Borrowed Time. John Rodriguez x Karamo Brown
“Time.” Written by John Rodriguez. Performed by Karamo Brown. John is heavily conflicted by the freedom afforded him with an early commutation, leaving him stuck between missing his “family” on the inside and deciphering what’s truly real among folks on the outside.
“Writing has the role of regrounding me, being honest with myself and calling myself out a lot – it’s like a remolding tool.” – John Rodriguez
Find John on Instagram at @steady_writing.
Written Off contains mature language and themes and may not be appropriate for all listeners. To hear a bleeped version, go to lemonadamedia.com/shows/writtenoff.
Stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia.
Click this link for a list of current sponsors and discount codes for this show and all Lemonada shows go to lemonadamedia.com/sponsors.
Joining Lemonada Premium is a great way to support our show and get bonus content. Subscribe today at bit.ly/lemonadapremium.
John Rodriguez, Olivia Carrasco, Walter Thompson-Hernandez, Karamo Brown
Karamo Brown 00:37
I am sorry if I am full of contradictions. Time and how I settled with it. I sat with it. Bird bath with, grabbed it, mix it with noodles and meshed it with starch. Let it sit on the bump next to me and allowed it to laugh at Elon. Time. And according to the gavel. I was still supposed to be drenched in it. Stuck. But they see me as mobile. They come up to me. They pause. And they breathe. They talk about simple things, how Teddy’s bark is to grown, how he loves and how they miss home. The eucalyptus makes them feel trapped. That the food is annoying. The people they say are continuously moving. And as they gaze around, I always seem to be stuck in place. Not once. Do they sincerely ask me how I’m doing. I stand. My pockets are empty. It’s not cold. But my fingers fumble in my pants to rotate a never-ending algorithm that I know too well how to mix letters and numbers. I grip onto the F. Punctuate the six. Pause at the four. Tear at the two zeros and lose it at the three. The thing I could never quite understand figures out a way to nod me. She asked, why I don’t text, send pictures. But I don’t know if she will ever understand that I’d rather be with them. Again, I paused, and nestled with time it stands and gives lectures to explain to balls color line, the divide and follows me in every sentence at 15-minute intervals. I pause. That robot on the call up the stairs and overpriced rice bowl. It won’t let me flee. But I use its reflection and my folk who joke and stand in circles laugh when they’re ordered not to do so. Cry. And they remind me that it’s okay. I push time away. And with conviction. I let it know that governing, stripping, taking, it no longer has power to do so.
Walter Thompson-Hernandez 03:34
I’m Walter Thompson Hernandez. And this is WRITTEN OFF. You just heard Queer Eye Star Karamo Brown read Time by John Rodriguez. There’s a lot hidden inside that piece because each word and phrase was precisely chosen and designed. That’s John. A neat part in his hair press shirt and pants. He’s well put together. He takes time to speak. he pauses. He thinks. He thinks some more. This is an important piece of writing to John. So much so that he brings a copy of it with him to the IOW offices for our chat. It’s in one of those clear plastic folders. You know, the ones you put your essays in for a class assignment. He’s not messing around.
Walter Thompson-Hernandez 04:23
I learned that John and I went to the same high school at different years. He also went to UCLA. And that was my mom. It’s already small world, but meaning John made it smaller. While we prepare for the interview. I see him sneak in a couple of deep breaths. He says he’s nervous. But that happens all the time. I get the sense that he prefers to be measured and direct. That’s why the folder, right? But measure doesn’t mean he lacks imagination because as we start to dissect his piece, he opened up to us the layers hidden behind it, is revealing, and moving, to say the least. Walk me through what you were thinking, what you were feeling where you were, when you wrote that piece.
So I think I wrote that here. InsideOUT Writers. I think at that time I was; I was still kind of fresh home, I was only home like, I think a year and a half, it was a bit weird because I was so beginning to try to understand myself and who I was out once I came home. So with that piece, the reason why I’m like, I started off with them full of contradictions, because I know that I may say I’m somebody, but that could continually change. And so at the time, what was going on is, I was a student, I was also a free individual. There were other labels that were thrown on me, I was also a parolee. But it was just like, I was unsure of what was happening, who I was, and who I wanted to be. I felt uncomfortable about being a student, I loved it. But then also, it made me feel like […], because I had the ability to walk to school to wake up and change my clothes. When I knew that, like the people that I loved and miss, were still inside. So that for me was difficult. And so coming here, that really helped me ground and then when I when I’m surrounded by folks who have been through similar circumstances, that’s what that like really helped me do there.
Walter Thompson-Hernandez 06:16
I have a question about the beginning and the ending. And sort of how you, you’re the evolution of your, like sort of relationship to time, right? I think like you start off by talking about it, you’re like sitting in and bathing in it. And then like towards the end like we see you pushing it away.
So in the beginning is like what I’m really talking about, it’s like sitting in a sow. You got nowhere to go. So that’s your best friend his time. And a lot of them when I say saw what they birdbath what they usually in prison, that’s how you shower, you bird base. So it’s pretty much I mentioned my noodles, because usually Top Ramen is what you eat. And so it’s everywhere. It’s ingrained in me, right, I’m eating, it’s keeping me with sustenance. And in prison, that […] watch Island at four o’clock. 4pm. So it’s like sitting right next to me. But then towards the end, I think I push it away, and I’m so on. I say I think because at times I push it away, and other times it still gets me. But I’ve pushed it away, because I feel it’s unfair to me to still hold on to that in some sense. Because I’m aware that there’s so many other people that wish that they’d be in the position that I’m in, especially those inside. They’re like what, like, to me, it’s almost a slap in the face to them. Like what do you mean, you’re still holding on to that goal. So that’s why I think I kind of process it as like, I’m no longer in there. But I’m out here and I need to somehow build the courage to kind of just push it away and let it go.
Was there also a version of you in writing this, that I think kind of in an interesting way, made you miss what you had inside?
I was like to tell folks; I like what I don’t miss prison. But I missed a community that was in there. The bonds that we had, and especially the realness. That’s one thing that I still miss heavily, because every day like not everybody, but I think like 90% of the folks out here are like coated with this site, I guess this fake persona. That’s also like, why I bring in the boys, right? Like interpretations of other people selves being projected, and they forgot who they are. That to me was like really going back to the folks inside because we know who we are right? Because we’ve been stripped of everything. To me, that’s the part that I miss is being real with myself and being around other people that were also real with themselves.
Walter Thompson-Hernandez 08:34
If you want to talk about that process more how you got committed. And also like, I’m curious about, does this feel like a borrowed time sort of thing? Right?
Yeah, does it feel like it’s for me, right? And I say that because I know a lot of people say, oh, well, you earned coming home, you earned it. You did the work? I think I did. I did some of that. But there’s also time, right? There’s timing of it. And also who you know, because I know that there’s a lot more people who didn’t weigh more than I did, who assisted more individuals inside, who took bullets, rather, people meaning like, they put themselves in real horrible situations just to support other folks. And people who didn’t owe them anything. And they’re still locked up. They’re still inside. So in that sense, that’s why I’m like, in a sense, it’s so kind of borrowed time, I gotta utilize it wisely. I got committed on the basis of a lot of the work that I did while inside. So a lot of it was one just kind of being disciplinary free. But also, again, when I talked about community and like my loved ones inside like my brothers, what that was is that we went I remember I ride to a prison called ironwood.
We arrived there and it’s kind of like, very weird in the sense that people there’s really not a lot of bonding or relationships going on, which is very normal imprisoned by the way. But then when we got there that we noticed that like, we were a bunch of young individuals, who got ship to this place, they had a college program there, which is very […] at the time, you had no tutors, you had no nothing. But what we began to do was kind of all collectively got together and say, you know what, let’s make this work somehow. So what we begin to do is kind of just like build up a team of people that are, you know, English, you’re going to help these people revise your papers, you’re going to do this. And then you know, math, Alright, we’re going to sit in the chapel, right? We’re going to, we’re going to get this time slot from this time to this time, and we’re going to tutor these people.
John Rodriguez 10:28
So we’ve began to do which is bring this culture of like, we’re going to do something, right. Like, we’re not just going to slap cards all day and just run around like dummies and then get stuck on the dummy box, which is a TV, right? That’s what they want us to do. And what we slowly started seeing was that you will, like a lot of the race lines will begin to diminish, they will look out for one another. You know what, I got you with this book a are you doing this assignment here, and this, check what this is. And so that’s how I ended up getting committed, I think there’s a lot more involved because the assistance of Scott Budnick, who was a, man, he’s just been changing everything in California, and from what happens here has been going on to other states, but just his support my family support my friend support from out here. And also just a community aside, right when […] used to go down and hectic, were there to support one another.
This group was started by you and friends on the inside?
Yeah, well, not necessarily by me, I think was just a collective of us kind of just doing it without really understanding what we were doing. And then by the end of it, though, we were just like, Alright, we need a method, we need a process on how to do this, we got a bunch of 18-year-olds coming here, which we knew we started, a lot of us started off our time and level fours, which we really understood that the likelihood of you leaving of level four without catching a new sentence is very, very short. So at the time, they were doing overrides, so you can go to level three prison instead. But if you […] there, they send you to a level four.
And we could break down like that system for me?
So usually you have the level of the yards are 4, 3, 2, 1. And then you usually have usually like fire camp underneath that before is maximum security, which you have a 180 yard which is like the highest yard of security a size for like the shoe or the Pelican Bay shoe. That’s usually when you get into disciplinary stuff, they really put you where you go when you go to jail within a jail, right. But then it’s level four yards. And then you have level three yards, level two, and then level one. So after about like two and a half years, I went down to a level three. And so we were getting a bunch of new folks coming in. But just in […] prison, there’s a lot of manipulation that exists and people taking advantage of others. So we did it just like, hey look, you got an opportunity to do education, if you’re serious about it. Don’t worry about other things that people ask you to do, will speak up for you or vouch for you, not me directly, but other individuals. And it kind of just gave us an opportunity, like we really wanted to straight and you’re serious about doing straight, you have that chance. There’s some people that would, wouldn’t take it or some people that would […] and that was your decision, but we got a lot of them the opportunity to be like, you don’t gotta get involved in everything you could just be you.
So has writing something you’ve always been into, like, how do you start writing?
I never used to like reading or writing. I first started writing on walls, like about fourth grade. That’s when I first started writing. Like, we’re actually like, like writing that transgress I mean, I didn’t read or at all, I think the only thing I read in high school was like, The Crucible because we read that in class. Other than that, maybe holes, nothing else. And then I ran into a teacher of Venice High School. And I don’t know why but his classroom really, really cool. He was a weird teacher in the sense that like it felt like he wasn’t teaching, he was just there. And he would like make us. Not make us, so he will just allow us to do certain projects. And I remember one time he just said, hey, you know what? We’ll take like 10-15 minutes to write about something. Don’t worry about punctuation or grammar, or if it makes sense. You don’t even have to share it. You can crumble it and throw it away afterwards. And he just said write about what your home is. And then he just began to explain like doesn’t have to be your physical home. But it could be just something that makes you feel safe and comfortable. So I began to write about, like tagging. After that moment, that’s when people move over after class one time, I would just say, you know how to write and it felt weird, right? I thought he was bullshitting me and I just like, I just I was I know this guy’s […]. Because when I don’t read and I don’t write, I know how to read and write but I just choose not to. And so that was how I like began to get into writing was a kind of just being recognized
What’s really crazy about that is that like, I also started writing through graffiti, and tagging. And like for me, like, I think being young, right, and I also moved to Venice High School. Right. So like, it’s even crazy to have the conversation. But for me, it’s like, there’s always a moment, right? When I think like, you realize as a street artists, for example, like you’ve been writing, just haven’t been writing in this sort of way. But the, the sort of, like form of communication, right, you know, because when you’re writing something on the wall, it’s a message. Yeah, it’s a poem. It’s a sort of like, a way to say that you were here, essentially, but I’m curious man, like, what did you write about graffiti?
I don’t think I consciously was sitting down and saying, How am I write this, but I think I just wrote, and afterwards, I just kind of reflecting on it. What I began to recognize was, when I wrote about graffiti, that piece was kind of just pulled me away from all the […]. So whenever I went to go write, I didn’t have to worry about my mom, I didn’t have to worry about my brothers and sisters, I don’t have to worry about going to work or going to school. And so for me, I noticed that that I was just like, Oh, actually feel good, like actually felt like comfortable. Nobody’s telling me what to do, I get to recreate myself, right? Represent myself how I want to, and also, there’s ego involved in there and cloud, but it was just nice to just kind of just be in your headspace.
Walter Thompson-Hernandez 16:34
Was your creative process similar, like how you prep yourself to write on a wall, or to write on a billboard, or to write on a bus was that process similar as writing, you know, with a pen on paper, or like on a computer screen?
I think for me, there are different I think, at least for graffiti, what I used to do, it was very well a lot of it was evolved in sight. But then I was also somewhat aware of my intention behind it. And then when it came to writing on paper, and I still like to I prefer writing on paper, rather than on my computer screen. But when it came to writing, it was a bit more selfish in a good way, where I didn’t really care what other people thought, because it wasn’t meant to be shared with anybody. And that was just solely for me. So I think for me, it was like kind of the opposite where was like graffiti, I get to do it for an external view, right, where it’s like, I know somebody’s gonna see this, I know somebody is going to judge it, somebody is going to give feedback. And then the other way around was like, from my writing was like, nobody has to see it.
What kind of impacts has writing had on you?
It was tough, because I noticed that, in the beginning, when I first started writing, a lot of is just writing about experiences that I had growing up, a lot of it was my relationship with my mother. So a lot of my writing revolved around that, right? A lot of our disagreements, a lot of the hate that I had towards her. And so what I noticed was that for me, for some reason, I kept writing about the same thing. And I will go back and write it from a different perspective. And then sometimes I would approach it in a good manner, sometimes with a really negative manner. I noticed that little by little, I stopped writing about that situation. And I didn’t again, a lot of this stuff is in retrospect. But what I noticed was like, I kind of let […] go. And for me, it was weird, because like, I used to have like a really strong hate towards my mom. And one of the things I noticed, like at the end of it, I was kind of like, oh, I’m cool. I’m okay. Like, I can approach her I can talk to her. Also notice that my writing challenge people, especially sometimes when she would want me to share my work with her, it was just kind of just flat out and raw. And she didn’t like it. Sometimes she’ll stop talking to me for like three months. But I was okay with it. Because I was just like, well, that’s how I feel, for me was really, really dope. Because it felt like I wasn’t censoring anything. And so it really helped me hone in the tool of just recognizing me where I’m at. And that’s how writing has like really, really helped me just zoning in on who the hell am I and what’s going on inside?
If you feel comfortable sharing about some of the things that you and your mom went through, and like what you wrote about?
Well, a lot of it was just kind of not really understanding like growing up as a kid, like what my mother was going through. My dad passed away when I was four years old. My favorite uncle passed away when I was five, he got killed. And so me as a little kid, I didn’t understand what these effects had on the family. Right? So I didn’t understand what a single mother meant, I really didn’t understand that. Like, why did the house was cool. And then all of a sudden, we went like eight years just jumping around from a friend’s house to a friend’s house, right? For me, I was more pissed off as my mom couldn’t make it to a basketball game, right? I tried so hard to get on a little basketball team and finally got on and then I used to see everybody else in their families, right, show up. And I’m like but my mom ain’t here. So I used to be pissed off at that, not realizing that like, well, she had to work. But then again, it’s like, well, mom also party, so she had time to party but not for me. So a lot of it will just kind of dealing and trying to understand what that but then as I grew older and began to write, I noticed that like, that my mom is her own individual, too. And she just doesn’t know how to fully process it because she was a teen mom. She had me when she was 16. Had my older brother when she was 14. And so I think about it now, like, that’s a kid trying to raise a kid who’s just gone through some […] me as a little kid, I was angry at her. So now, I was able to just kind of let that go, and let that be at peace.
Walter Thompson-Hernandez 20:44
And it seems like writing about that kind of helped you get to a place like, that I think paired with like maturity and time, right? And Time is like the title of your piece actually. But like that paired with like writing and, and how therapeutic that was, I think maybe allows you to see that. Maybe your mom was like a complicated, three-dimensional human, right.
You remember, the very first moment that you wrote? Like the very first thing and like, I’d love you to walk me through that. Like, what were you, what you were wearing that day, sound, smells?
I don’t think I remember like that. It was that piece of graffiti. I don’t know, it was weird. I think it was like one of those times, I think I was chilling out with some homies outside. I don’t know why I never did this before. But it was just like, you know, I’m going in early today, right? Which is weird. And I also noticed that when I went in early, I just closed the door, my siblings were in the room or the living room or whatever. And I kind of just tuned everybody out. And I also noticed too, that I didn’t smoke or drink during that time. So for me, that was really, really weird. And it felt even more weird that I guess just writing about it. Like I actually felt like a lot of just coming up, which was like writing about doing something my heart was racing. And then sometimes when that first time that I wrote, I don’t know, it was a weird feeling to like, what the hell it feels like I’m actually going through it as I’m writing it sometimes. So that was a new feeling for me. That was trippy.
Walter Thompson-Hernandez 22:35
It’s probably super trippy, right? Because you’re writing something and like once you write it, and then once you read it, it almost seems like you are like not just reliving it. But you’re also like, if it’s about trauma, or it’s about pain or whatever. Like it almost seems like you’re entering that space again. Right? And I can imagine how like, that’s a tough thing for a lot of people. Right? What’s the role of writing today for you?
It sucks that like, I guess once you come home, you kind of get into this whole rat race of living. It feels like it has kind of dwindled down. But as usually always go back running to writing. So I’ll go like a good block of time without writing and then all of a sudden, I’ll go back to it. But for me that has the same role or has the same role of re grounding me of being honest with myself, kind and calling myself out a lot. And that’s the role plays for me. It’s like a remolding tool.
What is it about writing to you that and I think not just for you, but to a lot of people, right? The actual act of writing becomes this like cathartic exercise. That’s therapeutic. Like, why is it so therapeutic? Do you think?
I don’t know, for me, really weird when it comes to writing. I know that like, I treat it like as a sacred tool. Sometimes I it’s weird that I want to have everything perfect. I’m like, I need the space, nobody to be around, let me finish everything else that I have to do. And then sometimes I’m just in the moment. And things could be going on around me It could be a lot and I just started writing, writing has helped me continue to be connected with other people, especially while inside like, for me, writing was my safe haven because I could be myself out on paper on to a degree because I was also aware that they’d be CEOs, correctional officers reading my material, the moment it went out. But for me, it was like, I have a piece of myself kind of leaving this place and it’s going back out and touching other people, like other people that I loved and not wanting to continue to hold the relationship with. And for me now it’s like writing is I mean, it pulls me away from all the […], from everything that’s going around and just kind of getting lost in roles and titles and kind of culture and just responding and being robotic. For me writing it just still helps me kind of just pull back, right? Like, hey, leave all that stuff there and come into this space. Alright, just come here, nothing else.
I mean, I agree, because it feels like so much of what we do and deal with people. It’s like there’s always like a performance aspect, right? There’s always like super performative, but writing kind of allows us to just be who we were, right? I’m also curious who you were writing to when you were incarcerated, and like, what kinds of things you were writing?
So a lot of the stuff that I wrote about the people that I wrote to mainly were a girlfriend that I used to have, but also one of my high school teachers. He’s the one that helped introduce me to writing. And I was very surprised me when I was very fortunate that he chose to continue writing me even though I was locked up. And even though he didn’t understand what incarceration was, he had never been incarcerated. He never really had any direct family members incarcerated and he was white Jewish. And so for me, it was really weird to like receive a letter, he was the second person who wrote to me when I first went to the county jail, it just surprised me. Like, there’s somebody that still wants to keep in contact with me, knowing that I just likely did something wrong. I don’t know, it just felt like because he created and opened up a space through writing, that allow me to just be real. And I know that I can say anything uncentered and that I wouldn’t be judged. And for me, I never really had that space growing up, except for like, to some degree in graffiti. But that’s why I wrote into me that was just like, I don’t know, it’s just my, how I pulled away from being inside.
Walter Thompson-Hernandez 26:32
Is there like a certain spot that you like to write at?
In my head, I always like to create the perfect picture of woods, like, I’m sitting down at a table will likely with some coffee. I don’t know, some comfy clothes, that’s nice and warm. But it never happens that way. The writing usually comes on when I’m hurting. And sometimes it’s just, like, I’m fortunate to have something to write on. And I just started scribbling away. Sometimes it’s not even legible. And I just scribble and scribble, scribble away. And, I don’t know, it, just it. I just put it away, I put it away, and probably don’t come back to it until a few weeks. I know, ideally, that’s what I wish to do. But it’s also just like, weird white vision of me writing, right, which I don’t like, also do like, in a weird way, but then it’s just like, like, I know what it really is. And like the real writing comes when, when I don’t plan it, it just comes when it’s supposed to also wait for those moments. But it’s also weird, sticky line. Because if I wait, I wait too long. And I don’t end up writing. I don’t know, I don’t really have one method or I envisioned that nice, I guess like cultural method was like, Oh, you have a nice space, a lot of white lighting, white was maybe like a little, a plant next to you or whatever. But it doesn’t work out that way.
In terms of who you are, outside of writing, right, like life, interest, like, what do you watch? What do you read? What do you do in your free time?
John Rodriguez 28:06
I haven’t read a lot. So what messed me up was school, school really messed my head up. I like it, it’s very challenging. But I noticed that it kind of took like, the love at a reading again, because now you’re just reading and skimming and trying to finish, like big old reports and all the like abstracts. And then you’re just like, like, you know, you can’t read all this, you know you have to kind of just learn how to read differently. And so I noticed that when I was going back to books, it was just like, I’m trying to get through it. Right. And that wasn’t the point before the point was like, now I’m trying to get lost in this, I want to take my time with this. But I noticed that out here, it’s been very, very difficult. So I haven’t been reading as much I do pick up just like random things that people will send to me. And watching I guess I’ve been watching Game of Thrones, that’s about it. Also used to read that inside. But I think that’s it, I need to tap in back into my creative side, especially again, with like work, like work also pulls me away from it, right? It’s very hard to kind of keep that creative side alive when you got all these other obligations.
What kind of work do you do?
I’m leading a re-entry segment at a community health clinic. So I’m the program director there. The writing has been like related to grant writing and grant reading and a lot of it’s just like processing and really understanding very hard jargon, which I hate. Like in my writing, I tried to do the complete opposite was like let’s get straight to it. And then I noticed there’s a bunch of load of fluff when it comes to reporting and all these other like grant pieces and it’s just, I don’t know, it surprises me and it makes me feel good. Like okay, I know what this says. Because in the past I would have easily given up and I know there’s a lot of the people that give up and I know that it feels oddly weird. To know that, like, I know what you’re saying, right. And I know […]
Walter Thompson-Hernandez 30:05
You know, I’m laughing because like, I was in a similar position, I was in a Ph. D. program at UCLA for a year and in grad school before that, too. And I remember like reading these, like, these super academic jargon, yeah, you know, articles that like 10 people read, or like these academic books, and like, the syntax, the language, the vocabulary, they’re using words that I think they don’t really understand. Right? Because like, I think, like, true command of language, is to simplify it to your point, you know, is to simplify language into sort of, like, buried down to it’s like bones and structure. So I’m laughing because like, I feel you 100%. If you could break down your current relationship to time.
I believe on pay attention to. It is weird, too. Because I know that like, like, I have a partner and she and other people kind of get on me. They’re like, why do you give so much why do you keep putting yourself second? Why do you keep doing these things, which I kind of been better at, but I got commuted. Also, similar to the piece when I say also supposed to be drenched in time. Like, I wasn’t supposed to come home, into 2027. So I came home 10 years earlier, when I got released into 2017-2018 around there, because my senses got commuted. For me, it’s like I’m not living for me, right? Like, I’ll start living once I hit 2028 or 27′. Because I felt like I wasn’t that out for nothing. I was let out to help those around me, to kind of help those other people come home too and to support them. And so that’s why like, for me, time is kind of so secondary. And I think probably once we do hit around 2028-2027, I probably feel like okay, I could kind of let go of it. Thanks, man. Yeah.
Thanks again to John, who’s working on publishing his memoir Titled “Put Down Your Pistol, And Pick Up A Pen. You can also follow him on Instagram at @steady_writing. Moved by what you heard today? Want to do more? Follow and support InsideOUT Writers Workshop at insideoutwriters.org and click on ways to give. To get involved personally in the work to end mass incarceration in California. Check out the work of ARC, the Anti-Recidivism Coalition at antirecidiviesm.com.
Walter Thompson-Hernandez 32:37
Next week on WRITTEN OFF, writer Olivia Carrasco.
I feel like I just relived the whole thing. I was really blown away by the way she was able to like capture my emotion in the piece of writing without even knowing.
WRITTEN OFF is a co-production of Lemonada Media and Black Bar Mitzvah. Our producer is Claire Jones. supervising producers are Xorje Olivares and Kryssy Pease. Executive producers are Aaron Bergman, Jay Ellis, Jessica Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels Wachs. Music and sound design by Xander Singh. Mix and scoring by Matthew Simonson. Special thanks to all of our contributors, and InsideOUT Writers, you can learn more about them at insideoutwriters.org. If you like what you heard, help others find us by rating the show and writing a review. Follow us at @LemonadaMedia across all social platforms. To support WRITTEN OFF and gain access to exclusive bonus material. Like additional conversations with the writers and producers of this show. Subscribe to Lemonada Premium, only on Apple podcasts. And for more of my work, visit my website wthdz.com. I’m Walter Thompson Hernandez. Thanks for listening.