It is a rare gift to be able to recognize your own faults.
|Thursday came and went with no fanfare. It came and went without a new suit, without the standard $50 cash, without even a speech and good wishes for the future from the warden. Thursday should have been the day for all that, but not only had I not shortened my stay by even one day with any time off for good behavior, I had indulged my tendency for bad behavior so often that I had racked up one hundred additional days tacked onto my sentence.
A hundred more days spent alone in this 9 by 12 foot echo chamber. A hundred more days of waking up to the banging on the door that signals my breakfast tray is about to be slid in through the drawer in the door. A hundred more times the bare bulb overhead will keep me awake in the afternoon when I would rather be napping. A hundred more times to fear my dreams at night, when "lights out" means being plunged into darkness so complete I feel like I’ve been swallowed up in its emptiness.
To tell the truth, I deserve every one of those days. Not because my infractions were so vicious or malevolent. Nope. These were stupid incidents, just me mouthing off or purposely irritating the guards. Heck, half the time I wasn’t even acting out of temper. I don’t hate the rules because they’re unfair, I hate the rules because I don’t want anyone telling me what to do.
If you think about it, that kind of makes me the most dangerous kind of criminal there is. I don’t have to need something to be tempted to steal it. I don’t have to be angry to punch someone right in the face. I just have to be told that I can’t do it.
So, I have a hundred bad days, a hundred days of bad attitude. Another hundred days to break more rules. Another hundred days to find more ways to prevent my release. Another hundred days in which the system will lock me away by myself in this solitary cell. And that’s where I belong.
Because I am the most dangerous kind of criminal there is, and I can’t stop myself.