By May B. Yesno © 2008
File: Pure; Card: 6; Non-expensed
Don't You Know What I'm Thinking?
You are sweet, mellow, and easily satisfied.
You don't like anything too intense and dramatic.
Deep down, you're a kid at heart... and you're nostalgic for the past*
So said the probation officer, quite possibly tongue in cheek, as I left the premises after my final reporting date.
Damn Fool, you, in your dumpy middle class clothes and two week over due haircut. Have you the faintest inkling how very grating that smile is, that feeling you extrude of stabbing one in the back when you turn to write your post visit summation? Have you?
You accept the canned answers to your canned questions I reel from half my attention. You don't want to hear what I'm really thinking underneath, and full time with the other half. No!, you exercise your authority with admirable restraint, just as you have been taught. Reminding me on occasion my freedom is in your hands, you miserable little worm, when I periodically refuse to speak.
I'm finished now. Done. And I wait for it; and sure enough it comes. The obligatory "I hope I never see you again!" as I leave this final time. Done. Damn, I'm done with you. I'm satisfied. And mellow, now. I can laugh like a kid, alright, for no good reason other than for the pure joy of life. Except I've been thinking.
The thing I've been thinking about is that job you assigned me, got for me? Found for me. At any rate, that job is what I've been thinking about. Well, not the job so much as the owner of the place. That is not even correct. I've been thinking about the business, the paper end of the business more correctly. You see, there's something there that just might make you cringe. That Boy isn't a hundred percent honest; and all that fine charitable, give the sinner a chance, front covers up something else and you don't even see it. Or if you do, your part of it. Which wouldn't surprise me, considering how many of us you've run through there. Have you ever asked yourself what happened to all those bodies? Have you? Ever? Or do you know?
I suppose that's enough putting you down.
Admittedly, you're probably as honest as someone in your job can be. You've asked many times why I'm haggard and grubby on reporting days. I've never told you. You did give the curfew exemption when I explained the night classes, for which I thank you. But you never knew I'd finished others on-line, did you? I never told. I don't want them on the record. You also don't know I finished my degree work, but there will never be a graduation. Not on the straight record there won't, unless I think the man comes knocking and then I have the real answers waiting.
You know, education is a funny thing. Too much of it in any one area makes you dumber. That's probably a bad way to look at it. Lets say, a very good foundation in a subject is a good thing, but as you continue to study it, it takes more and more effort to obtain less and less knowledge from it. It stifles you, and you can't reason outside that area.
So a good foundation in many subjects allows you to cross reference areas of knowledge and develop answers to questions. What you might call a specialized Liberal Arts education. And that is what I've been doing, without telling you. I didn't want to confide to you, the keeper of the little records. I certainly didn't want the records to know. Some say that ability to draw from experience is the highest level of learning.
There are many things I didn't tell you. As an instance: I am many people. Most of them I've made up and lied about. There's a lot of cash to be had in grants and student loans from the government, and there is just as much from the gullible in the schools themselves. The Liberals like the down trodden and degenerate restoration projects. And I've skimmed a great many of them. For which I thank them. Which answers your question of how I managed to look haggard and grubby in good clothes that couple of times I was too tired to remember my role with you. Of course, I hope you don't remember or have made a note in your visit summary. But then, that's what an education will do for you. You accepted my explanations for where I got the clothes. I didn't tell you I had studied rhetoric and debate. I am quite good, actually, in those areas.
As I said, though, I have been thinking about the business at the job. Money comes from some place, and it goes some where without stopping for taxes and un-employment deductions. I know where in one case. But I want to know both, and I will, because I want part of that action. But I don't want the owner to know, either that I know about the money, or that I'm getting part of it. It would be foolish to take a risk as part of the organization hierarchy when there's a way for the little guy to feed from the bottom, especially when there are University's to draw more from scattered all across this great land of ours.
* a non-attributable source
May B. Yesno is a writer from Fresno, CA.