Monday, April 15, 2024

Microstory 2126: Called it Hustling

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Orientation didn’t do a very good job of preparing me for what jail was going to be like for the rest of the weekends that I’m going to have to go through it. For one, I didn’t have a cellmate before. I knew that I would this time, but I had forgotten what it was like to live with someone else in such close quarters, and in fact, they’ve never been that close for me anyway. I don’t want to say anything bad about the guy, but I have trouble getting along with other people. That’s just a general rule when it comes to my personality. I don’t see the world in a normal way, and that gets on people’s nerves. He didn’t try to hurt me or exploit me, but I don’t think we’re going to be lifelong friends either. I ran into even more personality clashing once I got out into the common area. There are people in there from all walks of life. While individual cells are not co-ed, the facility is as a whole, which I prefer, but as woke as I am, I worry about women being around men a lot more than I would have to in a perfect world. I found myself watching them to make sure they weren’t about to be harassed, which probably only served to make me look like a perverted creeper. That’s not the image that I want to give off to people. They already have a bad impression of me. Word had spread about my special situation. Some of the things that they heard are true, and some of them are not, so I spent a lot of time fielding questions, and clarifying inaccuracies. Even the people who understood what happened weren’t happy with me.

Some thought that I got off easy, and should have been sent to prison, or received some other harsher sentence. Others called me a narc for helping the FBI catch the teenage girl’s abductors, even if they agreed on principle that kidnapping toddlers is wrong. Some were specifically bothered that I was given such special treatment, like the hotel room that the government paid for, or the legal assistance that I got from an employer that I worked for as nothing more than a janitor for a couple of weeks. Most of them, I would say, don’t like that I run this here website, feeling that I’m exploiting them for money, and misrepresenting the justice system. I try to tell them that I’ve not been doing that, but only speaking my truth; and being clear that this is what I have been experiencing, but they don’t see it that way. Some of them have read some of it, and some only heard about it, so they all have their own impressions that I don’t think I can change. I’m pretty sure I’m the most famous person in there, which did not even occur to me. Yes, the number of daily visitors for my site has been increasing, but this service provider doesn’t tell me where these people are, and it certainly doesn’t show who they are, so I didn’t go into jail thinking that I may have to worry about my reputation. There were a few proponents of mine, if you can believe it. They acknowledged that there was nothing wrong with keeping a blog, and that I’m not the only one in the world to do it. A few popular video bloggers have similar stories to share, though usually after the fact, rather than while it’s happening. My advocates called it hustling, and encouraged others not to criticize me for trying to make a buck, which is the most common reason for anyone to be locked up in a place like that, so they should all be able to relate to leaning into one’s strengths. That makes some sense, and I appreciate the sentiment.

I was hoping to just keep my head down, and serve my time without making trouble, but it’s always going to find me. I’m going to be doing this for the next 20 weeks until I’m finished with my thousand hour jail time. It could get better as they get used to me, or it could get worse. Hell, just writing these words right now could just piss people off even more, including those who were kind of on my side before. But either way, I’m not going to stop, because this is part of my rehabilitation. It’s a form of accountability that the courts are exploring for future use. For my part, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I’m sure different people would have a different perspective, but taking a lighter sentence in exchange of keeping an accountability blog? That has to be better, right? I should sure think so. Even if you’re not a good writer, that’s got to be preferable. There could be minimums for word count, or something, maybe, but hopefully no limits on grammar mistakes, or requirements for flow. That last sentence didn’t flow well. It shouldn’t be a form of forced education. Some people hate school, myself included. I dunno, maybe nothing will come of it. I should really just focus on my own progress right now. Here are a few updates in that regard. I found a therapist, and will be meeting with her on Tuesdays and Thursday. I’ll also probably be signing up for group sessions on weekends, but I’m not ready to start those just yet. I have regular meetings with my parole officer on Wednesdays, and he’ll work with my work schedule once that’s all figured out. I’ve narrowed it down to two jobs, but by the time you read this, I will have probably decided, so I’ll go over that later this week when we all finalize the decision. I just need a few questions answered before I feel comfortable choosing one over the other.

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