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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sisyphus

I awoke this morning with idea of Sisyphus floating around the bedroom ether. No, it's not a venereal disease. It was probably 5 AM, so I titled my cell phone in an odd direction up against my bedside lamp to help me remember the idea when I finally got out of bed later on. Only I didn't really know the name of the poor sap as I lay there in the pre-dawn hours, damned as he was for all eternity to fruitless, superficial, mindless labor, so the phone was a reminder to look him up first thing once I was out of bed. And no, he wasn't a politician, lawyer, or even a banker, believe it or not, but a dishonest fellow none-the-less. And just not very smart if you really think about it. I mean, who can deceive the gods?

I looked up the name as soon as I awoke. Sisyphus. There it was. Good old Wikipedia. (Why do some folks hate it so much? It's up-datable. It easy to use. It's not written in stone like some older resources.) So, Sisyphus was the name of the Greek loser god doomed to repeat the same old repetitive superficial task over and over, again and again, for all eternity just for getting on the wrong side of some god more powerful than him. Tried to hit the audio file on the site to have a pronunciation, but alas, 'twas mute, or rather, "non-functioning". Anyway, I digress...

McMullen had good reasons for wanting to escape prison. He WAS innocent after all. And I sort of believed him. At least for the first ten years he told me his story I did. The next five it was more than just "sort of". I kind of knew it, but didn't want to fully believe it. The last five it was pretty obvious. Innocent men go to jail every single day. Or so they say. They, being the men in jail usually. In any case, it didn't matter. I wanted to believe him. I wanted out myself and he was my ticket. Good, bad, right or wrong. We had a deal. And even though he was a "criminal", I trusted him like a brother for some strange reason I still don't fully understand to this day.

What's working in a prison for twenty years as schoolteacher and helping a man plan the perfect escape from jail have to do with some Greek god named Sisyphus? You'd be surprised. Or maybe you wouldn't. Either way, read on to find out.