Apr 24 – Closing Week Three

April 24, 2009 – Closing Week Three

It’s the last day on the paint job for me. I’ve enjoyed being employed. Hmm. That rhymes.

I told the mom about the advice I would give to a novice guitarist. She loved it. All her son listens to right now is Iron Maiden (which is classic by definition). So I said, “Well they probably listened to Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, or Cream when they were growing up”. She got really excited and said, “He wouldn’t listen to me if I told him that.” (here it comes) “Would you tell him that?” Geesh. Seriously? The pleas of an excited mother and the opportunity to positively influence a future guitarist…my heart ran away with my head. Before I could even consider it, I said, “Sure.” Why not? What’s the worst that could happen? Oh yeah, I could go to prison! So I dreaded the whole rest of the day. I made up my mind that I wouldn’t say anything to the kid unless his mom or my crew chief was around. And that’s exactly what happened. We were all in one room near the end of the day, so that’s when I talked to the boy in front of everyone and they all listened to what I had to say. And he was receptive. He thought it was a good idea. Suddenly, Mom and Dad’s music isn’t so far removed. Although…Iron Maiden? I was a kid when they were big…

I got to talk to a cousin of mine that I haven’t heard from in probably 5 years or more. My family isn’t close to begin with. They’re kind of backward when it comes to being social. And I’ve acted shamefully in their sight, so I’m not really the most popular family member. I was talking to Dad and he caught my cousin off guard (and me) by handing her the phone without telling her who she was talking to. So, we talked. She was happy to hear from me and excited to hear how I was doing. And I was excited that she was actually happy to talk to me. At the end of our brief conversation she said, “I love you Michael”. I cried. Outside of my parents and support family, that’s the first person I’ve heard tell me “I love you” in years. I imagine a person with a visible disease, someone who hasn’t been touched by another human being because of their afflictions. Then, one day, someone gives them a hug. Can you imagine the joy that person must feel? Their heart must be ready to burst. That’s how I felt. That someone who cared about me touched me.

I got some sad news today. A friend of mine who is in the same program with me was taken to jail last night. He’s been out for about 2 years with no violations. Apparently he took a new sales job recently. He disclosed to his employer that he had a felony, but not what kind (a sex charge). So, after a few months of doing good on the job and making sales and all that, he gets assigned to deliver some goods to a school. He knew he couldn’t go, but didn’t say anything for fear of retribution. He figured he was just going in, doing business with the principal, and leaving. He wasn’t going there to offend. He didn’t plan to get this job to gain access to school to offend or anything like that. So he thought he could go this once and be ok. Problem was, he was assigned to that school twice more. And he went twice more. But he knew he was wrong, so he asked some of the guys here what to do about it. They said he had to be transparent. So he came clean with his boss first and his CCO second. His boss fired him and his CCO arrested him. A day in the life of a sex offender.

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