Sunday, October 30, 2011


Friday at about 4:30 p.m. the warden of my prison allowed me out of my cell, marched me down to a lovely little conference room, and gave me my freedom. I had to sign a bunch of papers, and promise to be a 'good' boy from now on, but I am free. My sentence begin a little bit over five years ago, and I had to sign a bunch of papers then as well My crime was not particularly odious, and I don't know that I totally deserved to flatten my time, but I did and now I am free. I even had a 'charge partner.' However, that person was released a long time before me, and I am sure they have been good every since. We don't talk much, my charge partner and I, they have moved on in both the literal and figurative sense, and I plan on doing the same now that I am a free man.

We have all heard of the stories that things taste better when you are free, the air smells cleaner, and even your football team manages to win a game they weren't supposed to win. I am here to confirm those rumours, food was better, beer was sweeter, and Arsenal beat Chelsea.  Now that I am free to find other things to fill my time, other than serving time, I am pretty excited. As anyone who either knows me, or has read any of this blog, I don't 'do' happy very well. Well, I am coming out of that cave of despair, and showing the world the (albeit small) happy side of the GI.  I doubt it will last, and I expect that I won't be the best at showing my happiness, but the noose around my neck has been removed, and gods damnit that gives me joy.

The emptiness of the valley of my heart is to now to be filled, and filled with new, joyous memories, no shame in defeat, and all but this one time I won. Even though it was a Pyrrhic victory, and another one like it, and I would be undone, it was still a victory. The iron walls and steel bars that held me prisoner for over 5 years are gone, and I now plan to bloom in my new 'planting.' I suspect that my new found happiness, and less Eeyore like behaviour will garner me some odd looks from my friends, but they will just have to adapt. It is an adapt or die kind of world, and I sure they will do the former rather than the latter.

The 150 thousand dollar weight that has been lifted off of my shoulders makes me want to stand taller, and be a better person (which shouldn't be that hard to do).  The bittersweet part of my parole was I had to sit across that conference table from two people making the same mistake I made five years ago, and pretend to be excited for them. It is a testament to how badly I wanted out of my prison that I smiled at the right times, nodded in agreement at their enthusiasm, and even gave them a parting gift. I felt slightly dirty doing it, but only for about 3 seconds, for the whoop of joy that I gave vent to after I walked out of the room probably gave them a hint as to my true feelings.

I do wish my prisoner replacements well, and I hope their sentence is more joyful (if a prison term can be described as joyful) than mine was, and I also hope it is longer. They seemed to be thrilled at the prospect of moving into the prison, and were just bubbling with happiness. I wish them bon chance, and am going to go bubble with happiness myself for a while. I think I might even start out with a little bubbly at brunch. Freedom!

Monday, October 17, 2011


Her: 'Why do you act the way you do?'
Me: 'I am just trying to do the right thing.'
Her: 'Well why don't you then?'
Me:  'I am not sure I know what the right thing is.'

That last line caused us both to collapse into laughter, and that is what it was designed to do. It was my (not so) clever attempt to prevent any further probing into my actions, and why I act the way I do. It worked, just barely, and for that I was thankful (at least at the moment).  Maybe my temporary companion wanted it that way as well, I sure as hell wasn't going to ask her to continue to ask me questions that I either did not want to answer, or worse, did not know the answer to myself.

However, afterwards (afterwards what I will leave to your imagination), I got to thinking about what that 'right thing' was. What was the elusive thing that I was trying (and clearly failing) so very hard to do?  Was it something specific to the conversation? Or was it something more general? Some overarching 'right'  thing that I need to do in order to call myself (in any sense) a decent human being?  For no matter how hard I try to deny it, I am still a member (no matter how reluctantly, of the human race).

And we all know some decent human beings, some people who are just way too  nice for you to stand next to for any length of time lest you start to get a complex. People who know, and do the right thing on a daily basis. Helping little, old ladies across the street, opening doors for ladies, etc, etc.  These are the people that make the rest of look bad without even knowing they are doing it. The people we want to be more like even as we want to push them out in front of an oncoming train.

The truth of the matter is that, after a while we start to expect these people to do the right thing, and after more time we even start to equate their actions with the right thing. But, what if, just if, they aren't as ''right" as they seem?  What if they either had this evil idea of being a 'good' man from the beginning only to lull the rest of us into trusting them? Or if they just decided one day that wearing the white hat, and being the hero is just dull as dirt, and they wanted to be Hans Gruber for a while? Would the rest of us even pick up on it until it was too late?  The trust we have placed in them, and it is a LOT of trust, is going to be shattered like a glass, bad luck to break, but even worse to keep intact and see their reflection in after they have gone off the rails. 

It is a crap shoot in the end, to decide whether to trust this 'good man' and their ability/history to do the right thing, or to step back refocus for a second, and look into their eyes to see if what you want to be there is actually there or not. It is in many ways a lose/lose position, if you are right and the good man has gone bad then a little part of you has died inside, if you are wrong, and you mistakenly believed that a right thinking/doing man has done wrong, when in reality he hasn't then how can he ever trust you again? It is a grave dilemma, and one that does not have an easy answer. But then again, who ever told you life/doing the right thing was going to be easy. If someone told you that then they were obeying the first rule of life, the rule that one should NEVER EVER forget, the rule that should be the basis for every interaction you have with the world, the rule that can be summed up in two simple words. People Lie.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

La Luna

A buddy and I have an idea for opening a bar, since we are lawyers we figure we have enough drinking experience between us to have a reasonably good chance of success at our joint venture. However, in many ways it is but a pipe dream, but it is fun to blather about over a pint at the bars that we haunt that are already open.  We have even picked out, what we believe to be an awesome name, and have figured out our 'theme' for our bar.

The name is J______'s Rocketship, and it is an going to be a space themed bar. Even more of a pipe dream if you realize the shite hole of a town in which we live. It  is way too complicated to open this type of bar in this town, and therefore this bar will remain on the drawing board of our minds rather than becoming a reality.  However, when I ran the name past a friend of mine they replied 'that it sounds like a gay bar.' I protested that it did not sound like one to me, and wouldn't be a gay bar, even explaining my astronaut them to her. She replied 'that will even increase the chances of it being a gay bar.'  Not that I am opposed to the gays, after all a lot of them have more disposable income than us straight men, but I really don't want to be the owner of a gay bar. No offense, but it isn't something that is on my 'bucket list.'

I argued that the name and the theme is, in fact, as manly as you can get. After all, to human kind, the Moon is the ultimate piece of ass. Hanging above us on a nightly basis, going through it monthly cycles, making us mad as a March hare when it is full, and taunting us by being just so out of reach. Only 12 people, all men, all American, have stepped foot on the moon, and while 12 might be a high number for a piece of ass to give it up to, it is a very tiny number in the grand scheme of things. This isn't the hot bartender at your local watering hole, that the regulars all love, and want to have sex with, even though she would never favour any of us with the time of day in that regard, this is the fucking MOON! Entire countries have spent millions of quid in the attempt to make it there, and to make it there first (taking the Moon's virginity as it were) was quite the feather in the cap for the good, old United States.

If you get the Moon to grant you her favours, then you sir, are in an exclusive club that few men have entered, and fewer still are likely to enter, if you are good enough. That is the trick to keep the Moon's favours, you have to realize that even though there are moons as thick on the ground as fleas are on a camel, you are in possession of THE MOON. The fucking Moon, picked you, of all the daft blokes in all the gin joints, in all the world, the Moon picked you. Because after all, as much as you would like to think that you picked the Moon, the truth is the Moon picked you. That is the first step to both the most exciting, and the most terrifying realization that man can come to.

That wonderfully scary realization that on one day, at a certain hour, the Moon was positioned just right for you to 'walk on the Moon' as it were, and even though you have no clue as to why you are blessed with the Moon's favours. They are delicate favours, and sometimes the Moon can be a fickle bitch, but you, the daft slob that you are with enough fault lines to cause your own earthquake, have set foot on the Moon.  Sadly, your weight isn't reduced by one third, and the Moon has a dark side, but you've got the one thing you, and all of mankind have been striving for generations to accomplish. It is now incumbent upon you not to 'fuck it up.' There is one one Moon in your universe, and if you bungle the landing, then you will go down in history, and not in a good way. Success is tricky, success is hard, and success is sometimes fleeting, but if you stay focused, and avoid the pitfalls that have destroyed greater men than you, then you get the Sea of Tranquility all to yourself. Bon chance!