zaterdag, mei 13, 2006

Who Are These Fuckers And How Did They Get Here?

Albert says the judge was lenient. We had a little joke in the court room. Either that or she was trying to find the motivation for my seemingly random anarchistic and criminal act. What are you dreams, she asks me at the sentencing. I gave her several different scenarios. To tread water until my limbs grow too tired to tread anymore and I drown. I thought I was being clever. She shook her head. Are you still finding this a joke, she asks me, incredulous. No, it isn’t funny at all your honour, I sincerely don’t have any dreams. Not dreams that would be rendered coherent in an incoherent society anyway, your honour.

You said that? I took another swig of the pint, these repetitive motions were all part of communication in the world Albert and I were sitting in. He nodded his head enthusiastically. So what did she say?

Nothing for a minute. Silence. Summing me up in her head. Clearly she was impressed by me in some indefinitive way she was quickly trying to calculate. Would it be more helpful if I told you it was my dream to be the guy who assembles display furniture all day long at an Ikea factory outlet mall? Then her eyes were like little slits, comprehending I wasn’t taking my sentencing seriously at all. What did I care anyway. I know the maximum sentencing guidelines. I wasn’t a murderer, I hadn’t committed a violent felony. Four years maximum, free food, regardless of how shitty it might be, the experience of prison, time to work on my book, I could have gone on all afternoon about the exciting possibilities a small prison sentence would have afforded me.

By then, the judge wasn’t interested in any of my answers. She’d tried a tact, tried to be humane. Inexplicably, while my public defender representative turned white with incredulity, she became almost jocular, leaned over the front of the bench. Too ambiguous, she stated, nearly inaudible and very slowly as though I had some sort of learning disability rather than genius.

How about an interpretive dance, done with feeling and emotion, I offered. But the game was over. She slammed the gavel down, suddenly impatient and poof, sentencing was on. Do you know how many times I told that fucking story to my cell mate? How many variations, how many different tenses, different languages, different angles I’ve created that story into, sheerly out of boredom?

He pinched out his cigarette with an annoyed look on his face. I’ll tell you something Witold. It wasn’t as bad as you might imagine jail to be. No rapings, no beatings from prison guards. A lot of long hours with nothing to do. It drives some people crazy but for me, it was three years to think

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