Tuesday, August 9, 2016

William Myrl; Letters to No One (60)


Dear No One,

Once again, listening to Utada Hikaru, I dither over what to tell you. Two people were fired this week from the shop. A captain rushed into our place of work all in a tizzy because the cameras had caught someone making grey shorts. It's what they worry about these days, contraband shorts being worn on the yard. This isn't just a shop issue, but a matter of significance to security. Correctional officers, by and large, are hella bored. Commissary sells a pair of gym shorts for sixteen dollars, I'm not certain what a pair of homemade twills goes for, less than that. The man caught wasn't making anything, he was fixing his own shorts, or modifying them to have pockets, something. He was fired anyway, attracting the ire of security being his greatest sin. The next day, someone else was dismissed for having made himself a wallet for his address book. It was well over a year old, and he'd carried it about in his back pocket since its inception. Now though, in the midst of such great happenings, its sinister nature was revealed to them.

I don't mind my job, but every day I am reminded that I'm wasting my time. I like making my own money (sixty two cents an hour) and having ramen noodles and ramen noodle accouterments in my box, calling home more, buying music more, little luxuries though they may be. The waste is in what I don't do. It isn't really the time, there are vanishingly few people who actually don't have enough time to do the things they want to or should want to do. The commodity far more valuable than hours (which are empty by themselves) is the willpower to do something useful with them. That willpower is finite, and though it regenerates, one often finds that it has regenerated only enough to press on through another day of mundane drudgery. (Ego Depletion, in psychology) So my writing suffers, and I eat more trash food, and I exercise less. 

Communication is easier to pay for, and so are grey gym shorts. Its mostly nonsensical social pressures that keep me employed. I don't want to go through the process of quitting. Books go unwritten so that I don't have to feel awkward, and so I can enjoy the privileges already enumerated on the balance of my sixty dollar paycheck. Future discounting is the phrase for when you do something easy now because the future benefits of doing the not easy thing feel so insubstantial. 
I watch myself behaving like an NPC every day. Wish there was something I could do about it. It isn't as if this is just a me problem. Everybody's an NPC sometimes, or most of them. Recognizing you have a problem is the first step toward recovery.

William Myrl

Letters to No One 60

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