The gratitude of my temporary inmates seems only to ring truer with each passing circumstance. I suppose I may have acquired a skill or two over the years where it pertains to the custodial caretaking that so many in this throwaway culture would prefer to ignore.
It’s not Stockholm Syndrome that these folks have come down with, since I’m not the one responsible for my subjects’ captivity, but it is definitely a similar phenomenon (a guy sure could get used to all the attention, anyhow). My wards do actually receive that kind of no-strings care that the medical insurance industry forgot about as soon as private concerns got their hooks into it (even though their advertising tries to sell a different story).
Perhaps because of this comfort, every single one of our emerging beer-krausening technologies has been behind schedule under my watch. Maybe it was a mistake to combine a halfway house with a chemistry lab. Our three chemists-in-captivity are functioning alcoholics who just use this particular project to get tanked on the job all day–with my tacit blessing, I suppose. Last Thursday, Ernie–the least-tactful of the three–decided to not look both ways before crossing the street on his lunch break (I do give them at least a little time in each week to get out and smell the flowers). Long story short, Ernie got hit by a shipment of cabbages (with a truck attached), survived, and is now suing the city for not putting a stop sign in a 40 MPH zone. As soon as he got back from the hospital, you’d better believe I gave him quite the lecture on roadside awareness!
Leave it to the Amish to make daily life more of a chore than ever before. I don’t know why I had such an itch to live the way my ancestors used to, but I know for certain that they would have picked an easier way to light the house and prepare food–if presented with a choice. I was so spoiled by the modern conveniences afforded to me by science and a free market economy that I failed to see the value of an Amish-esque leap of faith. I’d taken those marvelous comforts for granted as I skittered along my daily schedule, not a minute wasted, making all I could out of a dubious practice.
Eh. I genuinely am relieved that I don’t have to be a part of that ridiculous rat race these days. It was even more of a chore than the labor-intensive Amish regimen. But if I could just make use of my arms, that would make this feel more like vacation than prison. I’m just saying… And could you please dim the lights if that’s at all possible? I don’t ask for much.
Anyway, to simply engage in that dubious practice of selling time for the shackles of currency is one thing, but to embrace such a hectic outlook is a disgrace all of its own.
And that’s exactly where I found myself on the morning where my car broke down on my way to ten soul-crushing hours in the tiny cubicle I call my second home. Calling the tow truck, a horse and buggy rattled past me and I thought, “now here’s the kind of living I can get behind!” So I flagged them down and hopped right in without asking permission. They didn’t even flinch.
I was quickly initiated into their rustic ways, and the first couple weeks were life-altering. After a couple more weeks, I began to grow tired of such a humdrum and back-breaking existence, but was then informed that the contract I signed–which I thought was fishy, but I signed it in good faith–bound me to the Amish lifestyle for the rest of my life.
But now I’m here in this rubber room talking to myself all day long for lack of anything else to do, likely being studied by a combination of the US government and power-hungry extraterrestrials blackmailing Washington into doing their bidding. Which reality is worse? I’ll have to think about it.
God, I really wish I could use my arms.