SIXTEEN by Eric Blackmon

15 years, 7 months, 4 weeks, 1 day, 16 hours, and 33 minutes to be exact.

5,724 dreadful days, 137,416 and a half hours, 8,244,993 miserable minutes.

And I won’t forget a second of it.

I missed 66 of my kid’s birthdays, 337 holidays, 16 vacations, 14 graduations, 11 funerals,

First steps, first words, all of my 20s, half of my 30s, most of my life.

I lost everything.

Every dime I had, four appeals, friends, family, my fiancé, my relationship with my kids.

At times I lost faith,

Other times I lost hope,

A few times I even lost myself,

But I survived.

I survived the conditions. I survived the ornery, tyrannical officers; some wolfish, vulturous inmates.

A stabbing, being jumped, two black eyes, two busted lips, one chipped tooth, a busted head, 6 stitches, 1 broken nose, 1 fractured arm, 1 concussion.

The suffering, the pain, the loss.

But I overcame.

I endured.

By never hearing, never seeing, never speaking, never caring, never feeling, never loving, never resting, never giving up.

For 15 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours and 33 minutes to be exact

5724 dreadful days

137416 and 1/2 hours

8,244,993 miserable minutes.

All for a crime I didn’t commit.

And I can’t forget a second of it.

But who’s counting?

Eric Blackmon is a former PNAP student. He currently works as a paralegal at the MacArthur Justice Center and is studying to become a lawyer.