Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Iron Bars and Stone Walls

"So, you are the one they will never let out?" those words were the first (unwise) ones that the 'new guy' directed and me on his first day. New guys, they just never understand at first, which I suppose is the point of them being new.  I sighed and replied " and where in the world did you get such a depressing idea?"  He smiled and said 'everyone here says the same thing. They said look at that old bastard, he is the one they will never let out of here, try not to do as he does.'  Needless to say this did not enliven my spirits a great deal. 'Well iron bars and stone walls do not a prison make, and if you think this place is a prison, well it will become one pretty quickly.'  Truth be told there were no iron bars, or stone walls, and people have 'gotten out of here alive', it was just that I wasn't ever going to, and I had accepted that as my lot in life.

Actually, the real truth, is that I could get out if I had done one of three things. Walked out without so much as a 'by your leave', asked out with my hat in my hands (which I was never going to do), and well the final exit which awaits us all, and that I was not quite ready for yet.  Walking out without a fall back didn't seem to be a good plan, considering that I like to eat and sleep in a warm place. Asking to leave, well that was part of the reason I was were I was to begin with. 'They', in this case the bastards that had put and kept me here, knew that I would never ask to leave. My inability to play well with others made it impossible for me to go begging for a new 'prison'. The third option wasn't really an option, so I was as stuck as stuck could be.

"Look junior" I laughed 'this place is a bit like purgatory, for those of your kind that believe in that sort of shit.' Your lot in life is to undergo some sort of "purification" in order to ascend to the heavens above, where all the angels sing, and the streets are paved with gold.' For me it is more like your idea of 'limbo' the edge of hell, to which I am exiled to until the end of time, or I die, whichever comes first.'  His eyes widened a bit at my blasphemy, and I begin to realize that the new guy was as green as grass. Why do 'they' continue to send me raw material like him I'll never understand. I am not the great guru of this place, I have no more knowledge than several other of my fellow travelers, but the newbies come to 'learn at the knee" of the lifer, as I am referred to in this shithole.

"The ironic part is after you 'learn at the knee' with me, you then have to go bend the knee there." Something that is also not in my skill set." Nodding in agreement he replied "so I have heard, at least the bending the knee bit." Ever thought it might not be a bad skill to learn?"
"Of course, I've thought about it, but I'll give you one more lesson from the creation myth that your lot belief in, though it isn't from the 'good book' it is from Milton. In Paradise Lost Milton quotes Satan after he has been expelled from Heaven for his sin of pride, something him and I share, Satan looks around Hell, nods once, and says "So be it." That has always been one of my guiding principles once I sorted out that they would never let me out of here." I suggest you do as I say not as I do."

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