Don had been deemed eligible for parole after nearly 30 years in prison. His girlfriend was preparing his menu for his first week home. He was contemplating a career in Information Technology and had already obtained a 2-year degree while incarcerated. Now in his mid-fifties, he was ready to return to the world that had cast him off so long ago. His return would be a triumphant one, so long as the governor approved it.
Nancy had been writing a book about parolees and had been following him throughout the parole process. She knows him intimately and is hopeful for his release.
She was there with him when he received the results of the governor’s review, accompanying the assistant warden who would deliver the news. The following is transcribed from This American Life:
Warden: Mr. Krunk?
Warden: How are you?
Don: Well…I don’t know. I’ve been sick to my stomach all day.
Warden: Well, here’s the word.
Don: I can tell because it’s too thick.
(if he were to be released, Lieutenant Robinson would be holding just one sheet of paper, not the half-dozen he is)
Don: Yeah…what can you do…you know? But I thank you for coming by. Nancy, how are you?
Nancy: I’m alright, how are you?
Don is a better man than I, and chose his words more carefully than I could have under similar circumstances; he simply replied, “I’m…disappointed.”