that’s not his real name, but i didn’t change it protect his innocence ~ he lost that a long time ago.
that’s just his name ~ to me anyway ~ although i may be the only person that still calls him that. dino has been in and out of prison since he got home from viet nam in 1972… mostly in. he’s still there now, anyway he better be. i dreamed about him last night and he was here. he had conned [HA!] a truck driver into bringing him here and then i overheard them taking about it and realized that he had escaped, again. by his own account he has escaped eight times. he was released once, but only made it about 6 months. maybe i should start at the beginning…
dino moved to my home town when i was in the eight grade, he was a classic juvenile delinquent, his hair was cut in a flat top and died red, he wore jeans and t-shirts and big leather boots. the first day at school he got in a fight with one of the guys in my class, i still remember standing in the school parking lot watching them fight across the street ~ wasn’t on the school grounds so the town cop showed up and broke it up. [the first time i saw dirty dancing and patrick swayze walked into that dining room i could only think of dino ~ not his looks exactly, just the look of him]
now, i had been in love with craig sutherland since the forth grade, i got in trouble for writing kim + craig on the wall of the high school! he had even given me a ring that he bought at lee’s variety store, it had a blue stone in it. i can’t remember if i still had that ring when i was in eight grade, but it didn’t matter, this new bad boy had just stolen my heart!
dino was only in eureka for a couple of years. he and chris evans ran away to price one night, chris came back, dino never did. i did see him right before he left for viet nam, his cousin brought him to eureka and we talked out in front of my house. i lost track of him after that until after my mom passed away.
i went down home to visit my aunt boo and she was up at her friend elsie’s house. turns out that elsie had been given my mom’s old phone number. we were taking and elsie said she had received a letter from someone asking about me…. someone named dino. i said, the last time i heard anything about dino, he was in prison. [this was around 1985, i hadn’t heard anything about dino since 1972] but, i did dream about him once.
elsie wouldn’t correspond with him about me with out asking my permission so i told her i would write to him… i read the letter and it said that dino was in prison in gunnison utah and was looking through the phone books and recognized a telephone number ….6858. he didn’t recognize elsie’s name, but did remember the number. he wrote asking about my mom; and asked about me, because he thought i had died.
now you might not believe this next part, but i do…. apparently some time in the ’80s dino was in prison in california, he was stabbed in the shower and as he laid on the floor watching his blood run down the drain i came to him…. well i think that was the time i dreamed about him, that’s how i knew he was in prison. he said he thought i was an angel, that’s why he thought i was dead… [my friend karla once told me ‘if you ever see me in your dreams, wave. i will wave back…’]
i have been writing to him since then, my letters have followed him from gunnison, to cedar city, to new mexico, to colorado, to georgia, to pennsylvania, to florida. i visited him twice ; once in cedar city and once in new mexico. he’s my friend, i don’t know all he’s done in his life, i don’t judge the things i do know. he has wives and girlfriends and children and grand children and he has me. i don’t still have that school girl crush on him, but i will always have a place in my heart for him.
he has never shown up on my door step, but if he does, he’d better show up with release papers in his hand! i must admit that the first thing i did this morning was get on the federal prison inmate locator site to make sure he was still where he was supposed to be, because sometimes in the last 37 years, he hasn’t been.