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Inside Look: Freedom in Little Things

little things matter in prison

Guest post by Danny Varner written for Prison Lives

It's been many years since I've eaten an Oreo cookie. When I realized that this year's Christmas bag contained real Oreo cookies, I instantly thought about how they would taste with cold milk.

I recalled how real Oreos stayed crispy when dipped in milk, much longer than their generic counterparts. But when left there long enough, crisp would give way to the sweet creamy filling that can only be experienced when biting into the real thing.

It's now Christmas morning in the Phoenix, Arizona, federally funded gated community I reside in. It's cold and wet outside. Even though I have my milk in hand - two plastic-bagged single-serve-one-percenters -- my bones are too cold for the traditional method of Oreo eating. Instead, I've mixed into a half cup of boiled water two spoons of Folgers instant coffee, a vanilla pudding, and one of my milks.

I sit in my cell with my freshly opened pack of Oreos, slowly dunking them one at a time. I feel like a six-year-old kid again. Washing them down with my remaining milky-pudding drink-with-a-boost mixture leaves the milky mustache evidence of my nostalgic pleasure. 

For a moment, I have forgotten that I am in a federal prison cell and the mistakes I've made along the way to land me here. For the moment, I am simply cherishing the little things again.

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