he's in prison. Because when I worked for the department, the number one leading indicator they taught us at our seminars was the number one leading indicator for inmates to have success on the outside and not reinvent is to have a strong positive social network. So society wants anyone who loves them inmate to do the right thing, and just save themselves and, and not have anything to do with inmate anymore. But really, society is not served well, by having the inmate lose everybody who's important to him, because when they get out, if they don't have anybody to be good for, what's the it's already hard enough for inmates when they get out, what's the sense of even trying anymore if they don't have anyone positive in their eyes anymore. So it's short sighted for society to expect people to, to throw away someone who made a mistake. And there's a lot of people who do things in life that are very destructive. But that doesn't mean that they they go to prison for it. I contend that the President of the Chamber of Commerce, who has a pinstripe suit and a briefcase, who is Mr. Wonderful out there in the community, but goes home and be littles and emotionally, verbally, and sometimes even physically abuses his own children. say he has four kids, those are broken people now. And they're going to go out into society and have broken relationships with other people. But yet, everybody says what a great guy, Joe is the president of the Chamber of Commerce. Those those are more damaging than if somebody steals my individual car. But yet, society is going to say that the guy who stole my car is the monster that needs to be in prison. And you fill a car and you go to prison, but you destroy your children, and you're still a high ranking member of society. So it's not as simple as well, they broke the law. A lot of times people do bad things, but don't break laws. That's actually one thing. I've had a chat with. I do martial arts. So my martial art instructor, one of his close friends is going in. And he's like, I don't get it. He was a good person, this and that. And I said, Did you only known topically, you would only talk No. And my party's like, yeah, I'm like, it's easy to carry a facade for our too easy. But the beast is hidden behind the mask the moment he gets home, the teeth show. And that's where I said, it's hard to trust someone. If I told them in a less polite way to essentially if you trust them instantly, something's wrong thing by getting people to like them instantly. That's right, because he didn't realize he was a psychopath. I told him my dad is his brain feels no emotion. He does not care about the consequences. He will crush whoever's in his way for his success. Yes. And I said, but he never physically hurt someone. And by your definition, then he hasn't done a crime. Now that you've heard all this, is he a criminal and he's a but we can't measure that. I'm like, of course, you can't measure it's not a physical item. It's not like a car, we can say it's six feet long, three feet, why? This is the emotional, deep scars that you'll never be able to measure. And because you can't see it doesn't exist then. Yes, exactly. And so it's a whole lot easier for people, though, to just say, Oh, those bad criminals, let them rot in prison forever. But that's not necessarily the the cure for improving society. It's just not. And so then, my third book that I wrote was called inside the death fence this memoir of a whistleblower in it. It follows me on my journey from going from public school teacher to teaching at a maximum security men's prison for two and a half years and my determination after being in there and seeing the eruption that happens that we pay for as taxpayers of cleaning up the system because it is not helping our communities at all to have a corrupt prison system. I've had legislators Tell me Well, that's just the way it is, you know, the guy Oh, no, we can't do anything about it. Yeah, you can. They're the ones that hold the purse strings. They're the ones that have the power to say, you guys are going to clean up your act. And they need to get the gumption they're afraid that their opponent will say, Oh, well, you're soft on crime, because you were saying that there were problems inside the prison system. No. corrupt systems do not rehabilitate people, they don't. And so we get a very poor product for all the millions and millions of dollars that we spend on so called corrections in this country. It's I mean, it's, like $725 million a year just in Missouri. So you think of the 50 states, those are billions of dollars that are being spent on corrections. And they're not, in many cases, doing anything to truly rehabilitate these people, Keith, oh, he says, rehabilitation should start day one, the first day somebody steps foot inside a prison, they should start getting intensive, rehabilitation intensive therapy to stop whatever behavior it was, that led them to be in prison in the first place. Because the only way we're going to fix them. And that reminds me when I first started working at the prison, my oldest son came home on leave from the Air Force. And he was security forces. And he and the warden started talking about the, the differences between the European system and the American system. And the assistant Warden laughed and said, Well, we don't even try to fix anyone here. And I thought, lady, you just said the wrong thing in front of me. Because if we're not here, I mean, I'm a teacher, I believe you're like, my job was to help people better themselves. And I, I thought, lady, you said the wrong thing to the wrong person. Because it here you are the head of a corrections department facility, one of the assistant wardens. And you think it's laughable that we even try to fix anybody in here? That right there is the problem. That's what poisons entire systems is that mentality. And then it's no wonder that that bad person gets out. And rapes and kills and robs, again, because they weren't given any kind of tools to become anything other than that. And a lot of times, they become worse, when they're in. They went in for a fairly petty crime, and come back, wanting to kill and rampage. And that's just not effective for our communities. It's not, it's not like when I was talking to the Navy SEAL guy. He even said, He's like there's, there's something fundamentally wrong with the system, because he's like, the army trained you to be a good soldier. But he's the problem is they don't train you to be a good civilian. He's like, did almost to be like they gave you two months beforehand, before you fully leave and just condition you and retrain you back. And as I'm listening, I'm thinking the same thing. It's like his analogies right, right out the gate. But like, I had a conversation with one of my cousins in Washington when I was on vacation. And we were we were listening to news how Seattle's getting over round of crime. It's not enough cops, because people are leaving because it's underfunded. And then we had a fire somewhere nearby, and no one put it out. And just told him, like, the problem with the system and how it works is it's your department, your problem, make it work. If it's not working, we're actually going to cut you more money. And instead, it becomes a very self fulfilling prophecy. You don't work because you don't have enough money that cuts you. It doesn't work. You lose more money that cuts you. Yes. Oh, with corrections. It's the opposite. It's not working. And we keep giving them more money every year. Interesting. Yeah. Yeah. Because when I first started writing about all this stuff, we were at like 680 million a year, and now we're up over 725 million. And it's not because they've gotten better. And we actually have fewer inmates in the Missouri system now, but yet every year they want more from the state legislature, and they get it. And so it those now you have an idea as to why those books were so emotionally draining for me. It was like going through a meat grinder and reliving everything all over again, every single day, right when I was writing them so when I finished with inside the defenses I was burned out. And I wasn't even sure if I was ever going to write anything else again, because I was so tired and and emotionally spent from it. And I thought, oh, maybe I'll just write some things for fun. So I started writing, science fiction and paranormal, and I've written some westerns and some general fiction, and into the night is specifically a paranormal in science fiction short story collection. And they were a lot of fun to read. And it, it was the first time I've done fiction. And so I was a little nervous about it. And I was really excited when Sean Burgess who wrote the best selling book, the tear collector, he read the advanced reader copy and wrote a wonderful complimentary blurb for the back of the book. And it, it was really nice, because I'd gotten a lot of recognition from people for my nonfiction work. And, you know, people from NBC and oxygen and places like that, who endorsed my books. And so it was really nice to have the situation where I am also getting people who are well known and successful in the fiction world, also praising my work. So that was that that's been kind of affirming for me. Yeah, so then let's, um, without giving away all the details, because we got to get them to buy the book. What are some of the stories you go into? Oh, my goodness. Okay, I have stories that deal with everything from aliens, to demons, to interdimensional travelers. Oh, wow. Oh, yeah. So it's like everything, and then everything. And there's a time travel story. There are a lot of different stories, different types of stories. And two of my favorite authors have always been Oh, Henry, because they always had this twist at the end, where there was a surprise that the reader wasn't expecting. So I like to, to include those in my writing. And Franz Kafka, who a lot of people know Franz Kafka through the metamorphosis where the guy wakes up and he's an insect, because the German author, Kafka stories are very much where you, you're having an everyday, normal, regular, mundane day, and then the whole world crashes around you. And so I I like to be kind of Kafka esque to one of my college professors. One time, he, he told us the story about he and his wife going to the grocery store, just a regular mundane activity, right. And there was this huge wall of windows on the front by the cash register. We've all been in grocery stores like that. And suddenly, while he and his wife were checking out, there was a car that lost control and came crashing through the window, and it almost hit his wife and shards of glass are raining down everywhere. And he said, That's what a Kafka story is like, you're having this every day. Event Go on, and all of a sudden, your world has all the shards of glass coming down. I just got goosebumps just hearing that story. That's awesome. Yeah, I'm trying to fathom I'm for me, I'm not a very visual person. So I'm not like a photo or like this. Like we're talking. I can't pull up pictures of like that. But I can see like, my body fathoms, the experience and wow, that would have been terrifying. Yeah, yeah. Where it seems like it's just a normal day and you're not even really paying attention too much. And then all of a sudden, this cataclysmic thing happens. And so I try to incorporate things like that into my writing. And I also work really hard to have authentic emotion in it and authentic characters. Okay. Um, I don't know Have you know how some authors will describe the exact shade of hair that somebody has in the the shoes that they're wearing? I don't do that. I don't want to be Thomas Hardy writing three pages about what the tea set looked like, I don't want that drove me crazy in college reading that stuff. Sorry. I'll say that was when I was listening to Moby Dick. I was like three chapters to explain a whale we get it? Yeah. It's a big ocean living creature. We got it. Yeah, exactly. And I tend to let people visualize it themselves. Like, I might say, like one of my characters, you know, the wind, blue with the brown hair into her face or whatever, that that's, that's the most description I'm going to give you of that person. Because I tried to write it so that people can actually picture that person. However, they want to know instead of being so wrapped up and trying to visualize what does this person look like you said, they look like this, and this and you know, just go with the story. And feel like you're there in the moment with that person. With that happening. And there are a couple of the stories that even bothered me now like, some of them are light hearted, and sweet. And others love them bothered me. Like, some of them trouble me still. And one of them. It's called charcoal drawings. And late at night is when I do my best writing, because the world doesn't interfere with my thoughts or anything like that. So I'll be laying there in bed typing. And so I got into writing the story I had like, maybe the first third written well, so then I really got into it. And I wrote, and I got to the end of it. And I realized it was 130 in the morning, and it was completely dark in my room. And I'm like, oh, man, oh, I do not feel comfortable right now. Because it's about a teacher. And I can completely feel everything that that teacher was going through, in in this and that was another one where it starts off, it seems like really sweet, what a cute little story. And then it's not cute. It, it reveals like, oh, turn off the lights anymore, is your method for writing is it you just plot out a certain time of the day and be like, I must hit so many word counts by the end of the evening, or it's just it is what it is. If I get two pages done, it's great. If not, there's always tomorrow, I am the antithesis of the plotter. And I I am not one of those people who believes that in order to be a real writer, you have to write every single day and everything, my wife does not go around that, like I I teach full time. A lot of times I'm tired, I get home, I have a farm, you know, there's just a lot of stuff to do. And if I'm not feeling like writing, throwing words on the page that I'm probably going to delete anyway, because they were trash is not worth it. I need to be in the right frame of mind. And when when the ideas get to the point that they bubble up that they have to be told, alright, you know, I just, I'm not one of those people who says I have to write 2000 words a day, or else I'm a failure as a writer or whatever. Forget that. No. And I know I'm kind of I'm definitely what they call a pantser. I write by the seat of my pants, I'll come up with an idea. And I'll start writing and the story unfolds. And in my mind, it's like I'm having in the dialog, I'm having the conversations back and forth with people. And I think well, what would be the natural response? And then I would I just typed that as though it is literally happening and I can see them you know, I might say, well, he leans over, you know, well, I can see all this happening. And so it transfers to the page. And I I believe that if I tried to make it to where I had to write every day, or I had to reach a certain word count, that it would seem too much like drudgery to me and I would lose my creative spark altogether. I couldn't do that and I probably Come up with my story ideas in a different way than a lot of people do. I will think of sometimes 10 or 15 at a time titles for stories. And I will make a Google Doc for each of those titles. Okay. And some other time I'll go in, and I'll be looking at the titles and think, Oh, I think this would be a great concept. And so I'll write a few sentences down on that Google Doc, of what of like, what the character's name should be the main character, and what the general premise is of the story. And then that's as far as I go on, plotting anything out, I'll know what I want to have happen at the end of the story. But the middle of the game? Yeah, the beginning, the beginning in the middle, is, is just to let that creativity flow, to get them to that point, right. And so that's how I write and I know, it's not like a lot of people, right, but it works for me. Hey, Alicia works because don't say the only reason I asked was I read the memoirs of Stephen King for writing. And he's like, every day no matter what, even if it's about a chicken, take him to Shin er to writing it on my butt. Don't be a waste, because I've scrapped that story anyways. Yeah, yeah, I like I do the 2000. But then that's stupid. It's literally just chicken in your taking your shit and even bugs? Yeah, do this. Exactly. It's got to have appointment. And Keith has said all along that I don't ever do anything, unless it matters. And so if I put my time and attention towards something, it's because I believe it matters. And I'm not going to sit there and write something. And unless I really want it to matter, it's not going to just be an exercise in futility, it has to be actually productive in some type of way, or there wasn't any sense in doing it, because it does take energy to do Oh, it does, it takes a part of you to pour into the stories. And unless I'm going to make it something that I'm happy with, then there's no sense in in doing it, and it's not as though I don't go back and edit and edit and edit and edit, I definitely do. For some people, they can write it and go back and check for occasional errors, and then they're good. Not me, I don't know why. But for me, it's kind of writing is kind of like creating an alabaster sculpture. alabaster is very hard, and you have to sand the sand and sand and sand it. And that's what I tend to do is I write the story. And not that it was bad, but I'll go through but you know, I've used that word a couple of times, I need to use a different art, you know, and just are, oh, I need to add this aspect to it. And so for me, all of my books have taken between a year and a half and two years to write. Okay, just just because I'm not satisfied with the first run, or the second run, or the third run or the fourth run, I have to go through and give it time and give it space in my head to go through and look at it fresh. That was actually one thing I noticed that you did that King recommended is to put it aside for a couple of months, so it's not fresh in your brain. And then when you look at it, because it's not currently a part of you, you can easily kill your children to make it work better. Because you can feel fresh, you can be like, but actually my my has to be on the chair and then when you reread it like why is she on the chair? Exactly. Yeah, I you know, or you realize, okay, in my mind as that movie was playing out in my head, I sought doing this, but I never said I left out this part of what was going on. Or there needs to be more of this, or more of that here and there. And, and so yeah, for me it takes a while but I'm generally I'm I'm pretty happy with how it turns out. And thankfully I've had a lot of people who've been pleased with it and there is a a narrator she is a voice artist named Nari Kwok, who has the into the night podcast. And she does podcasts of my stories. Some of them are in the book and others are just like westerns or, you know, General fiction type of stories that that aren't in there. And so anyway, she has garnered a fairly substantial Following for that, and she also did the voice work for inside the depth fences and she's got the contract to do the audible book for for into the night too. Wonderful. Good for her. Yeah. Yeah, she's a great lady. I'm assuming her voice is very soothing and good. very wonderful to listen to you kind of thing. It is. It definitely is. Okay. It's one of those I'm gonna have to look up the podcast was in the into the night show into the night pod. Okay. Yeah, like if you go on Twitter, it's at into the night. pod. To pod. Alright. There we go. And my Twitter is at GM on codebook. Okay. Yeah, we'll get that I'll get that linked up and everything. We'll throw that on Twitter and anything else you want specifically to go over with your books? Or did you think we got everything just that I'm I'm really excited that I was able to write this book and the Tuscany Bay publishing published it. It if those are topics that I've been interested in my whole life, I grew up with my family talking about the possibility of aliens or what else is out there? Or what possibilities exist in the world that we live in right now? Ghosts and that kind of thing. I grew up watching the Night Gallery, Twilight Zone, Cole Shaq, the Night Stalker, all those. I was the youngest in my family. And so I was watching things that that the older kids or the parents were watching at that time. And so it's it was just always a topic in our house. And my sons and I have experienced quite a few really unusual paranormal type experiences, not seeking them out. I don't understand these ghost hunter shows or anything where they're trying to make contact? Because No, thank you. Not looking for that. But yeah, I've happened to run into some situations that were extremely unsettling to where it's just kind of kind of natural to write about these kinds of things. And and, you know, after the hard, hard press, true crime stories that I've written, it was nice to be able to create the monsters instead of write about the real ones. Right. So there's been a lot of enjoyment from that, too. I'd also like to say that into the night release is on August 23, August 17. Let me repeat that up into the night releases on August 17. Okay, I just typed in into the night, there's like so many different variances of it. So I'll figure out which one's hers. Yeah, it's that into the night pod on Twitter. Okay, oh, I do not have Twitter on my phone. So I'll pull that up later. Okay. I do want to add something, though, on the ghost thing. I, I've had some interesting experiences too, with ghosts. And people like they don't exist. And like, they're maybe not like the transparent human or the go sheet thing. But it's like it's energy because like the house that was up in Washington for vacation. It was it was essentially a quarantine place for lepers back in 1800. So it's really interesting. Yeah. So there's a lot of paranormal activity in that house. And it's nothing malicious or anything like that. But like if you have your phone, you can make a call side. The moment you walk in, everything is gone. But there's signal around the place. And that's where I always joked with my parents because we would hear creaking and this and then there was no wind of my other ghost user walking again. Hopefully you don't do anything crazy today. Well, when my boys were little, we moved into a house in Bolivar, Missouri. And they were visiting their dad in Seattle while I had moved in there, right so I moved in while they were still on their summer visit with their dad. So they fly in. They come in everything seems okay. I noticed a couple of weird things. From the house, you know, but it's like, well, I signed a lease. This is where we're going to be for right now. Right? So about one of the first nights that they slept in the house, you know, those old, unfinished, the stores that used to have unfinished furniture and you can buy the furniture and then stain it and varnish it and everything yourself. Well, there were some heavy duty bunk beds that my boys had that I had done that with I had finished it myself. Heavy wood, right. So one night, Rick's on the top bunk. Kevin's on the bottom bunk, and the light, you know, if the lights are on, it's time to go to bed. And they can hear this breathing. And Rick tells Kevin, Kevin, stop it, go to sleep. Kim's like, I didn't do anything. You stop it. Right, Kevin, stop. It's quiet my hair. And Rick goes, Kevin. I mean it stop. Right. And Kevin's like, I didn't do it. And so they start arguing back and forth. And then they realize they can still hear the breathing while they're arguing with each other. And they both stopped. And they listened. And it realized that it that they could hear them. And I heard the commotion and I didn't know what was going on. And the boy slept with me every night after this. I hear the voice screaming. And I hear this loud noise of something being drugged across the floor. And then I heard what I thought was them banging into the washer and dryer is the king running through the house to get to my room. Well, the next morning, their heavy bunk bed had been dragged three feet across the floor. It dragged them across the floor, they came tumbling out and they said Mama, when in touch the washer and dryer, the lids were coming up and down banging as they ran past. And then lots of scary stuff happened in that house. like you'd watch the there was this weird little room off to the side of just outside my bedroom. And it was it was too big for a pantry. But it wasn't big enough for a bedroom. It was just weird setup. And we can lay there in bed and watch because the boys were like in kindergarten and second grade at this point. We could watch the door handle turn and the door swing open. And then it would close by itself and then the door handle would turn back and forth stuff like that. Oh, yeah, that's just one of the many things that we saw happening. And so when those movies Paranormal Activity came out, we're sitting in the theater watching it, and we're going Oh, yeah, Bolivar. Yep. Uh huh. Oh, caffeine. Dan's house. Yep. Yes. Oh, everybody else is freaking out. And we're going Oh, yeah, that's like, what happened here and what happened there? So we kind of asked if the only thing we hadn't thought about, and we were kind of glad we had was putting the talcum powder data on the floor to see if we got footprints. Oh, yeah. Would have been terrifying. Yeah. Probably better. We didn't know. Yeah, for me, like I, for a hot month and a half, I helped my aunt move up to like a ranch area in Idaho. And it was one of those, they were getting ready to do a second run back to California. But they had us using walkie talkies. So I put one into charge. And I fired one up, I accidentally crossed it for feedback and all that. And then I like my cousin's like, why don't you do that? I'm like, sorry, sorry. So joking. The other way. And suddenly, we hear trombone faintly in the background. And then I just see, like, I pause, and I pull up my fingers. Like, no, no, no, no. I put it back. And he's still here. And then suddenly, it stops and you hear a whisper? Did you like playing music? Oh, yeah. I kind of just like, yes. When did when did you learn it? And he said, I died playing this song. And it was gone. And that's what I had to ask me. And I'm like, okay, was not a battle on this place by chance. He said, yeah, it was he like, Oregon trails. The Indians were fighting the people. It was bloody battle. Hundreds died here, Mike. I mean, and your nephew just had a conversation with one of the soldiers. So how might you might want to get some rosemary blesses places. Yeah, burn some sage around here. Yeah. And that's where you say, Oh, yeah, we weren't gonna tell the little guy I'm like, Yeah, well, he just heard it from a ghost on the walkie talkie. Yeah. Holy cow. Yeah. Rick was stationed with a guy with his roommate at Whiteman Air Force Base. And the guy wanted Rick to go out with them that night. And normally, yeah, of course, we could be up for But he said something just told them. No, just don't. And the guy's like, Nah, come on, Rick, we'll have a good time. And he's like, No, no, let's just not do it right. And I'm not going you go have a good time, but I'm staying home. Well, the guy had a horrible wreck in his truck that night and was killed on the way home. And Rick would have been too if he'd been with the guy. And so a couple of the guys that they were stationed with, were into the ghost hunter type stuff, and they had recording equipment. And they set a recorder out by the guy's truck at the salvage yard. Okay. And they played it for Rick. And it was crazy, because on the recording, you could hear somebody pop the top on a beer, and then take a drink and go like that. And they told them, you know, they called them by name. I can't remember exactly what his name was, but they told him goodbye at the truck, you know, they're standing there at the truck. And they they said, Man, we're gonna miss you know, by and the guy's voice said, by back on the recording. Yeah, no, I like the radio thing. It's totally possible. My theory with ghosts is yes, there. We as humans are energy, whether we like it or not. And you can't necessarily destroy energy. It either it's transferred or it stays. But that's it. That's really all. I'm like. That's science, right? The spirit, whatever you want to call its energy? Well, if the energy doesn't move on, so that part's up to you, if it's Heaven, or hell, or if you're still here, what is he going to do? It will if it has human inclination, it's going to learn how to gather more energy, and not necessarily a good way and it'll build that's where it gets to your house where it's just moving stuff. Because it's been there so long. It's gotten so much. essence hour, right? Yeah. But it, it just doesn't know what to do other than act like a human and bash everything, because it's just emotion at that point. Yeah. And usually not good comforting emotion. No, it's not. It's usually the anger and regret that keeps them there. Yeah. And remembering that up is there's a place in Oregon called the Oregon vortex, I actually don't know if it's still open. I haven't gone in like 10 years. But it's one of those, like, if you take a ruler, there's like six of us. This side where my hand is supposed to be at the tall side. This is where it's short, you take the photo, it switches really and it's not because of the camera and the filtering and angles, they did it with a mirrorless camera token same thing happened with the the film and he had developed. So that was one of those. I'm like, okay, we're getting into how to do it. And there's one where if you roll us only this one water bottle, like wine bottle down, it rolls uphill, and there's nothing beneath he actually built a lake lake. He's like, I had to make a deal with the ghost by the way. He's like, I felt like a mega deal to the devil. I he did not want me to cut it. And essentially, I told him I need to show people you're not your thing. So he lifted it and we did again, there's no magnets, there's no anything. It's an empty like ramp. And it was one of those I jokingly being a kid like because he said do not roll it uphill. He's like for the god sake do not do that. So for me another thing you know, he's been theatrical. He wants more gas. Now I did it. Afterwards, he showed us to the whole house started shaking. And there was a terrible how. And he literally looked and said, Boy, what did I say? What the other way we get dirt apart. So I wrote down and it stops instantly. And then that's where you say if I say something I mean it so he took us under and showed us everything. There was no earthquake things there were no speakers. And that's when really I just sat there and like alright, you win. Yeah, yeah, well that thing in the house involve her I would have to make deals with it. You know, and I, I would talk to him because like it activity would get really big. And I was concerned for my sons and myself. And I had to explain to him you know, my boys and I we just needed someplace to live. You know, the lease was up in December. And we this isn't our house. We don't think this is our house. This is your house. But we just needed a place to live here. We for just the time being. We needed a place to live. This is still your house and things would calm down for a few days. And then it would start amping back up again. And I have to have the same talk with it again. And be like, you know, we're not trying to take your house. We know this isn't ours. So just, you know, be patient because we we will be leaving and then you can have your house back. And, and things will get better. Yeah, there's been all kinds of weird things that have happened in life. And I taught out on the Navajo reservation for a while. And years ago and my sons when they were young. Oh, they were? Well, I think it was that same year when they were in like kindergarten and second grade. My oldest still remembers this, the youngest was sleeping in the backseat. But we were driving down the highway on the Navajo reservation out by fort defiance, and it's about 1130 midnight. And I hit my grapes because there's obviously somebody was running across the road. my flashlight, I mean, my headlights are on high beam, right? So you can clearly see everything. Well, there were tennis shoes and jeans running across. There was nothing from the top. from the waist up. There was nothing in you can see through like it wasn't like, Oh, I just can't recognize that. There were only blue jeans and sneakers running across the road. That's crazy. Yeah. Yeah, the only thing I could think of. I mean, it's brutal to say but you would have seen the blood is like if he freshly got decapitated, he or she and the body, like for a hot second can still function without the brain. Right? The only thing I could think of rationally but if you're just this was the whole top half gone, just gone. Yeah. And then when we when we got past there, you couldn't see anything anymore. So it's not like the jeans and sneakers were on the side of the road or something. And both Rick and I are like, Did you see that? And to this day, occasionally he'll say, Mom, I was telling somebody about this. Do you remember when we were driving across the reservation? And there were just jeans and sneakers running across the road? And I'm like, yep, I definitely remember it. That's not something you forget. Yeah. Yeah. Is that you? And I have to have to actually talk more at some point. We absolutely. Yeah. We have seen some stuff. Oh, yeah. Like the Washington house when we were me and my sister younger, like grandma and grandpa went out to town to go get some food. It's like a 20 minute drive. So we're like, okay, we'll stay home. We promise we won't certifier kind of thing. Joke. Yeah. joking. And it's one of those. My grandma just bought a laptop. And we're like, okay, we brought it to the table. We're playing this cool, like solitaire game like burning monkeys Solitaire. We're playing it and we both like we both close it. Go to the stove to make ourselves like a grilled cheese. And then I looked up because I was the taller one. I'm like, Leah, why did you move the laptop back to the living room? Check. I was here this whole time. I'm like, Well, I don't remember doing that. Actually. Did I leave at any time? She's like, no, Mike. We just look up looked at each other. Looked at the floor. We're not talking about this. When I'm we lived in Roswell for a year. Okay, so we were running a house in Roswell, the boys and I, they were they were young. And I had a bad feeling about the house and they did to like it was kind of weird and like there was like something not comforting about the house. Right right to look at it look perfectly fine. Well, of course then I find out when I'm getting ready to move at the end of the year that before I moved in the property management company had come in and completely redo the entire inside. Because it had all been painted. All the walls had been black and they were pentagrams all over the place. Yeah, important to know. should have told the new teacher in town I'm just saying you know, and so this one night I was up late grading papers and I had the little table lamp next to me, right and I'm sitting on the couch in the living room. And this was back in the day of the VHS tapes, right? So the little recorders there underneath our TV. And the doors started to open and close on it all by itself. And I looked over at it and I kid you not because it was one of those that would would speak to you. It would say like open clothes, you know, right. But this was saying hello, Goodbye. Hello. Goodbye over and over again. And I'm like, sweet baby Jesus, please watch over us, please. Yeah, yeah. Done grading papers right now I'm just going to my room. You got your lesson by I'm leaving? That's right. Yeah. So this is one thing I joke with people who are willing to listen to my stories. So, back in high school, there was this one guy we'll call him Jimmy I actually don't really remember his name. But so Jimmy was gonna go hang out with a bunch of buddies and they found this old Weegee board at a thrift store. And it was one of those he that he that he took a photo with back when like photos cost like 50 cents to send. So he like send it to his email to send it to all of us. So he shows me like, Hey, I'm like, hey, something's wrong with this board, though. I said the handle it looks like it's bone. Like the little triangle thing. And the thing? It's, it looks like things have been mashed together, not in the same way. Um, I wouldn't touch that. Like, you couldn't pay me enough to touch I guess. It's okay. Because I actually want to just like never get drunk, hang out with the girls and we're gonna try to contact Hitler and Mike does really dumb idea. That's a really dumb idea. I'm telling you right now. Something's not going to go well. Yeah, he's like, screw you. So it's one of those. He did it and I didn't see him for a day or two. And I was like, okay, like, he was young. I didn't drink but I'm like, maybe he drank too much kind of thing. He's in the hospital. He comes to the school. And he was a standard issue human straight back. very athletic. Good hair, like soft eyes. He's twisted. His body looks like it's been ripped and torn, and then replaced together. His shoulders are off by a lot. Hit then it's one of those. He he had a hood but he had longer hair in general. So it's kind of what always covers eyes. And but he was breathing like a beast. And I was like, hey, Jimmy. Jimmy, you Okay, buddy? And like, tapped his shoulder kind of like, hey, he turns up in his whole face is twisted. His eyes are glowing gold. And he lied. And he said all I remember and I disagree. I just walked away and didn't say anything. He's like, Jimmy's not here anymore. And just walked away. Apparently, they found him later he killed himself or something. But I was like, Oh my God. I think I just saw a demon. Oh, my gosh. Yeah. You know, we are going to talk more. Oh, yeah, we definitely have to talk more in the future. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, that's some stuff right there. That is a lot of people have told me like, you need to just write like a, like a story almost like a biography of the crazy stuff you've been through. I'm like, maybe but like, do I just make fiction fictional characters or kind of like, the symbolic This is me, but it's not me. Yeah. Yeah. No, that's that's interesting stuff. Right. There. It is. Yeah, things didn't go well for Jimmy. No. And now that I'm older looking back and like he probably didn't even like you with the ladies. Yeah, that kind of thing is generally a turn off. URLs. Yeah. We're gonna go contact killer ladies. You want to go a go have some fun, too. I know. The whole suddenly I'm a hunchback China thing. Just Yeah, it doesn't play well, either. You know. That's. Oh, man. That's bad. Yeah. And that's one of those like, afterwards, I was talking to my buddy cuz he knew of him. He would see me talking to him. So you just want it was like, Okay, my Hey. You saw me earlier when he's a kid. That weird guy with the hoodie, kind of lifted. Jimmy but it wasn't. I'm like, No, I was totally Jimmy. But yeah, that wasn't it wasn't. But it wasn't something was completely missing about him. And that's where you're from? Yeah. That's where he reminded me recently. He's like, yeah, remember that guy? Because it was a weird coincidence. Jimmy showed up. But then we had a drug dealer on campus. We all knew he was the dealer. Even the teacher said no unplugged. And he was kind of the drug dealer where he'd intentionally make concoctions just to see how people react. Ah, a mad scientist. Yes, we'll go That he decided because he had a couple split caps of equity, ecstasy, some extra mushrooms leftover and a little bit acid. Why don't I just mash it together sell it to someone $50 and see what happens. He did it. And it was like this one guy me and him knew and we just never said anything. He took it. And apparently, he didn't die. But his subconscious was unfiltered while he was conscious. And he couldn't comprehend what was going on. And essentially, he's sitting there shaking in the the table next to me, and I'm like, hey, come down. He's like Geoffrey's talking to me. I'm like, Who's Jeffrey? I'm like this curious. I've never heard that name. Come on, Ralph. He's like, it's a giraffe. And his mouth glows light. And it's telling me to kill myself. I'm like, well, definitely don't listen to Jeffrey, then. Jeffrey sasl. And it was just one of those. He raises his hand and he's shaking like I am right now. He isn't going to restroom come to find out. Later, he jumped in front of a semi truck. He's like, I couldn't handle it. He's like Geoffrey was too much as he's like motoring, as he's walking out. It was one of those I was like, focused on we were talking about Animal Farm, the book. And then the movie. We were getting ready to watch it. And that's where he's like, Oh, it's in between. I need to go to the restroom. And that's where, essentially that the cop. I guess. He the symmetric when he ran over. Jimmy was saying out loud. Josh was right. Shouldn't have listened. He was just shaking as he was dying. And that's really good putting this out because I like he was saying your name. And I'm like, this is I just told you, Mikey, he was he just just this guy. He deals drugs. He just did an experiment. And it didn't end well. Seemed like his subconscious was unfiltered. I'm like, I didn't push him up. That's what you're insinuating. You know, that's one of the concerns I have with drug use is that? What if you bring back some of those things like some people will talk about going to a different realm, different dimension, and being able to see these entities? What if they follow you back? Okay, I'm definitely just gonna keep going. So well, just Just so you know, for transparency sake, I'm actually at a friend's house. I'm supposed to be socializing. Okay, then later, we'll have to definitely call and do another one. Yes. But essentially, when I got back from Idaho, I was meeting my buddy. Sorry, me, my dad and his buddy, we were going to bed company, and his buddy made her own weed bikes, cultivated it and made cookies. Uh huh. It's a very potent strain, and she said is a very strong one. And we're like, okay, okay. And it's one of those we get a bad company. And she gave us a whole cookie. Ready immediately. That was a big problem, because we didn't know the dosage. Right? I'm assuming now I took like 200 milligrams on an empty stomach. Last thing I remember is I took off like a rocket. I'm sitting in a weight room, above the galaxy, the Milky Way. And I'm staring down at it. Oh, Josh. And I just said that, like, when I came to one of my stoner buddies at work when I was there, and I said, Hey, so have you ever had this experience? He's like, that's called near death experience. He's like, I'm surprised you did not split and become like, schizophrenic. I'm like, Oh, I saw the galaxy. I had a near death experience to not from drugs. Okay, I had just had my youngest son, I lost a lot of blood. And they put I wasn't in a private room. That person in the bed next to me had had a C section like three days before. They allowed her husband to stay in there until like three o'clock in the morning. You know, I had had definite serious delivery. with Kevin, like I said, lost a lot of blood. Like passing clots like the size of a kidney. I'm talking like, Oh, yeah, bad news. And I I'm exhausted, right. And I've had no sleep and then they allow Yahoo in there until the early morning hours. I couldn't sleep. They released me at 10am. But I had to go back that afternoon to get Kevin so my then husband, his his dad, the boy's dad. We went to the hospital got the baby came home. So dinners going in the kitchen, Carl said he would watch the dinner. And I sat down on the edge of the bed and I leaned back on the bed just thinking I am just like, I don't feel right. Yeah, I am just so Spent, and I weighed down and I close to my eyes. And all of a sudden, I was sucked out of my body. And I was fine. It was kind of like in Star Trek with warp speed going with the stars going, you have that too. That was exactly the same. And I'm getting sucked through the cosmos. And I was like, No, no, I can't go. I can't go. And it just kept pulling me and I'm like, No, I'm serious. I have to go back. I'm not going to leave my sons. I am going back now. And I got pulled back into my body. And I opened my eyes. And I sat up and I was like, whoa. Yeah. And so the interesting thing is the guy, he mentioned it later, once I told him, he's a kid. He's like, did you by chance See? A rolling hills? The essence of the most beautiful colors ever? And a woman talking to you when you're coming back? I'm like, Yeah, he's like, I think that's Mother Nature. Just so you know. He's like, I've seen her before, too. Whoa, he's a, he's a, you might have actually had a conversation with God, just so you know. I'm working. And there's one of those I said, well, that's interesting, because when I got back, because it was such a dopamine drop. I could like I told him, it's weird. I've noticed when I do stuff like that, I don't anymore. But I said, I noticed this one figure following me around. It was transparent. So I knew it wasn't real. But he specifically had more like, almost like, ritually soand close eyes, he can still see me, blink, but his eyes were ritualistically closed in his lips. I said, and it was a nerd guy next to me in a big trench coat, kind of beating with time, fairly big top hat next to him. And I said, I've seen the top hat guy before. I'm like, I just like a check Ripper kind of guy. He's here. But he's no threat. The just face though, is new. And he's like what happened? Said, as I was talking what he essentially said, we made a deal for you. Because you're not supposed to die yet. You have much to do. And it's just like, make take note kind of thing. And he left and never came back. And he's like, yeah, you probably have a lot to do in your lifetime. And that was not the time for you to die yet. Yeah, I don't know who I was talking to. I mean, I assume it's like God I was talking to you know, I mean, like, I didn't see a beam is what I'm saying. But I specifically was telling them, I can't go. I cannot go right now. I'm not going to go right now. I'm not going to leave my kids. I mean, I have a newborn and a little guy who's not even two yet. Like, no, not leaving them. So I came back. Yeah. And then it was just one of those like, he's super into the terrestrial levels. And if we look here, we got to let you go to sue. But that's what he's saying. He's like, you might have hit some higher level. Is that even like the Dalai Lama wishes he could get to? Yeah, exactly. Oh, Josh, let's, you've got my email. You will definitely be talking more in the future. Okay. 100%. Okay, sounds good. Thank you so much for having me on. Pleasure. Be good. All right, you too. Bye. Bye. You have stuff to do in life. Yes, I do. Be good. We'll do