It's Saturday. Yesterday I sent the forms to the prison that will enable me to visit Lloyd Cork. As I was filling out the forms I felt a little uncomfortable because they needed my social security number, home address, and maiden name. I called the prison to ask them whether or not these forms might ever end up being viewed by the prisoner. They woman on the phone said, "He shouldn't be able to see them."
However, she informed me that my application for visitation would become a part of Cork's permanent prison file.
It dawned on me that since I was already headed out to to mail a letter to Mississippi that I may as well write Cork back. I received his second letter almost a full month ago. I grabbed the letter and quickly reread it.
Maybe my mind is completely going. Maybe I have too much on my plate. But somehow, the first time I read the letter, I'd missed two or maybe three really inappropriate moments in it. First, he tells me a story of a time before he went to prison when he met a girl who looked old, then she put her hair down revealing that she was quite young, and then the two of them had sex for a really long time.
Later in the letter he mentions that his pen is running out of ink, then he goes back to talking about my letter, and then says that he lent it to a fellow prisoner. The way his letter reads, it makes it sound as if he lent my note to a prisoner, not the pen.
Then I got to the end of the letter. He talks about being so excited that he went "off".
I started to write him back, realized I needed more time to process what I'd just read, grabbed the visitation forms and ran out of the house. My first stop was to the drive-thru post office, I dropped the visitation forms in the mailbox without giving it a second thought.
Now that I'm sitting alone in my house, the address to which is on its way to a building that houses murderers, I am feeling as though this whole thing needed a lot more thought. Cork has mentioned in both of his letters that he has a stash of money somewhere. In his first letter the said that he just needed a nice girl to spend it on. I think it's crystal clear that Cork wants to do more with me than just talk about Booker Wright.
My instincts, my gut instincts in situations when men make unwanted advances, is to shut them down quickly with clarity and assertiveness. This situation is made even stickier by the fact that Cork's an imprisoned murderer. Do I give this whole thing extra weight because I'm the granddaughter of the man Cork is in prison for murdering? In other words, is he even sicker than I thought because he's willing to reach out sexually to Booker Wright's granddaughter?
Everyone says he's crazy. I heard this from many people in Greenwood, they all said that he'd gone crazy. He still denies that he murdered my grandfather even though so many people saw him do it. So, I know that I won't get the "truth" from him. This whole time I've just wanted to see his reaction to the question, "Did someone hire you to kill my grandfather?"
To be honest, there is a little theater in all of this. I'm writing a book and making a movie. Dramatic moments are critical for both. I'm really trying to search myself to find out if I'm doing this to "punch up" the drama or if I'm really on a search for answers. It may be a little of both.
After all these years I am never going to know for certain what the truth is about my grandfather's murder. I am never going to know if he was regularly harassed by cops or if it only happened a few times. On some level, visiting Cork is almost ceremonial. It feels like the next logical step in my search, but I'm not sure that it's an authentic choice for me or if it's a wise choice considering that I do have young children to protect.
What do I mean by an authentic choice? Since I am so convinced that he's not going to tell me anything significant, there is a part of me that's prepared to let the connection with him go cold. I have a whole lot of other things to do with my time and going to see him may be a waste of it. Also, he still denies murdering my grandfather. Something about that really just doesn't sit well with me. It feels disrespectful. It frustrates me.
There was a part of me that was burning to meet him, to look him in the eye. Knowing that he's trying to start some sexual letter writing campaign with me makes me want to throw up. I don't think his last letter mentioned my grandfather even once.
I am so deeply and utterly conflicted. He's a sicko. I live a nice, simple, safe life. Why am I inviting him into it? Why am I giving an audience to the man who killed my grandfather and is now talking about sex with his victim's granddaughter? It would seem that not only does he have no remorse, but he also has no dignity either.
The forms are on their way. I may need to see if I can stop what I've started.