My friend’s mother wrote me recently and said, “It would be pretty cool if you could just imagine yourself as a fly on the wall, observing the different people you meet, and how they deal with their situations. You could probably learn alot about human behavior doing that.”
Wow! Now that makes me think. If I was just an observant, stationary, fly on the wall, observing totally unique human beings coming in and out of jail cells, what type of coping mechanisms or madness would I observe on a daily basis?
I have been in jail for about 100 days now. It has been the longest continuous stretch of incarceration amongst the men who are in this dorm with me. I am starting to become bored of the endless card games, and growing tired of meeting new people who come into the dorm on a daily basis.
It’s not the change of new faces that I am getting tired of. I personally like and welcome change. I am just growing weary of allowing these transitions of people to shake me. It’s easier just to start ignoring the new people, and just focus on my life. My life seems to be the only thing that is constant in here. I have found a place to retreat from all the madness of jail on my bunk. I find peace sitting there in solitude, quietly observing everyone else come in and out of jail.
Recently, I have been spending 2/3 of my days in my bunk writing about my ideas and reading to find new ideas. My time so far in jail has been changing me. I am learning to be much quieter than I have ever been in my life. I listen a lot more. I don’t need to feel entertained all the time. I am patient to let life come to me, rather than trying to chase it all the time.
There are 22 men living in this tiny jail dorm. I watch arguments, friendly-relationships, and bizarre personal quirks happen on a daily basis. I am realizing that profound insight can be learned by simply laying back and watching the complex and simple natures of human beings. On a daily basis, I watch friendships form from caring hearts, and fights erupt from the stubborness, pride, and greed in all men.
I watch men in here make allies, and then sometimes those allies turn into enemies within a few days. It’s pretty eye-opening to realize that all relationships are formed by choosing to either get along and work together, or discriminating and hating the other person because you don’t like or agree with them.
I am starting to feel like just a “fly on the wall” in this jail world. I am starting to see how our over-complicated system of communication can get in the way of one of our most basic human traits which is to be easy-going and just get along with our fellow human beings.