Yesterday we watched The Shawshank Redemption, a film I hadn’t seen in a long while. I cried twice. Particularly moving is the story of Brooks the librarian who went to prison in the early 1900s and on his parole in the 50s he can’t take the change, having been institutionalised so long. Here’s the letter he writes to his friends inside:
Dear fellas, I can’t believe how fast things move on the outside. I saw an automobile once when I was a kid, but now they’re everywhere. The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry. The parole board got me into this halfway house called “The Brewer” and a job bagging groceries at the Foodway. It’s hard work and I try to keep up, but my hands hurt most of the time. I don’t think the store manager likes me very much. Sometimes after work, I go to the park and feed the birds. I keep thinking Jake might just show up and say hello, but he never does. I hope wherever he is, he’s doin’ okay and makin’ new friends. I have trouble sleepin’ at night. I have bad dreams like I’m falling. I wake up scared. Sometimes it takes me a while to remember where I am. Maybe I should get me a gun and rob the Foodway so they’d send me home. I could shoot the manager while I was at it, sort of like a bonus. I guess I’m too old for that sort of nonsense any more. I don’t like it here. I’m tired of being afraid all the time. I’ve decided not to stay. I doubt they’ll kick up any fuss. Not for an old crook like me.
Here’s that story in five minutes, five minutes of near-perfect film making.
Later while in solitary, Andy figures how to prevent the same thing happening to Red on his release.