Monday, January 25, 2016

William Myrl; Letters to No One (35)

Dear No One,
It has been a different sort of week. I went to work, returned to the pod, and palavered with my new friends. I doodled, and contemplated upcoming games of the pen and paper variety. I watched network television. None of that, in and of itself, is unusual. These things go on, and above them come my hobbies. Except I wrote nothing, drew nothing of consequence. The measure of my self worth is directly correlated to my production. It has been this way since I was in jail, and possibly before, when I was a real person and didn't know it. It isn't that I don't want to make things, I think I am more comfortable with myself than I used to be. I have done enough to take the edge off of my desperation. It is partially the drugs, and partially being more comfortable with my living arrangements, and partially having accreted an appreciable body of work. There is also Ender. He makes me laugh sometimes, not because he's relating a humorous story, or because it's socially appropriate to laugh sometimes, or because I made myself laugh talking to him, or because of situation humor; he made me laugh by saying something clever. My brothers do that, but they aren't here. The British fellow and Jark both have, I believe, but not with any frequency, and not in the same way. This may seem to be an awfully specific thing to be talking about. You have to understand, that the majority of my daily conversation consists of me making small jokes and quips, most of them ridiculous or puerile. It's how I respond to nearly everything anyone says to me that does not require an informational response. Most people don't mind, or find me funny, and any offense I have caused hasn't had any serious repercussions. This is my sonar. Sometimes I get a response, someone who recognizes my patter as an invitation to play rather than a dismissal. I've been amused, interested, but I soon find they are not playing quite the same game as I, they find something taboo, or they can't keep up, or they are following a circular track that quickly grows stale. I am not disappointed, this is what I have come to expect. 
It is as if I have been pinging for nearly seven years without answer, and suddenly, someone pings back. That is my surprise. So this is Ender; as it turns out he did kill someone, and it was horrible. I read his stuff, and he is not a good writer, but he doesn't have any delusions about being one either. He had a frankly unbelievable childhood, even accounting for what is likely some exaggeration. It wasn't exactly abuse. It was a child in adult situations, and a lot of anger issues. He was a child when he was arrested, even if he was a child who had assumed the role of an adult. He had a breakdown, a violent breakdown. This isn't any kind of excuse, but it is an indication that he is harmless most of the time. We are alike in some ways, though as he once observed; he is passive-aggresive, while I am passive-passive. It isn't exactly true, but it is a solid approximation. I respond to high levels of stress with apathy and distancng behaviours. I cut myself off from the stressor, and all else along with it. He attacks.
There is one other reason for my recent spurt of serenity. One of my essays is going to be legitimately published by a university press in California.

William Myrl 

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