I’m sitting in the basement lunchroom attending a seminar about marketing, but I have no fucking clue what in holy twat it even is. The woman teaching us has a mild midwestern twang to her voice, which isn’t enough to render her incoherent, but enough to make her irritating. The lesson, thus far, has gone the way of most other corporate lectures: boring, lazy, uninspired. We have managed to cover the most mundane of tasks including signing into an unresponsive network, troubleshooting a bad connection, and filling out a few password reset forms — none of which were relevant to the actual topic of the seminar. During this failing diatribe she managed to push the words, “handy” and “dandy.” I want to gouge my eyes out and throw them at her. If you couldn’t tell, I don’t like this woman. I’m sure that she’s very pleasant, but I just don’t like her. There’s something about her that makes my skin crawl. Maybe it’s the unrelenting unmotivated drawl that seeps out of her perfunctory grin. Maybe it’s the fact that she’s the harbinger of four hour seminars that make you realize how much your life sucks. I don’t know how this became about her, I think I’m just projecting because I can, and it’s convenient, and I’m uncomfortable. I hate the shirt I’m wearing. I hate the way the back of this seat pushes me forward and crunches my stomach, making my already enormous gut mash against my conservative button down and distort the fabric. This, like most things, serves as a reminder of my girth. The top of my thigh is sore; or is the bottom of my ass? I could never be sure when my ass ends and my thigh begins. It’s 10:30, still the morning, and while time is something of an enigma I can’t seem to shake the dread that I felt upon discovering that my cat vomited on my bed. I’ve decided to switch chairs, but I don’t want to make a scene or want people to wonder why I switched. I think about the person next to me, offended by my move, taking it personally. I want to say something, but they wouldn’t hear me and I would have to gesture or write it down, and more people would look up, and more people would wonder what was wrong. I just changed seats, but in doing so I accidentally kicked the empty chair in front of me. Everyone stared at me wondering what the commotion was, and wondered why I moved my seat. The person I was sitting next to is looking at me, puzzled. The other chair was worse, so I switched back. To make matters even more uncomfortable, someone came in to look in the fridge while I was switching seats and, to put it mildly, I think someone must be storing body parts. I started to worry that people would associate the sensory onslaught with the smell of my rancid anus lifting from my chair. This smell was punctuated by someone else in the seminar, a coworker, who said to the woman, “The fridge smells like garbage when you open it.” Everyone laughed, except the woman, who delicately raised her hand to her nose and scoffed. I looked up at her, stone-faced, and thought, much like your mouth.
The proceeding is a response to the general consensus of comments posted to the article, CHILD RAPIST RAPED, Stitched By Medics, and RE-RAPED BY 20 PRISONERS.
The difficulty with language is that sometimes it fails to capture the essence of one’s emotions. Every word , being defined by other words, leads to a circular reasoning, which only serves to become more abstract and meaningless the more you try to understand it. It is no wonder why words, as deep as they cut, cannot draw as much satisfaction as actual wounds. It seems natural for us to desire justice akin to the suffering endured by the victims because, “talk is [just so] cheap” and sitting around all day having your needs met by the law-abiding tax payers hardly seems like justice anyway.
Let’s reflect on that last, often overlooked, statement – a tired point raised by those who never bothered to think about what it is they’re actually saying. Yes, we strive to make the prison system as comfortable as possible with three meals (and snacks!) a day, gym facilities, activities, religious service, therapy, healthcare, education, etc. The reason we try to treat hardened (and not so hardened) inmates like this is because we are not punishing them – we are rehabilitating them. We have moved from the vengeful torture and suffering days of old to the enlightened modern era where we now have a better understanding of why people do the things they do. The purpose has always been the same, which was to change bad behavior, but now we realize that there are different, more successful, and more humane ways of getting there. As a victim, I realize this would not satisfy me, but this is why victims of crimes do not get to decide how justice is best served. Closure for the surviving victims of all crimes come in all sorts of different forms, but it should not fall on the suffering of the convicted. Bad things happen for all sorts of reasons, most out of our control. If we are always reliant on the suffering of others who may have caused us anguish to gain closure, what then of the things caused by things without people to blame? I just think that we are better off with a shift in our thinking when it comes to our emotions; they should belong to us and not have to rely on the well-being (or lack thereof) of another.
The last point is a quick one on suffering itself. There is no benefit to the suffering of others. None. There will be nothing gained by anyone. That satisfaction one might feel from seeing another in pain is nothing compared to the humanity they loose as a result and the never ending desire to want to see more. As long as they are wreaked by the pain of their loss or enveloped in the cloud of their own suffering, they will never be satisfied.