Saturday, August 09, 2008

up on the line and hung out to dry

We heard from Brandon today that he is in line for a 9-5 job in the prison laundry room. This complex takes outside contracts, so it is actually a paid job-though a small pay-that increases wages over time. He signed up two years ago and it looks like his number finally came up. Sort of reminds me of the final scene in "Beetlejuice". But I guess the prison is not exactly teeming with work opportunities, so he's glad to have something to look forward to.

Bran is trying to work through Kierkegaard. I think prison and possibly being lost on a desert island are two of the few situations where a concentrated read of the philosopher would happen. I get bored so easily there have to be a few choice pearls of great price to be mined from the text to keep me going. Thinking just to think is something I have a very hard time with. But Bran is trying to read through the annotations and translation, as he puts it in a recent letter, "He's a difficult read, there's lots of Latin and Greek, endless translator's notes containing lengthy apologies for his inability to properly translate Danish into English and his apparent unworthiness due to references only someone from Copenhagen would understand, and the total abstract nature of the material itself." Yes and yes.

Bran waxes eloquent on the clean indoor air act that our Gov. "Fast Eddie" Rendell passed that bans indoor smoking in a public place. "No one, not even the Warden, is sure how this effects us considering how smoking is already banned everywhere but outside and in the cells. We even have non-smoking blocks, I-A and both sides of J. Ever since they refused to sell us ashtrays I knew something funny was about to go down. I had no idea my cell was a public place. I was under the impression it was to separate me from the public, not serve as a rest stop bathroom or tourist trap. Tell me I can't smoke in my hut? I can't have an ashtray? Guess what, now the naugahyde seats in the day room are my ashtrays. Hope everybody likes toxic smoke plastic fires. This stupid jail is slipping fast."

Well, the good, the bad and the ugly. And so it is.


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