Do you remember when you were growing up and your family would come over for Thanksgiving dinner? Without fail crazy aunt Muriel or strange-smelling uncle George would always say the same thing.
"Oh my goodness look how big you're getting!"
You yourself never felt any different because the changes to your body happened gradually over such a long period of time, but since politically incorrect second cousin Tom hasn't seen you in a year he is able to spot the difference right away.
Multiply that sense of shock by about 2 million and you might be close to the understanding the feelings that Otis Johnson had after stepping onto New York's Time Square after 44 years in jail.
Johnson was sent to prison at the age of 25 for attempted murder and assault of a police officer. He was released at the age of 69 to a completely new reality.
"My reentry was a little hard because when I got out things had changed," Johnson said about the new ways people seemed to be interacting in this strange new world, "I seen that a majority of people was talking to theyself, then I looked closer and they seemed to have things in their ears.
Johnson likened the prevalence of earbuds to the CIA earpieces he would see in spy movies back in the 60's.
The amount and range of different new food and drink also threw Johnson for a loop upon his release.
He was particularly impressed with colorful beverages such as Gatorade, and the miracle that is peanut butter and jelly existing in the same container.
In addition to marveling at the technological innovations of the last four decades, Johnson has also found a certain level of peace after spending more than half of his life behind bars.
"You gotta let things go because holding on to anger will only stagnate your growth and development," Johnson said.
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