Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Any idiot can face a crisis

The other day I had occasion to speak with my personal officer here at the Home for Gay Sailors and, during the course of that discussion, he said that he had noticed the change in me since I came here to North Sea Camp. He said that when I arrived the tiredness was etched on my face and I looked like a tired, old man. On reflection, it's true too! I was unshaven, with stubble as grey as a badger's arse, wearing clothing that gave me the appearance of an unsavoury 'hoodie' and trudging about the place like a man looking for somewhere to lay a weary head.

Can't deny any of that.

However, since then over a month has passed, and every day, no matter what the weather, I've been out in the fresh air for several hours each day (and/or night), wandering as the fancy  took me, chatting here and there to various folk. Naturally I bought myself some clothing more befitting my age group, cleaned myself up with the aid of a razor and the soft water of the area - and it appears that a transformation has taken place.

Personally, I didn't notice it, although several people (on reflection) mentioned here and there that I was looking very smart.

To get back to the conversation mentioned earlier with my personal officer. He said - and I paraphrase - that it had been noticed, of course, that I was now clean, smart and striding about the place like an upright citizen. Not a negative word had been said about me by anyone, and I was living a very level life, well under the radar.

Clearly I am doing nothing that I haven't done for years - the big difference being that here at the Home for Gay Sailors I am getting better and fresher food, more fresh air and a freedom of movement that clearly agrees with me. Oh, I am perfectly sure that Long Lartin, the Lazy L, will have fully expected (and probably wanted) me to make a bollix of it all and bugger off at the first opportunity. Well, that clearly hasn't happened. Here I am, still sitting here in North Sea Camp, more than content with the progress I am making and not a crisis in sight. Surely that must show that it is the very  nature of the oppressive regime of the high security estate which causes the stress levels to be so high!

It sort of reminds me of the words of Anton Chekhov when he said:

Any idiot can face a crisis. It is the day-to-day living that wears you out.
It's true too. All of those pointless years spent wearing myself out for no good reason, and it has all been washed away by just a few short weeks of a more relaxed lifestyle. Surely there is a lesson to be learned there!

So, where do we go from here? Well, I had a letter from The Wallace, who informs me that there is to he a decision made in a couple of weeks' time (15th February) as to my suitability for day releases and overnight releases - AND she is supporting me in that. Of course there are obstacles to overcome - there always are - but nothing very difficult to sort out. I shall (when the time comes) wander down to see the sea for my first day release. That's all I want to do - nothing fancy or ambitious, just see the sea.

My second one will be a meander around the shops in Boston, just to see how the folk in the real world live and to ensure that the crowds and traffic don't turn me into a basket case.

The third one will be an overnighter somewhere approved by The Wallace. And after that? Well, the search will begin for a hostel where I can live in peace and quiet while I write a few things, read a few things, get used to having a dog again perhaps, and put the past quarter century where it belongs - into the capsule of forgotten nightmares, along with all of the other memories that are better forgotten, and concentrate on the future.

The mill cannot grind with the water that is past.

The Voice In The Wilderness

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