If You Like What You Read

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Great Escape

The day McMullen left was a day like any other day. Routine is the routine in jail. The same things happen the same time every day. The saying everybody says sooner or later is, "Same shit, different day." (Great place to work, huh?)

Okay, I really don't have anything else to say about McMullen's escape. I just figured I should at least try a little bit to comment on it. I mean, it is allegedly the main event of this whole sordid tale. Allegedly. It's just that is was so damn uneventful and, to be completely honest (despite what I say about being a liar and telling truth about lying), looking back on it all now, so damn easy. Yeah, it was easy. I mean, the freakin' guy just walked out the freakin' front door! Literally. Just walked right out the front door. They LET him out. He had on street clothes and a fake ID and just walked out the fucking front door like he owned the damn place. It was beautiful. It went smoother than a new born baby's wet butt sliding in the bath tube. Which makes for a very happy escapee and accomplice, but unfortunately, doesn't make for good drama. I mean, you could only imagine what McMullen was feeling as he made his way out through the various steel gates like he was Maxwell Smart or something. He must have been shitting bricks. But other than that internal bit of high drama, everything external was normal, calm, cool and collected. A walk in the park. But life is like that too sometimes I guess. You see someone from the outside and really have no idea what's going on inside them. All hell could be about to break lose in there, but you wouldn't know it just by looking at them. Anyway...

Maybe I'll get to ask him about it someday, what it felt like just walking out of that god-forsaken place. He's sent me a couple of letters since. No return address or anything that might indicate where it came from of course, but the letters felt warm in my hands when I received them, so I can only assume some place tropical. He did mention an obscure beach in Puerto Rico once, but that would be a shot in the dark as to his current whereabouts. It doesn't matter anyway. Free anywhere is better than being in jail. At least I think so. Maybe I'll have an experience someday that teaches me otherwise, but until then, I'll take my chances it's true.

The end, sort of.

Just Breathe

Hell is real. I can vouch for that. I worked there. 9 to 5. Pretty good pay. Good benefits. The devil's a tough boss though. Not fair at all. He'll work you hard and make you think you're lazy as shit all the while you're busting your ass for him. The more good you do the more bad you'll think you are. He's the Baskin-Robbins of fear and guilt. 31 flavors. And he plays minds games 24/7 to get you to taste any and all of them, hoping you'll like it and become a regular paying customer. From there, it's all downhill until you wake up and see the game. Yeah, his mind is way sharper than mine right now, that's for sure. At least for now anyway. I'm catching on though, not of my own doing of course. His biggest flaw is, he doesn't want you to succeed at ANYTHING, because your success would hurt him, in his mind anyway. At least anything that's worth succeeding at. It's actually the exact opposite of that though. It's a razor's edge sometimes and can take a while to understand, but it's really quite simple once you do...

What we think of our fellow man we think of ourselves.

And I don't mean that in a general roundabout kind-of-way. I mean every stinkin' little tiny thinkin' thought we think. What we hold true about others we hold true about ourselves because somewhere in the back of our mind we know we are all one. The same Great Being just individualized, but not separate. Once you understand that basic principal though, through and through, you stop shooting yourself in the foot, somewhat. Things will begin to change, almost magically. And then after that, you start to realize that maybe there is a way you can get can back to heaven without actually having to die. I know, I know... it's hard to believe. But that doesn't mean it's not true. And not just because somebody said it was or wasn't so. Experience is the only credible witness in any world, spiritual or otherwise. But if you're not willing to experience something, you usually won't. At least not as soon as you would if you were more more agreeable. Anyway... I don't seem to be going anywhere with this now anymore... so, maybe I'm already there?

Was it Douglas Adams who coined the phrase, "The hours are great, but the minutes suck."? That's what working in hell is pretty much like. It gets worse, but why would you want it to? Surrender. Why be a masochist about it? Don't get me wrong, you can work somewhat comfortably in hell. You can even work there and not work for the devil. Kind of like a subcontractor for the Other Side. In which case it won't be so bad most of the time. But it'll still wear on ya, and after a while and you'll have to get out, just to keep your sanity, and not start believing black is white and up is down and right is wrong and bad is good like everyone else in hell does. And that's your job while you're there I guess. To convince them otherwise. Or at least try. But like I said, it starts to wear on you after a while, and you'd just as soon move on up to a better position in the grand scheme of things than stay there trying to prove your worth or something. You can't teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and only annoys the pig. (Thanks to somebody out there that wrote or said it. It's stuck with me all these years.)

Jail is not a good place no matter what anyone tells you. For whatever reason. There are no jails in heaven. Would you want there to be? No, of course not.

Fuck. Life is hard. Too hard. I can't rely on just myself anymore. It's too hard. And why? For pride? Pride? What have I got to be proud of? I have nothing without God. Not a damn thing. For what could I have that He did not create? Assuming you believe in Him in the first place? It goes way beyond belief though, that's for sure. It goes to your very breath of life. Breathe in life. Breathe it out. Passion. I'm alive. I just want to breathe!

"All I want is to breathe... Won't you breath with me?"

If so, read on.

Tidiology 101

Tidiology  n. 1. The study of boredom.

Does anyone else have issues with boredom? Seems my whole life I've struggled with it. I mean, I hate being bored. It just sucks. Let's face it, boredom is just plain boring. And to be truthful, attempting to deal with it has led me down some pretty precarious roads to say the least. [sigh] I just don't like being bored. It's no fun. I like to be busy at something. Not necessarily stuff like fixing the doorknob or some other household task, a handyman I'm not. If I had the funds I'd much rather pay someone who enjoys working with his hands and fixing things. (Remember Bob Nehart's handyman at the inn? What was his name? That's who I'd hire!)

But I do like to be about productive activities.  I think we all do though. You just feel better. For whatever reason, metaphysical or otherwise, you feel "with it" and life is good. And to me, boredom is the exact opposite of that way of being. Not that I don't like to relax. But to me relaxing is just doing something interesting at a much slower pace. I don't know, maybe I'm like some kind of shark, I just can't stop swimming or I'll drown.

In light of that question above, it now seems pretty ironic that I spent a good part of my life working in a fucking jail. I mean, what place on earth could be more boring than a prison? Creativity is not a word even known to such people who run such places. They are all about the opposite. Control. And the more they have, the more they want. Control freaks run jails. They are in control of many, and the many they control, control many, and the many they control, control many, and so on down the line... Equality is also not a word known so much in such circles of thinking.

So how the hell did I end up in such a place? Well, it appears to be true. What you fear, you become. All my life growing up, I was afraid of being bored and being controlled, so what happened? I ended up being bored and controlled. Now when you're forced into such a corner, you can make one of only two choices. You join the "party" and become what you fear (which incidentally doesn't solve the problem either) or you can say, "No thank-you, I'm going home. Homey don't play that game." So in that sense, I guess working in a jail helped me. It forced me to answer the question once and for all of whether I truly believed all human beings to be equal and direct expressions of an infinitely loving universe or, if I believed in a chain-gang hierarchy of insecure assholes and paranoid sociopaths reaching up from here to the moon, all operating on the belief that fear, guilt, pain and punishment were justified based upon some allegedly evil pasts and speculatively dangerous futures of mere monkeys* who now walked upright and had the ability to think, talk and act like mere men. I suspect I made my choice long before arriving at Garden Valley State Prison, but the next 20 or so years of employment there would definitely cement my opinion on the matter for all eternity, so it was well worth my time there in that regard.

So yeah, it IS in fact true, what you fear you become. Like attracts like. Birds of a feather flock together. Fear attracts fear. Until you face it. Then you either stop fearing it (because you remember you stopped believing in fear as a means of control a long time ago) or you succumb to it; in which case you remain still imprisoned by it, awaiting your next "blessed opportunity" to face it and rise above it, by letting it go by the simple act of not believing in it anymore. It is that simple; but not always easy. Fear is a camouflaged chameleon not always easily exposed and often placed on the endangered species list by people who should know better but apparently don't. Truth is though, we already know fear is no way to run a universe. We just forget at times. I mean, it's been scientifically proven not to work. It's luuuuuuuuv, baby! Love runs the universe, despite apparent evidence to the contrary. Yeaaaaaaaaaaah, baby luuuuuv!

[*In no instance here should the reader attempt to make any connection between the use of the word monkeys and any of the common populations often found residing in prison settings. The sole reference in using the word was to contrast the broad theory of evolution versus the specific truth of who we ALL (despite race, creed and/or color) might really just divinely be. In any case, readers looking for trouble will undoubtedly find it, though not coming from this unevolved author.]

Not Much To Say Today

I just have nothing to say. I mean, what's the point? It matters not one iota in the GSOT (grand scheme of things) whether I post here or not. God still wins. God still has His way. I mean, fer cryin' out loud, He's freakin' God fer cripes sake! He's gonna get His way. In fact, I suspect He already has it. So whatever I think, say and/or do is not going to throw Him off His game in any way, shape or form. However, it may throw me off mine. And there in, as they say, lies the rub.

If what we're doing is not making us happy, then what we're doing IS in fact, a fucking waste of time. I don't mean happy like I-just-had-an-orgasm-happy, or I-just-got-stoned happy, or I-just-won-a-shit-load-of-money happy. I mean happy like Aaaaaaaaah-that's-fucking-soul-satisfyingly-fuckingly-good happy! Happy-that-can-not-be-fucking-explained-happy-but-can-only-be-experienced-fucking-happy. I mean, happy-you-know-this-is-what-you're-designed-to-be-and-do happy.

Unfortunately working in a prison was not any of the above. It was, in fact, the exact opposite. I mean, who the fuck grows up and says, "Gee, I wanna work in a prison!"? No one. One may come to the decision to do so with the expectation that it will indeed make one happier than one is at the present time in regards to his current situation of employment and life in general, but no one ever sets out with the intent from a young age - such as a schoolteacher, firefighter, ballplayer or any other number of professions one might aspire to - to work in a fucking prison. They just don't.

So the question is, "Well, then how in the hell do they end up working there in spite of such lack of intention?"

Hell if I know. It must be something in the subconscious or below it, or above it. I only knew I wanted out. Out and never to return. Never ever, ever, ever again. No matter how many lifetimes I had left. I was not happy working there and foresaw no time in there near or foreseeable future when I would experience such a universally-desired state-of-being. I'd come to the conclusion that no man deserved such a fate, no matter what the crime, because the crime of locking a human being in a cage trumped any atrocity ever committed. After 20 years of working in a jail I was convinced there had to be a better way. I damn sure didn't know what the hell it was, but I was also just as damn sure there was. Maybe someday I'd discovery it, but until then, I wanted no part of the current methods of justice and rehabilitation the great state of New Jersey was implementing. 

Add it all to the number of reasons I decided to help McMullen escape jail. Symbolically he was me. Symbolically he was every man trying to escape the system. Symbolically he was two-hundred and fifty thousand fucking dollars.

...No, check that. Literally he was two-hundred and fifty thousand fucking dollars, since that's what he was paying me to help do it. And that did make me happy. Fuckingly happy.

Heaven or Hello?

As mentioned earlier, many people think you have to die to go to heaven. And I guess I sometimes too fall prey myself to that particular belief... but is it true? Well, before I can know if it's true, I have to know what heaven is, and I guess (gulp!) what dying is, at least to some degree? And even before that, if I even believe in such ideas. I mean, if I don't believe in the idea of heaven and hell (whatever is meant by those terms), then it really doesn't matter what the hell I think I have to do or not do to get there. Any acts, or random occurrences for that matter, are irrelevant as to any outcome I don't believe in. Hell, they may not even be relevant to the ones I do.

I do believe in heaven and hell though and I don't believe you have to die to get there. It doesn't make sense if you really think about it. I mean, if you die, and then you go to heaven (or hell), aren't you still alive? I mean, if you're not conscious to experience something, then what does it matter what it is? And if you are conscious of something, then guess what? You're alive! You're not dead! So the idea of dying to go to heaven, or hell for that matter, is fraught with erroneous assumptions and logical errors. (Logical errors?) In fact, dying is not a factor in anything really, at least not in the sense of not existing. Nonexistence is not an option as far as I can tell. I mean, if I didn't exist, who would be there to know it? "Exactly!", you might scream at me. And "Who's on first? No, second base!" would be my response. Anyway...

Inmate McMullen and I and Java the Hutt were not the only absurd characters about to commit the unmentionable act in this macabre story of sordid affairs. I say "unmentionable" because any talk of the word "escape" in a jail is akin to offering a vampire a garlic sandwich. Or something like that. You just don't speak of it. Not even in humor. The last thing good people in charge of keeping bad people in cages want is to get embarrassed. And someone escaping from jail would be very embarrassing to say the least. But there were other bit players here and there who were accomplices, unknowingly for the most part, but some, quite knowingly, if only for the sport of just doing it to see if it could be done. They knew about it, or heard about it, and a tiny little part of them said, "Yes!" I heard afterwards there was even a significant amount of money bet on the outcome, with the UES (underdog escaping scenario) making a nice 10 to 1 profit for those so inclined to take such kind of chances with their hard-earned tax-payer-funded state pay.

Well, the plan worked. McMullen got out and I got my money and Java got his, and the fucking bookie got his and we all lived fuckingly happily ever after. The end. Now you don't have to read anything else written here, because you know the ending. But everybody knows the ending of every story ever told anyway. It's the beginnings and the middles that are really the best parts of any good story. And they never end. So read on if you so choose. Or read back. To be honest, it's all going in the same direction anyway. All roads lead to Rome, to not coin a phrase.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Fun Fun Fun

Hell n. 1. Any unacceptable situation occurring in time ranging from minutes, hours, days weeks, months, years and/or lifetimes. (A trip to the New Jersey DMV is no picnic either.)

What if heaven is really not that much different than where we are right now? Same things, but only everything is in it's proper place, properly understood, and properly used? Of course, there'd be no death or disease, and you'd get to live forever. If you wanted to. If not, you could still do all the same stuff we continue to do right now, the way we understand and do things... it just wouldn't be as much fun. The choice of how we experience things would still always be there. Sort of. I mean, there are some things you just can't choose. Like being born. Well, maybe you can, and we're just not aware of how we choose to do it? I don't know. A better example might be existing. You can't choose to exist. Or to not exist. You just do. Am I getting closer? No? Okay, well never mind. It's not important.

Fun. Now there's a word I seem to have lost familiarity with lately. And I'm a guy that likes to have fun. Of course, we all know where fun can lead if you don't pay attention, but that's another story. In itself though, fun is fun. It's good. It's fun! It's not a bad thing, like some people might have you believe. Those types of people are usually not very much fun though and I usually avoid them. (Funny how that works.) Anyway... fun, yeah...

Fun n. 1. The ability to see past other's erroneous perceptions and false ideas about who we are or might be and still do whatever you want without guilt, fear and/or shame, all the while watching with a detached curiosity at their utter dismay as to why they're not happy and why their own life didn't work out exactly the way they thought it would.

Actually, that's really not that much fun when you think about. I'd much rather be on a warm beach somewhere, cool breeze, watching waves break, salt in the air, surfers wiping out, and girls bouncin' around in bikinis, and airplanes pulling signs for stupid places I'll never go, and mysterious men in black trench coats wearing dark sunglasses slinking around in the b.g. everywhere, spying on us all...

[What was that?!... Hold on!... Okay, I have to stop writing now! My time is running out! They're almost here! I can feel them approaching! And when they do, they will not like me communicating such ideas herein to the unwashed masses, not to mention me helping McMullen escape jail! I will be up shit's crick without a paddle! Or even a boat! So I have to sign-out now. Immediately! I think someone’s at the front door! Hopefully you will hear from me again soon! If not, keep both your eyes and ears open, but more importantly, your heart. That's what they want. Since they don't have one themselves. And don't take any wooden nickels. At least not government-issued ones.]

Okay, sorry... false alarm. It was just the mailman dropping off some beef jerky I ordered from Hawaii.

Friday, March 2, 2012

DISCLAIMER! Warning! Don't try this at home!

The specific details of exactly how I helped McMullen fly the coop are a bit touchy to describe, to say the least. I mean, apart from being self-incriminating, they are also a blueprint for someone else to do it; assuming I describe the procedure adequately. So maybe I should write a disclaimer?

{DISCLAIMER! WARNING! Do NOT try this at home! I am not responsible for any screw-ups if you get caught. In fact, read the blog heading again if you have to.}

But anyway, I'll try and give you the basic idea and you can fill in the blanks yourself...

I wore two sets of clothing about a week before the actually escape day. One set underneath the other. Under my polo shirt I wore another white, button-down dress shirt. I rolled up a black tie and stuffed it in my pocket and left it with the dress shirt in an empty unused locker inside the staff bathroom, along with some nice khakis and an extra pair of socks, the actual morning of the escape. Until then I kept the extra set of clothing locked in a desk drawer inside my classroom that I made sure only I had the key for. I did this by getting a friend in maintenance to hacksaw the key I needed off an allegedly impregnable key ring. I learned a long time ago that if you wanted to keep anything secure, don't use any storage cabinet or closet that had a prison lock on it because the keys were easily available to anyone, especially the C.O.'s who, let's just say were not always the most trustworthy of individuals in the place. The running joke there was, "What's the difference between a correction's officer and an inmate? Answer: One of them got caught. [Ouch! I know. And if you're a good C.O. reading this who took pride in your job and treated everyone fairly and honestly, then my sincere apologies. But if you're not, then go fuck yourself.]

Every staff member had a set of key rings issued by custody that gets stored in a secure key cabinet before and after your work day. You come in in the morning, punch in your key code on a small keyboard panel on the front of the box and take your keys out. Same procedure just reversed before you go home. Anytime before or after those two events, anyone could get your keys out and use them. The key codes were about as secure as a hooker's hoo-hah at a drunken sailor's convention.

So I had the only key to the drawer with the escape clothes in them. They were secure and I moved them into the staff bathroom just outside my classroom the morning of the escape. The tour from China would be coming through my classroom sometime between 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM, so we had to move fast once they hit our area. I'd open the staff bathroom with my key, McMullen would hop inside, change from his inmate browns into the street clothes I planted, then blend in with tour group before the tour left our area. If all went well, he walk right out the front door without anyone noticing a damn thing. Now he couldn't actually leave with the tour group, because custody would count the group's total number and know how many were supposed to be in the group when they left. No, he'd have a better chance just walking out solo or with another civilian or two that might be wandering out the front gate just before lunchtime. But the tour group would provide the necessary cover till he could slip away from them and make his, what I'm sure can only be described as, "intense-yet-still-somewhat-controlled mad dash for freedom."

Oh, almost forgot to mention about McMullen's fake ID. Needless to say, with Photoshop and a decent printer, that lttie task was so easy to accomplish it's almost not worth mentioning. But I did anyway just for the sake of accuracy. So there you have it, the basics of my simple, yet highly effective plan to help one Jerome McMullen escape one Garden Vally State Prison one fine spring day.