Day 17 & 18 - Louisiana

I come here at least twice a year. I don't come for the festivities of New Orleans, but because the person I love the most in this world is here. I've been looking forward to this destination on this journey more than any other.

Two years ago, I came to Louisiana for the prison rodeo. While I was raised going to rodeo's, and I've watched my brother ride bulls, and loved everything about them, this one has a not-so-great feeling about it. There are men throwing themselves into a ring with powerful animals, granted, at their own will, but they have no experience in this ring. Prisoners are given a chance to win money, and applause while risking life and limb. It feels like the events of the Colosseum, and it felt a little wrong pretending it was any different. This was above and beyond my guilt for loving the competition between man and beast, and knowing the beast didn't want to be there either.

Within the rodeo (prison) grounds, there is also a hobby craft market. Prisoners make artwork all year to have the chance to sell it during one weekend in April and every Sunday in October. This is where I met Jeffrey. While I am the first person to roll their eyes at those head over heels, we are meant to be together, everything is magical I am part of one of those couples. I turned to jelly the first time he looked at me, and he claims he felt spark when our fingers brushed while he handed me my receipt...We are each others lobster, twin flame, split apart, and whatever other ridiculous thing people say about their soul mate. I have never loved someone more, or been loved so completely...and I get to see him, and hug him, and hold his hand tomorrow. My heart just might burst...