A Job with Benefits


I am currently in a six-man pod, sort of what I think a dorm room might be like.  Right now, I am the only person in it.  I feel like any moment, a tumble weed will roll on by, just passing through, like all my roommates thus far.

This is the only six-man pod in the unit.  It is where everybody goes their first day.  People move or SRD (Supervised Release Date) all the time, so there is quite a turnover in this room.  No, not the pastry.  I happen to be next in line to move, and there are five people on the way here from Brainerd, but for now, I’m all alone.  I will be moved to a two-man room as soon as one becomes available, probably tomorrow.

Ouch!  The ladders on the bunks are on what was the foot side of the bed at St. Cloud.  I hit my head on the sharp steel foot step.

Song list, cont: Rastaman Chant, Busta Rhymes; End of the Line, Traveling Willburys; Love, Reign Over Me, the Who; Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You, Sugarloaf; Flash, Queen; and Flower, by Moby.  That’s the song from the opening credits of Gone in 60 Seconds.  I don’t know any other Moby songs, just to let the ladies know.

For about three years, my routine in Lanesboro rarely changed.  I would occasionally leave town and go as far as Fountain, about eight miles, to hang out with my good friend Seth.  We had known each other since I moved to Fountain three years earlier.  We were non-gay soulmates.

I took my excessive drinking farther than anybody in my friend group.  Start early, go late, every penny of my disposable income went to drinking, weed, cigarettes, and gambling.  I had a perfectly good driver’s license but thankfully, no car.  So that was it for that three years, then I got fired from the restaurant, lost my apartment, and pretty much everything like my mom wrote, and eventually had to move in with Seth in Fountain, where I was able to secure jobs at the two restaurants in the town.

I moved out of Seth’s after about a year and got my own place again, right across the street from work. After a while I was full time at the Bent Wrench, where I was allowed to have a tab.  Oops.

[ANNE: My organization played a lead role in the release of what’s referred to as “the torture report” on the CIA’s interrogation activities post 9/11, in which they water boarded people, left them soaking wet in cold cells, suspended by shackles, or given “rectal feedings”, which are really just a medieval torture, according to a medical doctor on our board of directors who has literally written the book on physicians’ complicity in torture.

Why do I mention this? Because 50% of the American public still thinks torture was necessary and acceptable. So why would they give a shit about someone like Vince? If they think it’s okay to water board some guy in Gitmo, why would they care one iota about Vince—a self-confessed druggie–rotting in solitary, or being denied family visits, or other minor but repeated indignities?

It seems to me that Conservatives love their families and friends and forgive them anything, but are harshly judgemental of strangers, while Liberals love strangers but can be indifferent to their family and friends.

Rodney King had it right when he asked, during the LA riots following the acquittal of the LAPD officers who had beaten him, “Can’t we all just get along?”]

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