Forever is a Long Time

By David Glenn Cox

I admit it; I’m a You Tube junkie. Truth isn’t just stranger than fiction, it’s also more entertaining. I grew up in the glory days of television. “Mrs. Ricardo!” Whaaa! “Danger! Will Robinson!” But something came up on my feed different from what I’d normally watch.

 My tastes lead me away from cop, crime or violent programs. After they have developed all the characters. All that that remains for them to draw an audience with is the heinousness of the crime.  But this video came up in my You Tube feed, and something compelled me to watch it. It was the  sentencing of Nickolas Cruz, the Parkland shooter to prison FOREVER! And I just wanted to be there to say BYE, BYE and wave! Have a safe trip. See you in forever never maybe.

I wanted to see the look on that waste of human research material’s face. When the judge sentenced him to prison for as long as the earth still spins. Even if Jesus returns, he ain’t getting out. If the prison catches fire? They’ll put the fire out around him. His best chance of escape would be a giant meteor strike.

And when the judge began to issue him life sentences like they were Pez. There was just a hint of emotion without understanding on his face. For every soul he killed, Life in prison without the possibility of parole. For everyone he wounded,  Life in prison with the possibility of parole after serving twenty years.

Nothing can change or correct this event. Only you must first get a license to raise a dog. Actually, the length of his sentence is incalculable. Longer than a trip across the universe in rowboat. The judge was doing her best to hold back her emotions as she read the verdicts. But she was just getting warmed up. Because she made his sentences to run consecutively. As soon as Nick completes his first life sentence without the possibility of Parole. He can begin on the second one.

Let’s just call it a simple million years. I couldn’t help but notice his youthful brown hair. My hair was a similar color when I was his age. My hair’s gray now. It took a real long time to change colors though. And while I was waiting, I fell in love, got married and raised a family and lived a life filled with the simple joys and sorrows. Maybe the prison library has a book, and he could read about it.

About buying your first new car or getting your first apartment. Getting a promotion at work or a Friday night beer buzz with your buds or getting married. He took that life or any life away and now the world will take the same life away from him. He will sit in that box every single day and if he doesn’t get it now, he’ll get the message soon enough. Forever is a long time.

Funs over asshole! No more trials or reporters or audience. You’re not special anymore. Now he’s just dick receptacle with a number. With nothing but time on his hand’s lots and lots of time. And ever, ever so slowly. Small lines will begin to grow around his eyes and his mouth. His beard will come in full brown but over the decades will fade to gray. And for every single day that has name on it he will sit in the box and rot. Watching the hands of the clock go round and round, all but meaningless.

Time is meaningless. The next motor vehicle Nick is going to be riding in will probably be a hearse. Forced to watch his life leak out drop by drop and day by day. Never to know another moment of joy or to have even the slightest remembrance of happiness. Don’t think I’m feeling sorry for him. He deserves this. People like him are the reason we build prisons in the first place!

A swift execution would have been a lucky break for him. He wouldn’t have to dwell on or feel the reality he’s built for himself. I’m glad that he’s in that box. I hope he has a long life in that box. I hope he learns to appreciate every flaw in the paint of his cell. I want him to have many Happy Birthdays in his box. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas! Happy New Year to you!

Ron DeSantis wanted to execute him because he thought it would increase his conservative bonifides. Studies show conservative voters prefer Republican candidates who want to kill people. So, for Ron DeSantis this was golden opportunity to look tough during an election year. Sign the death warrant with ceremonial ink pens that say, “Vote for Ron!” on them.

But there was more to this life sentence. The judge invoked Florida’s version of the “Son of Sam Law.” Nick will never be able to earn a nickel from books or interviews. He has officially been zeroed out of the human race, as if he didn’t exist at all. But the good judge went one step further by imposing huge civil penalties on Nick. Then she garnished his commissary account to collect for them.

That means no matter how much money relatives or well-wishers might send to make his miserable life a little easier. The state will immediately confiscate it. No Coca Cola or Snickers bars or pack of gum for you! No extras at all, ever. I hope you like drinking water!

I’d be in favor of putting a camera in Nick’s box, so we can all livestream him and watch Nick sit in his box over the decades. Watch him as the seasons go by and the years go by. Everyday as time goes by his surviving victims could tune in to watch time NOT go by for Nick. “Hi Nick! How’s 2047 or 2054 treating you! What cha been doing with yourself? Keeping busy?”

Maybe someday in fifty or sixty years. You’ll be flying home in your solar powered hover car and the blurb will come across the telepathic Internet. That Nickolas Cruz has died in prison. I’ll never live to see it and most of us won’t. Few will remember or be old enough to remember who that was. Who was that old, old, man?

How he lived his long, long life in a box. Who made the world a worse place just by his existence in it. A young man becoming a man becoming middle aged. Then beyond middle aged and graying at the temples. Wearing glasses to read and his hearing is fading as well. Cataracts maybe or cancer? Imagine living the rest of your life inside of a small box where a fatal cancer diagnosis would be GOOD news.

Famous like a camera flash for just an instant. Then zeroed out forever. To live out every minute and second of his miserable life as a just punishment for his crime. The world for Nickolas Cruz has stopped forever and only his life goes on. Without a nickel or a penny to spend. Without Coca Cola or even stick of gum. Without a pet or about to become one!  And if we as a society are lucky. Nick will have a good half-century or so to ruminate over what he did with thirty minutes or an hour of his miserable life.

His murdered victims will never know the simple joys of life being dead. But Nick will never know the simple joys either, while still being alive. And the only word that comes to my mind is GOOD!

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