The Plateau

The old one awoke. He sat up, looked around, and stretched. He saw the cauldron was empty. It was nothing like it was the day before and neither was He. He rose to his feet, walked over to the rock face, and began to climb. The sky was more a twilight color than the total blackness it had been before. Now he was able to see things in more detail. Now his eyes could help him find the nooks and crannies he used for his hand and toe holds in his ascent. His hands had become tougher and rougher. The thick calluses on his fingertips and palms did not feel the sharp rocks that he had to cling to in order to climb out of his despair. He climbed steadily, scaling the rocky cliffs of the abyss.

Climbing steadily hand over hand for hours, he reached a plateau and crawled up on its flat surface where he lay and rested. He felt a mild vibration in the ground, a soft thump, thump, and thump. He thought he heard the sound of the thump, thump coming from far off in the distance.

He stood and started walking away from the abyss toward the distant sound and the treacherous cliff walls that lay ahead. Scattered along the way were shards of rocks, all about the size of his fist. At first, he would step over or around them. The farther he ventured, the more there were. He began to shuffle his feet, clearing a path for him to travel.

He stumbled and fell. As he stood, he saw a staff. A rod about his height, maybe a little taller he picked it up he liked the feel of the rod, its smooth surface spotted with a rougher textured area. He, from instinct or as a whim raised the staff high above his head and with all his might swung the rod at the ground. The impact of the rod on the ground sent a vibration up the rod that stung his hands. The rod did not bow or break, although it did seem to spark when it struck the ground. He continued his trek, kicking shards out of his way using the rod as a cane to help him balance. As he waked, he was thumping the rod on the ground with the same rhythm and cadence that he had felt when he first rolled onto the plateau. He subconsciously thumped the rod but also enjoyed the vibration that emanated from the rod.

He did not sense the vibrations form the rod as they moved from the rod to his hand and then his arm. The farther the vibrations moved toward his brain, the more pleasing they felt to him. Soon the vibration would reach his brain. He continued his trek, his path straight and true into the twilight. His path guided by some unknown force. He was guided by the light of a star that shown only in his heart.

He, unaware of what was happening to him, did not see the change in his course nor did he hear the thumping sound that became louder and louder. The vibrations from the rod pleased him more and more, lulling him into a comforting hypnotic trance.

His steps slowed, and then he just stopped. He was standing in a sea of beings all thumping their rods with the same rhythm, the same cadence, the thumping was in fact a great heart beating for all the beings in this world.

He and the rest thumped the ground with the same cadence. The same rhythm, yet the sound the tone of the rod the vibration were deceiving and deceptive. The rod itself flawed, a lie it laid in a graveyard of broken promises, lies, frauds, deceptions, and deceit until he ventured upon it and picked the rod up and made it his.

He felt so comfortable with the rod in his hand, the rods mystic trance playing in his mind. He thumped the ground harder and harder as the pleasure seeped into his mind. It was easy to use the rod to thump the ground, a lot easier than trying to grow the crystals that made a rod pure of tone and sound pure in its harmonies and rhythms, pure in its vibrations.

He thumped his rod, the vibrations sending up deadly harmonics within the rods of the beings round him. Their rods began to crack, and one by one, the rods shattered, exploding the beings. Falling, dying, he thumped his rod harder for the easy pleasures he felt and more rods shattered. The beings began to fall one here, one there, then more and more the great heart began to fail. Rod by rod, being by being, fell to the corrupt rod. The heart, mortally wounded, began to beat erratically; arrhythmia followed it he looked around at the destruction, and the deaths. He looked into his heart. What he saw in himself horrified him. The heart that was dying was his heart. Those beings lying dead around him were the hearts of those who he had told lied to, who he had deceived and those who he had defrauded by his deceptions. He stopped thumping his rod. The pleasure he once felt was now just pain an intolerable pain.

He ran as fast as he could toward the abyss. When he reached it, he threw the rod into the blackness below. He staggered back and fell on his haunches, exhausted. He searched his heart, thought of all the ones he had hurt. He closed his eyes and cried. He cried for those he had hurt and for himself. He died a little more that day, just as he had done a million times before.

He was awakened by the sound of the herd milling around his rack. Sitting up and looking around, the clock on the wall indicated it was early in the day. He had slept a long time. He crawled out of his rack, stood up and slowly began to stretch, trying to work the pain out of his aching joints.

He, trying to hide his pain, limped as he made his way to the outhouse. He felt much better on his return to the stable. He opened his locker, taking out the pills for his various aches and pains and blood pressure. He popped the pills in his mouth and swallowed them. Next on his morning to do list, was to make him a large mug of coffee, sweetened with several spoonful’s of sugar. Holding the mug with both hands, he sat and began to drink the sweet hot coffee.

He sat drinking his coffee and thinking about the past few weeks of his life, the dreams, and the nightmares. The revelations he had learned about himself as well as the horrors he had remembered. His eyes were transfixed on the blackness of the coffee in his mug. The blackness he saw in the coffee reminded him of the days of darkness. He would have to suffer before his release from prison and from the tangles within his mind.

He, lost in thought was looking at the page he had started writing earlier in the day. He had written thirty-one words, only thirty-one words in six hours! There were hundreds of thoughts, and thousands of words running through his mind. So many thoughts and words that he could not separate the words that he wanted to write down from the other. So much had happened to him in the past weeks and months. The dreams, the revelations, the memories discovering all sorts of interesting things that had affected his life things that were good for him, and other things that was evil. Just pure evil it seemed to him that the evil things, the things that hurt others, did not hurt him were the easiest
of all things for him to do and the most costly. These evils cost him his family, his friends, ‘his loves, and his freedom. He was now, and would forever; pay the price for his folly.

He trudged outside bundled in his wool cap, gloves, and coat to perform his little job in the prison. His job was to go to an area where other beings in the herd went to smoke. It was his job to sweep up the cigarette and cigar butts and other tasks. He worked three hours a day for 5 days. This suited him, but there were few benefits. He was lucky to have his job. Luckier than those in the kitchens who worked 8 hour shifts starting early in the morning, and ending late at night. Those poor beings that crawled in at night, exhausted, only to wash then sleep for 5 hours and do it all over again the next day. The beings would work this way for 4 days and then they would be off 3 days while the other crew would work. Even in the days off, the work was hostile to them. Very few worked there for long. They would just wear out and become useless; hollow images of themselves no longer any good for anything.

He finished his work and returned to the stables. At p.m., the nobles counted the beings in the herd. There were several counts during the day and night but the p.m. count was different. Each being had to stand. There were no exceptions to this rule. Every being stood and was counted by two, maybe 3 nobles, each comparing their numbers. When they were satisfied, they would allow the being to move. The reason for the standup count was to make sure all the beings of the herd were alive and there were no dummies or mannequins taking their place during the count.

He stood at his locker just like the other 150 being who the guards were so fond of counting. Then the mail was passed out he was disappointed that he did not receive any mail today. He knew that soon he would get a letter from his girl Jo. He had mailed her several letters and some pages that he had written for her to read. The herd moved out for the evening feed, limping along with his cane in the midst of beings to stand in line and wait to be fed. The feed tonight was some kind of spiced meat and noodles and soup that was made from leftover vegetables and noodles from previous days feed. He ate the beef adobo and a bowl of soup and some iced tea to drink. When he had finished he limped back to the stables and rested his body. AT 7:30, he would go get his night meds. His anti-depressants, the meds he thought were not working that well on him, but working well enough to keep him from becoming any more depressed than he was.

He returned from pill line and settled in for the night. He would write his thoughts down in his journal. He started keeping when he was taken to the SHU. He had written quite a few pages in 3 weeks. He sat Indian style with his legs crossed on his rack, his papers on his knee. His quill charged with the blackest India ink. He began writing in his journal.

He had no new revelations that he could write about so he began to describe his day and what he did to pass the time. He would try his best to give it as much detail as possible. He wrote in his journal until the nobles turned the lights off. He put away his work and lay down to sleep, thus ending this day. Soon a new day would begin, but that is another tale of woe to be told.

He awoke to the familiar sounds of the herd stirring about. He woke refreshed; he had slept well. He did not have any dreams or nightmares that he could remember. He went to morning chow and returned to the stables. He decided to rest a bit since it was still early. He lay down, closed his eyes, and rested. He fell into the abyss he called melancholy. He dreamed was on the cliff his hand slipped out of a crevice his other grasping for something, anything, to hold onto he found nothing to hold onto and he fell. Then it was silent except for the air rushing past him as he plummeted. Falling farther and farther, deeper and deeper into the darkness of the abyss yet, he uttered not one sound.

He tried to scream, his arms flailed about, his legs kicking at the nothingness of the air. He felt and saw horror first and he knew he was going to die a horrible death. His life began to replay in his mind. He watched the horrors as well as the few joys he had had in his life. His mind became chaotic, confused. He heard laughter, a strange sound. Then a hand touched his shoulder. He jumped up opening his eyes to see a crowd standing around laughing at his distress from his nightmare.

He felt his face heat up. He felt anger. He saw his arms begin to turn red. He was embarrassed. He shuddered, stammered, and said, “Wow! What a nightmare that was! Thanks for waking me up.” With all that said he found out how it felt to be humiliated and embarrassed. He would have to make up something to save face or take their ribbing that was surely to come. He was seen by no less than 20 beings all of whom were laughing when he awoke. He walked to the outhouse to get away from the others, more than he needed to relieve himself. He stood in one of the outhouse stalls trying to calm down. Another being said to him, “What was so funny with you in there?” He replied that he was having a nightmare where he was falling and he felt as though he was surely going to die. The other being hooked at him, shrugged his shoulders and said, “Yea, I have had those dreams too and I thought I was going to die.” They say if you hit the bottom, you would die. He looked at him, “You know, with all the beings in there laughing at me, I felt like dying!” Rufus said, “You will get over it in time, don’t worry about it.”

He nodded and headed back to the stables. He wanted to write this down in his journal. He wrote what had taken place in his dream or his nightmare, whichever it was, and what he had learned from it. He knew how other beings must have felt being humiliated and embarrassed. He sighed as he had done a million times before. He finished out his day as he had done many times before. He endured a few laughs and snickers, and then it was gone. His nightmare, his humiliation, embarrassment was all over with. It was over and the experience would remain with him forever. He roused from his sleep by the noise of the herd milling about waiting to go to get their morning feed. He stretched, then stood slowly working his aching joints to relieve some of the pain he endured every day. He opened his locker, took out and counted the pills then swallowed them. He had dreams in the night, and remembered most every one of them. Flights of fancy, some made a little or no sense; but none of the dreams troubled him. He sensed he would have no other bad dreams or nightmares. He knew the worst was over for now. He knew that he needed to grow and to learn to care for an about himself. In short, he had to learn to love him, take care of him, and take pride in him.

He once said when asked about the appearance of his uncombed hair and beard, “Who do I have to impress? I am in prison.” He failed to realize that he should keep up his appearance if for no other reason than for his own self-respect and self-esteem. He was called by the nobles and told to get dressed. They would not give him any indication of why he was to get dressed in his prison khakis. He was told to go to the door where he was met by another noble. The noble told him to follow him. He asked where they were going. The noble said they were going to the SHU. He began to panic.

He was taken to the SHU. No explanation was given to why he was going to the SHU. He had done nothing. He had been out of the SHU for less than a week. He had no idea what he had done. He had done nothing that he knew of. He was shackled, led into the SHU, led to a room, and locked in. He was told to strip, and then given the orange rags to wear while he was there. He was locked in a single cell by himself. He asked for the noble in charge. The noble in charge came to his cell. “Why am I here?” He asked. The noble said he was there because he was waiting to be reclassified and no other explanation was given.

Bedding was thrown in to his cell. He laid on the rack covered up with the rags. He was not fed dinner, he was ignored. He felt forlorn, dejected. His melancholy deepened. He began to imagine the worst. He wept. His mind ran wild; he said it isn’t worth it. Life wasn’t worth it to live like this. He laid there thinking; he tore a sheet into strips and began to braid a rope. He braided three strips together than two more just like it. He took those three braided strips together and one end he braided an eyelet braiding the tag ends into the runner. The he ripped nine more strips, braided those into three braids, and braided them into the runner. He had a noose about four feet long.

He passed the runner through the eyelet. He tied the runner to the bar in the window. He pulled himself up with the braided rope it would hold him. He tied it one more around to shorten it so his feet would not touch the floor. He heard the nobles coming to make their rounds. He quickly untied the noose and crawled back into his rack, covered himself, waited for the nobles to pass. He laid there in his rack. He knew his life was over. He saw no way out. It would be better to be dead than to live like an animal here in prison. He was just that, an animal.

He picked up a pencil and began to write Jo. He told Jo that he was so sorry for all that had happened. He told her that he could no longer live this way, like an animal. He asked her to forgive him for breaking his promise to her. He said to her to forget him, that she would be fine without him. He tried to explain how he felt the fear in him, the uncertainty, and how miserable he was. He had to do something to release him from these nightmares. He lived with every night and the pain he lived with all the time. He was awake or asleep and in pain constantly. He wrote a short will, stating all that was his was now hers. The various articles she was keeping for him. He asked her to notify his family of his death. He instructed her to not claim his body, let the prison bury him and then and only then tell his family and children he had committed himself to death by his own hands. He wrote a second letter that he was sending to Jo to mail to his daughter after his death.

Then he wrote a letter to the Sorceress thanking her for her help, but he could no longer go on. The pain, the heartache, the nightmares were now too much for him to bear. He told the Sorceress that she was a very talented and smart woman and she had a beautiful spirit within. He told her she and Jo were the only human beings that he had ever trusted. He was sorry that he hadn’t told Jo all he had told the noble Sorceress. He cried as he wrote the letters. He addressed the letters, he would mail them tomorrow, and when he knew the letters to Jo had gone out, he would take his life. He did not want to have the nobles call her and tell her of his death. He knew it would take 3 days for the letter to arrive. He planned when to carry out this deed. It took him all night to script his letter to Jo and his daughter and to the Sorceress. He untied the hanging noose, placed it in the bed linens, and lay down. He hadn’t gone to sleep when the nobles started waking the herd to feed them. He couldn’t eat, his stomach hurt. He had no appetite. When morning chow came, he told them he didn’t want any. At noon, he knew he would get his postage stamps and would mail his letters. So, all was prepared. He would wait until tomorrow night. He couldn’t sleep. He laid there in his rack, his mind reeling, his body in pain. He shook with tremors and shivered. His back hurt. He got up, drank some water, and lay back down. He heard his name being called. He answered, and then asked what they wanted.

He was told to pack his stuff he was leaving. He asked where he was going. They said back to the herd. He said, “What? Why?” The nobles said it was all a mistake. He collapsed on his rack. He sat there until a noble came by and said, “Hey, get a move on it!” He stood and collected his letters, flushed the noose down the toilet, packed up his bedding, and then taken to a room where he dressed in his khakis. His clothes stuffed through the trap. He changed his clothes and was taken to the door, handed his possessions and pushed out the door. He limped to his stable. He enlisted the help of a being in his stable to help carry his box of earthly possessions to the stables. When he arrived, his rack was there. All the bedding was gone. All his clothes and shoes, his towels, and whatnots were gone He would have to go to the laundry and be resupplied the second time in less than a week. He asked the noble in charge of the stable if he would open this big grey box so he could check to see if any of his things were in the box. He found his blankets, his pillow, a few shirts, a pair of pants, and that was all at least he would be warm at night when he slept.

He, on his return, asked the nobles in the stables whey he was sent to the SHU. They said the nobles in charge of his case had forgotten to sign a document allowing him to stay at this prison instead of going somewhere else where he would be worse off than he was here. They said that mistakes are made and that it was ok now. She asked him if he was ok, his voice trembled as he told them that they had almost scared him to death. The noble said that it was ok now and not to worry.

Little did the nobles know that if their mistake had not been caught for another day, he would have been dead he still had the letters he had written. He would save them. He might use them later for he was at the end of his rope. He struggled every day to maintain some kind of reason to keep on living. He thought of the promise he had made. He wished he had never made it. He may have done many things, but he had never broken a promise. If he ever broke this promise, it would be the first and the last promise he would ever make or break. He sat sullen and melancholy on his rack writing what had transpired in these last two days. He was exhausted; his head and body ached, his mind was foggy; and, still he felt deep down that death would be better than this. He sighed, shook his head and he died a little more today as he had done a million times before.

He lay down on his rack he would write a letter to Jo tomorrow. He had to make it through the night, a time he dreaded. He didn’t know if his dreams would be dreams or nightmares until he awoke. He closed his eyes and cursed the darkness. Try as he might, he could not sleep. He was exhausted too exhausted to sleep tossing, turning, laying there. Finally, he got up, peeled, and ate an orange he had saved from the noon feed. He returned to his rack and began to write. He stopped, got up, fixed a cold coffee drink, and returned to his writing. His nerves today were shot.

He hadn’t smoked a cigarette in over a year and today he did smoke one. He didn’t enjoy it; however, the nicotine helped calm his nerves some. In the prison, paying the price for his crimes he closed his eyes, and then put up his pen and paper. He would now try to sleep.

He did sleep; it was mid morning when he awoke he had slept 6 hours. He did not remember if he had any dreams. He was sure he had dreams and thankful he could not recall any of them.

He fixed his coffee and began to write. The herd was still, the stable was quiet. Lone beings in the herd would pass by chanting some hip-hop something. He watched others who stood around talking or just walking around having no place in particular to go. There was one in particular who would close off one of the outhouses and in the dark would execute a series of odd exercises in the depths of the outhouse only to surface to look around and see who was watching or see if any of the nobles were in the area. With regularity, he would emerge and spit into a trash container and sheepishly look around hoping to have an audience or an admirer. The strange being wearing a makeshift weight belt in the front hung another belt resembling a phallic symbol. The being would fondle the hanging belt when- ever he was being watched. He talked of sports, automobile, and motorcycles with a passion, recalling details of them from books he spoke as if he was an expert and would argue passionately to stress his recollection of what he read. The opinions of others became his as if he was the author. The being was arrogant and rude to any being that he could not use in some way.

There was another being a huge, rotund, obese being. His weight was well over 200 kilos. The being in for some crime as they all were, but his name set him apart from the others. He was named after the “Adriatic” sea and a singing group of old, the “Supremes.” In addition, the being’s last name after another singer of old, “Smokey Robinson.” His impressive name only matched by his massive size.

These gregarious being each one an individual yet united by a common threat, the thread of crime. He was not curious in any way of what they did or did not do. He had heard their crimes ranged from petty drug pushers and users, to an organized crime boss.

The crime boss, an ancient one who had his minions who cared for the ancient being they cooked, cleaned, and washed he ‘s clothes. They were paid well and in turn, they paid the other beings in the kitchen and other places to bring whatever this ancient being wanted. The ancient being and his minion were never bothered by the nobles, nor were their stalls looked at for contraband items. Even in here, the ancient being was still what he had been on the other side of the fence. His minions would write letters to his associates, preventing the nobles from knowing what he was doing. He chuckled to himself as he watched the ancient on shuffle around the stable. In the ancient one’s younger days, he strutted, but today all he could muster was a pathetic slow shuffle.

He returned from the noon feed an ethnic dish from the Central America, flavored rice, meat, and cheese. He made a large salad from all the food. A being gave his rice to he and he added that rice to his salad. He added some salsa, more lettuce, some corn, tomato soup, and a combination of ranch and other dressings. Today he feasted and left the feedlot with a full belly. He sat on his rack, his full belly resting heavily on him. He yawned, stretched, and decided to take a nap. It was raining outside and all compound work was cancelled for the day. Today he would rest. He was surprised the nobles moved him off the transient area into a stall way in the back of the stables. He knew the other beings in the stall with him. He settled in. He hoped to stay here until he was released.

He returned from chow. He took his pills and wrote in his journal what had happened today. He sat on his rack, leaned against the wall writing as if he didn’t have a care in the world and for a few moments, he didn’t have a care in the world. He knew this would change just as the days come and go.

He glanced at the clock. He would go get his pills within the hour. If it were raining too hard, he would forgo the slog in the rain to get his pills. He would be okay missing them occasionally. It was raining and he won’t go tonight.

He spent his evening talking and reading to his stable mates. One of them asked him if he would do his laundry tomorrow for a bag of coffee. He didn’t need coffee now, instead he told his stall mate, “Give me the soap to wash mine, and I will wash yours as well.” He said, “It’s a deal!” He got up at 4:15 and took the clothes to the washers they were busy. He waited and soon one load was washed, then the other. He had to wait his turn for the dryer. When the clothes were dry he brought them back to the cube, folded his stall mate’s laundry, then his own. He sat down and organized his locker. He rolled up a washcloth
and his boxers in a towel. He rolled his socks up in a t-shirt. When he went to the outhouse, he would grab his towel and his soap, put on his shower shoes, and go shower. It simplified things for him. The outer clothes he had on he took off in the shower room and redressed after he showered. He did not feel entirely comfortable walking to and from the shower wearing only his boxers. Some of the beings did as he did, other, had little or no modestly at all.

He went to the noon meal. He sat at an empty table for four. Two beings joined him at the table. He didn’t know them so he didn’t speak. He sat quietly eating his meal and listening to their conversation. It seems one had begun to have visions, “religious visions.” The other being was telling the first one that he had been anointed by God to have these visions. He listened to this dribble; he then informed the two that even through their conversation was interesting, he told them that it was damned rude of them to force him to listen to something he didn’t believe in. He said, “there is no go and prison was proof that god didn’t exist!” He said, “Beings use god as a crutch and emotional wheelchair, it also gives them an excuse to gather and have conversations.

Religion has made beings equal to themselves. A pretense so one being would have something in common with other beings. It seems god himself, a cruel god, wanted most of all to be loved by all and when he wasn’t loved, he created the devil and hell to force and coerce the love from the being. The pulp fiction of the bible says god made us in his image, in that case, we are the animalization of god!” With that, he stood, gathered his coat, his cane, and tray, and left the table, leaving the two beings sitting there with their mouths hanging open.

He walked back to his stable amid the other beings in the herd. Returned to his stall, and began his writing describing what had happened in the feedlot in his journal. He talked to his stall mates. Told jokes and clowned around. Actually, he acted foolish in front of them. They laughed at and with him. They had fun for a while. He felt at ease around them. He farted and ran everybody out of the stall. He made it smell like a real stable of animals. He cackled and laughed. It looked like he was having a mental collapse, or it could have been some bipolar dysfunction. He and his stall mates sat around reading or playing cards. As he wrote in his journal, they were waiting for the count. Then it would be off to the evening feed. He did not know what his mates were going to do. He was going to write in his journal and maybe just maybe watch some TV.

He wrote in his journal and finished the book he was reading. He lay down, covered himself up, and slept. He slept like the proverbial log and he dreamed sweet, sorrowful, tempting dreams. Once he woke and found himself in a state of arousal, a wondrous state he had not been in a very long time, he turned over, held himself, and drifted off to sleep. He woke once to use the outhouse and again for the morning feed.

He trudge his way to the feedlot the sky was unlike anything he had seen in a long time. In the sky, there were two distinct layers of clouds. The lower level a dark gray bordering on black, drifting across the sky like a plume of oily black smoke the upper layer an ominous solid mass of thick dark grey clouds extending from horizon to horizon not unlike the clouds he held in his heart. To the east through the trees on the horizon, a fiery mass of reddish orange pink light burned through the clouds coloring all it touched. The fire light even touched his dreariness and despair.

Upon his return to the stables, he prepared a cup of coffee. The black sweet elixir he drank cold, not hot. He sipped the brew, swirled it around in his mouth, sucked in air over the liquid in his mouth. His mouth was alive with the sweet taste, the full body. The aroma and subtle nature of the coffee he swallowed and repeated this ritual several times while holding the mug close to feel the steam that was rising on his bearded face. He hugged his mug as if it was his prize possession. The mug wasn’t the prize; the coffee was his greatest joy that he had now. He dreamed of better days to come.

He sat there thinking, dreaming of better days and that old feeling of melancholy began to creep back into his mind like the clouds that he saw this very morning. It seemed to drift back into his mind. He said, “Life with better days to come.” He rested his head in his hand, staring at the paper. He sat there thinking. His thoughts interrupted by the murmur of the herd around him. He had no idea what lay in store for him upon his release, much less what lay in store for him in the next few moments. He leaned against the wall, wincing in pain from his knee. Sat up and dangled his leg off the bed, hoping the pain would subside soon.

He sipped his coffee again. Savored it and began to write. He began to recall some of his dreams from last night. He smiled, thought to himself, only if it could be so and a bleak smile crossed his lips. Only if it could be so he dismissed the erotic dreams as folly. Oh, wouldn’t it be nice were his last thoughts as he closed his eyes.

The melancholy thoughts charged into his mind wrecking, destroying his dreams. He felt himself sinking his mind growing dark, then even darker as he sank into the abyss. That damned abyss always there, always dark. Yet, it wasn’t as deep or as dark as it once had been. He clung to the cliff wall mustering all his strength to climb out of his melancholy abyss.

He in an instant became very tired as if he had no energy at all. He was tired of climbing, tired of trying to find his way out of these highs and lows. He however, did not have terribly high highs. It seemed his highs were like a normal mood, neither up nor down, nor high or low, when he sank to his lows, all his energy disappeared his will to power his will to live collapsed in a heap, a tangle of negative self-destroying thoughts and sometimes actions. When in this melancholy state, he thought of ways to end his life. Anything any object. He thought how he could use that to facilitate to use it to help him kill himself. He remembered the one single night he spent in the SHU, the time al the nobles said was a mistake in the paperwork. The truth is had he not written the three letters that took so much time to write, he without a second thought without a doubt, would have committed suicide by hanging himself from the bars in the SHU cell.

When he was released from the SHU the next day, he should have been thankful that he was still alive. His thoughts were he had written the letters his will. Next time he would not have to spend the time writing when he could be hanging himself. He fondled the three letters, put stamps on them, and wrapped them in a piece of paper. Placing them in his locker, he never knew when or if he would need them. He closed his journal. He would no rest a bit. Maybe this feeling of melancholy would pass soon. He slept 3 hours. Upon awakening, he drank the last bit of coffee in the mug, the peeled and ate an orange. His cube mates came in. it was close to count. They sat and talked. He wrote in the journal. One stall mate even read his preliminary outline for a book he was going to write.

He stared at his journal. He couldn’t think of anything to put down on the paper. He sat looking around thinking, listening. A being walked into the cube and asked EM for a soda pop EM gave him one and said just replace it. The other being after chatting a while left to go back to his stall. He sighed, stretched, and died a little more as he had done a million times before.

New beings came and went, arrived and departed changed cubes some left never to return, others leave to return and then brag and have a reunion with the ones they left behind all smiles and happiness. These beings have it better here in prison than they ever had when they were free. Here they have a place to live, three hot meals a day, all the food they can steal from the kitchen and a job that pays them some money. It seems the beings, which are the same color as some of the nobles, have 3 to 4 jobs that they are paid to do every day. Yet they work only part time or not work at all then they moan and complain when they are reminded that they have a job and made to do some work. While other beings would beg for some of those job” but can’t get them cause all the positions were for the blacks.

Several beings came back; two screwed up at the camp and came back to the LCI. They have it made at the camp. To screw up there to come back here the beings are truly morons. A being went to the SHU today for what we don’t know. They packed him out. He won’t be back until the holidays are over. It is bad enough to spend the holidays in prison, let alone in the SHU.

He looked at his make shift calendar. He had two more to do after this one. Time had passed quickly since the last Christmas and a lot had happened since then. He rested his head in his hand and thought he had lost everything and what he hadn’t lost was taken from him. He was kidding himself if he thought he would be able to make it back or have enough to retire. He would be sixty. He might have 10 years left to work. Whatever was going to happen, he would have to be very lucky or very smart. Fortunes had been made and lost in 10 years. He just wanted to live with decency and a¥ little comfort. He could always win the lottery. With his luck, his winning ticket instead of receiving the money he would have to pay them. He would wait and see what would happen. He had time and two options. Besides working, those two options were his last resort. He sighed, closed his journal, sat back on his rack, and cursed the darkness. He died a little more as he had done a million times before.

He returned from the feedlot where he ate rice and chili. He would need his antacid pills before too long He began to write in his journal. He felt the ground fall away from his feet. He was in the abyss. He cursed the darkness and began his accent. He grasped the walls and his solitary climb up and out of the abyss.

He climbed over rocks that felt so familiar. The aroma the texture of the rocks so familiar yet somehow very strange he climbed hand over hand. He found a crevasse where he could walk upright on the slope. Leading up the crevasse and out of black basalt, thrown up from the bowels of the earth the rock; born from a fiery molten birth now after these millions of millions of years worn by time, eroded by wind and rain, shattered when the earth shook and old cold dead landscape inhabited by one solitary living being.

That being was he, the creator of the abyss. The abyss existed in his mind his living private hell. He would continue his climb, he would stumble, he would fall and have to start again, yet each time he entered into the abyss, and it would be not so deep. One day the abyss would be nothing more than a shallow ditch in his mind he would not even know when he stepped into it or walked over it.

When I look into his eyes the reflection I see in him is the true image of me he you see here is me.