Wednesday, July 1, 2015

William Myrl; Letters to No One (11)

Dear No One,
Today has been an odd sort of day, and also rather usual. Eor begged I help him with his tremendous map; sketching tiny city markers as he described what they should look like. As with most things relating to Eor. It began with a small request and gradually escalated into a big one. One morning helping becomes three doing everything while he actively dithers. I have only myself to blame, it's an avoidant personality check box. I find it easier to do things for others and resent them for asking than to tell them no. After I called quits I lay in bed and listened to music for a while rather than writing as I should have been doing. I bandied negative thoughts and felt impotent until closer to lunch time. I recall something one of my little brothers said to me one visit. He was giving me kudos for doing so much creative crap behind the fence and he said if he was in jail he'd spend too much of his time feeling sad to get anything done. There are a lot of hours in the day. Being melancholy is almost as much work as work when it goes on long enough. Over sloppy joes I was able to speak with a few people I like. Afterwards I was in a better mood, and I wrote a poem, which is what I do when I'm not up for any big boy writing. Seriously, poetry is easy. If you are a person who finds poetry painful or difficult, you are a person who should be doing something else. The exception: you want a masochistic hobby but you're not big on sports.
Afternoon, I did legs on the weight pile with two buddies of mine. One of them is pretty much my speed. The other one is 5 foot 5 and squats 400 pounds. It went on longer than I am accustomed to, and my cardiovascular system is batting zero so I almost threw up or passed out, I'm not certain which, shortly after we finished. My pod is on the third floor (each pod is two tiers) and the stairs were not my friends. My vision started blurring when I tried to lean against a wall on the second landing. My paleness was commented upon by another buddy on the way into the pod. The vestibule with remote controlled sliding doors was not my friend either. It took a long time to open. In the pod, I found a table and put my head down until I felt better. The little guy with the big muscles told me it had happened to him on leg day on numerous occasions, and that he had once laid down in the weight pile until it passed.
Dinner came, then church. Mind you, I am the atheist's atheist, but I go to church sometimes because I enjoy singing. It gives me a non-judgmental environment in which to do so. During the sermon, I went over my flashcards. I'm brushing up on my Japanese, a phrase that implies I know much more than I actually do. I finally got some story writing in from 8ish to 9:30, felt better about myself, and that's pretty much it. No drawing today. Typing this with my thumbs is annoying and hour hungry labor. It will be the last of my adventures until the morrow.
There is a song called Clarity by Zed, Foxes. A collaboration, I guess. You should listen to it. I had to get a power of attorney signed so my peeps can do businessy stuff (hopefully) on my behalf. Seven request forms, it took me, over the course of a month. Four different people, I had to send them to. When I saw the building notary and asked him about doing it he asked me what the inmate handbook said about it. The sixth inmate I asked had one. I looked up notary service and it said I should write a request form to the persons I had already sent them to and I would be ready to go in 24 hours. This bothered me. When I was at last called over to j-building, the man with a stamp asked whether there was a notary in my building. The seventh and final request form was returned with a response, the rest were not seen again. Mysteries that are not mysterious.
I know a guy who was taken to the hole (segregation unit) because he was too drunk to stand up for count. Hilarious for everyone involved. He may or may not return to this pod, his spot is yet to be filled. There was a bloody fight on the yard, and an ambulance was involved. The recreation schedule will likely be restricted again. This doesn't influence the frequency or seriousness of these incidents, but it does make the administration feel like they've taken action. I've been involved in one fight in my six years of paradisaical living, one in my life. It didn’t go well. You need to practice that sort of thing, apparently. It's a strange mindset to contemplate, almost an alien study. To many of my confreres, violence really is the answer. Factual debates can be settled by a physical altercation. Moral rectitude can be established by a similar means. Many of the people I like also feel that is the case. This is a cultural issue as much as an individual predisposition. There is a genetic component to violent behaviors, as there is to most things. This shouldn’t lead us to downplay the significance of what is essentially a form of operant conditioning. When resorting to a physical contest is rewarded and lauded by one’s peers, the behavior is likely to be repeated. The one fight I was in, for the record, helped my reputation considerably; incompetence notwithstanding. It was three years ago, on a different compound, and every once in a while it still comes up. Embarrassing. It was an unusual situation, to a degree, and I will fill you in another time.

Yours, William Myrl (11)

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