June 28, 2016 | David Bendezou

David knew that he could be transferred to “medium” at any moment so he wrote and performed this selection which became the opening piece in This Incarcerated Life.

Dear PPTG: Thank you for allowing me a space to relive my youth — the child in me. When I first came to prison (literally the first day), I was told by this overwhelming figure: “If you act like a kid in here, you will potentially end up dead. This is a grown man’s place. It’s not a game.” He was dead serious. I was 20. Scared to death. First time. You get the point.

Incidentally, the words that stick out to me nine years later are “act” and “game.” And not the rest of what he said. Because that’s what PPTG offered me: the ability to act and play games — in a very unlikely place to act or play games.

But what if I told you that I’m not an actor or that I really do not like to act? What if I told you that I do not like games and that I’m the serious type? Seriously.   And at the same time, what if I told you that I like to dance? Would you believe me or anything I would say? Probably not. You’ll be like, “this guy is weird, and what is wrong with him, I think h is confused.”

And you know what?   I think that confusion is kind of good because it says that I really do not care how I’m going to be judged.   Rather I’m going to dance like no one is watching (Guys contribute a beat to David’s dance) and not care how you will end up judging me.

Think about this for one second. We act every day. (we do). Therefore we all play games. Because to act in a way means playing games. For example . . .someone always asks me “how are you” — probably to start conversation or what not.

Does not matter. My point is that every time someone asks me how I am, I always reply back, in my acting mode, “I’m fine”. When in truth that is a lie! I’m not fine; I’m confined! 15 to LIFE to be exact. I might die in here. I might never get the chance to breathe normally ever again. And I’m not bitter. But for the sake of making you comfortable I’ll lie and say I’m doing fine with a pretentious smile on my face.

We are good actors, aren’t we?” I think we act, to prevent people from judging us. But I say, do not use acting this way.   And another thing, why do people say, “I do not act or play games”, as if acting or playing games is bad, when it is not! Acting and playing games, when used the right way I believe even as adults, is very helpful when tying to overcome judgment.

So thank you PPTG, for not judging me.   Sincerely, David Bendezu