10 April, 2024


I do a lot: President of the Speak Easy Gavel Club; head of the prison media center (aka XSTREAM); host of Real Talk, a televised forum about issues affecting imprisoned people; showrunner for several regular TV series; producer of a daily news broadcast; events coordinator for monthly speaking engagements, graduation ceremonies, and concerts; liaison for the ERDCC book club; and more.

Day to day, I fill several roles that demand a high level of performance brought to life's little stage. There's showmanship in what I do, but I'm really using the word "performance" here to mean "engagement" — attentive dedication to a task.

I make time to breathe. I do stretches in the morning, before leaping down from the upper bunk, because I know the day won't afford time to do them later. Moving forward, I keep a natural pace. I try not to rush. Sometimes I even dawdle. But my time is limited and other people's needs are frequently great, so discernment is required. You have to recognize the difference between a necessary pause and a waste of time. Amid the passing of hours, I weigh every moment, then lean as close as physically and psychologically possible in the direction that keeps me most balanced. The key is not to tip over. People think I do a good job of staying on an even keel. There was a time when ANNOYED was my default mode when interfacing with the world, so its fascinating to me that I'm now regarded as a chill dude. "I never see you look annoyed," an acquaintance said to me last week. A lot of the time I'm just too busy to be irritated. When you operate on a higher plane because some driving purpose compels you forward, there's no incentive to get lost in the weeds, obsessing about tetchy details. You literally can't be bothered with little shit when all your concerns relate to matters of sizeable significance.
I started this post to kind of talk through the awe that I sometimes feel at how busy I am. Sometimes I ask myself if I'm a workaholic. As long as I can continue to answer "no" to that question, I figure I'm good. It's just that I get to fulfill so many useful purposes through my job, to be creative, to exercise some agency during my life of confinement, and to make money on top of it all. May I be forgiven if I like these things too much.

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