Green Eyes spends six months out on bail before beginning a five-year prison sentence after being arrested for felony possession of heroin in September 2014. This essay follows Green Eyes and his family, at home and on the streets of the Near Westside and Southside neighborhoods of Syracuse, as he prepares to leave.
Green Eyes holds the gold chain and cross that he buried with his grandmother.
India, Green Eyes' wife, battled addiction, however now works in the Anatomical Pathology Gross Room as an assistant at Upstate Hospital
Green Eyes' stepdaughter, India "Cita," a sociology major interested in issues of social justice, will graduate from LeMoyne College in spring 2015.
Ellissia and her friends are arrested when the police stop their car and find a gun on one of the passengers. Three days later, her mother bails her out of jail. Unable to hire a lawyer, her girlfriend, Kash, waits 30 days before a public defender gets the charges dropped.
While out on bail, Green Eyes struggles to remain loyal to his wife, India.
Having made bail, Green Eyes relaxes at home with family, demonstrating his skills as a fortuneteller to his ex-stepdaughter Ellissia, wife India, and friend Kash; each takes a turn asking 10 questions about the future. With each inquiry, Green Eyes slaps a card down on the table answering yes, no, or maybe.
India works in the Upstate Hospital pathology department where she tests samples.
Green Eyes returns to an after-hours party in the Syracuse Eastside apartment buildings.
Green Eyes argues with his stepdaughter India, as he looks for the bar where his wife is partying downtown.
Having no medical insurance, Green Eyes employs an alternative to relieve high blood pressure causing extreme headaches. He draws blood from his arm.
Green Eye's niece, Nikita, tries to get him to stop drinking after staying up all night at Wyckoff Hospital where his grandmother is in hospice care.
Relapsing again, Green Eyes nods off while his friends move from a recently condemned apartment.
Having difficulty breathing, Green Eyes checks himself in at Upstate Hospital, his heart leaking potassium into his lungs. Given the seriousness of his illness, Green Eyes says that he expects to die in prison.
Passing time in the Wyckoff Hospital lobby, Green Eye’s neices, Heavenlie, Nikita, and Sabrina, await the death of their great grandmother.
Green Eyes comforts his dying grandmother, having been granted a sentencing delay to pay his respects and say goodbye.
Gathered at their dying grandmother’s apartment, the family celebrates what may be their last Christmas together. Drinking wine and exchanging gifts, they eat ham, mac and cheese, Spanish rice, and their favorite New York City pastries.
A popular gathering spot, the Borinquen barbershop serves the Spanish Westside community of Syracuse. Speaking primarily in Spanish, Green Eyes hangs out with barbers Pito and Rigo.
Green Eyes and Bebo spend almost every Friday playing pool at Calcano’s Tavern before his sentencing. On a busy night, cars pull up on the sidewalk to park, avoiding the recesses of the side streets where auto burglaries are likely. The bouncer frisks patrons for guns and knives.
Green Eyes' niece, Destiny, and nephew, Gerry, visit from next door during India's graduation party.
A mechanic by trade, Green Eyes and a friend change the tires on his wife's car, attempting to get everything fixed before he goes away.
Green Eyes, India, and India "Cita" relax after a late night at Calcano's Tavern. Later that afternoon, India "Cita" will perform in her final step show at LeMoyne College.
Green Eyes works on his friend's car the day before sentencing. Later that night, he checks into the ER complaining of chest pains, a last ditch effort to avoid court.
India graduates from LeMoyne College with her B.A. in Sociology.
India visits Green Eyes at Cayuga Correctional Facility every weekend.
Green Eyes resides in the Syracuse Justice Center for a week before being transported to Elmira and then Cayuga Correctional Facility.