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Within an Inch

Within an Inch

I bet a buddy of mine here that I could grab the basketball rim.  I couldn’t.  Not only that, my dumb ass managed to land square on a hyper-extended knee while proving my inability.  Normally, this kind of injury would simply have been a strained LCL and a cut, but this place being the magical combo of bacterial breeding ground and medical wasteland that it is…

By the time the medic took a look at me 3 days later my injury had spawned a 104 degree fever and an infection requiring a rush to the hospital for surgery.  The good news is that I got to spend a couple of days in the hospital, post-op, which was like a day spa compared to my typical environs… Albeit a day spa with a guard beside me at all times, watching as I pissed in a plastic bottle every couple hours.

But I got to sleep on a real pillow.  I got professional numbing agents pushed through my IV by pretty nurses with soft hands. And I got to watch something other than Maury Povich and BET, on a TV that 20 other dudes weren’t talking over.  It was during this mastery of the television that something profound happened:

You know how Rush Limbaugh pounds pain meds and then just kind of makes shit up, imagining and believing in ridiculous versions of history that support his narrative? I did something similar.  Somewhere between me switching to a History Channel special on the Freemasons and me slipping into a morphine-induced stupor, I got fixated on this idea of our Freemason forefathers settling on the divine 3rd degree of Ben Franklin’s protractor as a unit of measurement that would become an inch. The fact that the human brain fries out at around 107 degrees, led me to a conclusion that I’d come to within an inch of brain death… HAHAHAHAA…  and while the method that I used to come to that realization was absolutely retarded, the resolve that it bore was not.

Under the percocet-fed premise of having come that close, I got bummed out at the idea that had the lights gone out, there was still so much left to do.  Still so much left to say. Obviously, my current confines limit the “Do”, but there is no excuse for neglecting the “Say”. Especially when that may be as easy as picking up a phone, or writing out a paragraph.

So I’m gonna start now, K?  K. You should know that:

Without you I am nothing. I’d entered this adventure with this constant feeling that my life up to this point had been pointless.  Had it not been for the constant support and encouraging letters from not just friends and family but people all over the world, my spirits would have been crushed by that weight a very, very, very long time ago.

So, thank you.
… There’s a pretty good start.

Be good to each other,

- D

Aside from being my mental lifeline to the outside, this blog is an effort to help provide my beautiful son, Orion, with a little support while I am away. Any profit generated by the Ads on this blog get split between him and a charity that builds wheelchair accessible playgrounds for disabled children.

Aside from that, my spirit pretty much survives on sincere correspondence from the outside world. Letters sent by anyone are more valuable to me than clean socks. Write me, and I'll write you back.

Dante Orpilla #49007-112

feel free to use my art, but please
consider a small donation
towards my situation.


On June 16th, 2010, I was sentenced to serve 28 months in a Federal Penitentiary, for possessing with intent to distribute a Class A narcotic. This blog is a visual representation of that experience. Please enjoy responsibly.


For the better part of my life I have operated under the beautiful assumption that mans greatest gift is his ability to create. And so I do. My name is Dante. I am an artist, a musician, a writer and, above all, a very proud father.

Please note that messages are sent in writing to Blackmarket Arts and due to his situation he will not be able to respond. If you would like to begin a correspondence, please write to him.

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