By Robert Pruett 999411, aka Simple Man
Week 25 2006

June 25, 2006

Welcome to another edition of "The Life of a Simple Man!" All apologies for the cancellation of last week's excerpt. Our facilities were shut down due to an increased workload, impossible deadlines, inadequate equipment, and incompetent staff. We've since reduced our workload considerably, but we're still working with antiquated machinery and, for lack of a sufficiently descriptive euphemism, our employees are retards! (BTW – the “employees” and “staff” are me!)

I got some depressing news about 10 days ago. My cousin Jerry died in his sleep several months ago. He was a year younger than me, same body type, same blond hair, although he was a bit shorter and he had awesome green eyes, mine are doo-doo brown. He left behind a wife and kids, three siblings, parents and a bunch of family that thought the world of him. I'm not sure about the cause of death. I seriously doubt it was drug related, he was one of the few in the family without a proclivity for substances, although I guess anything is possible, especially in my family.

I haven't communicated with Jerry in about 11 years. I was pretty close to him and his little brother Tom, though. Tom and Jerry, just like the cartoon. Their mother Marcie must've been stoned when she named them. One memory stands out more than any other right now: They were living in The Cove, a Peckerwood neighborhood on the outskirts of Orange, Texas. I'd been up all night getting high at my cousin John's house down the street and decided to walk over to Tom and Jerry's to see what they were up to. Their living room was dimmed and Angus Young was screaming full blast, "You, shook me all night long!" through the monster Alpines. Jerry was splayed out on his couch, arms streched in a T and legs propped on the coffee table, with the coolest shades you've ever seen and a smile from ear to ear. I was wasted and the sight of him like that made me laugh. I plopped down next to him and removed those shades. "Who the fuck do you think you are, dude?!"
    He just smiled at me. I'll never forget that smile. I remember thinking that the handsome devil would soon have all the girls chasing him. He was the coolest kid in the world right then and there wasn't anything anyone could do to change that. I put his shades back on him and we sat and listened to several AC/DC songs before I passed out.

I've thought a lot about Jerry and many of the times we spent together since I heard about him dying. Even though I've pretty much forgotten my family (it's easier that way, especially when they don't even write), the news of Jerry's death hurt like a sonofabitch. He was one that I thought was bucking the norm in our family, living a good life with a great family and doing something with his life. I've heard that his wife is beautiful and his kids as bright as he. I've heard that he had his own place and a good job, that he was clean. Despite the fact that he never once thought to write me, and even if he did decided not to, I was pulling for him. Now he's gone. One second we're here, full of life, the next we're gone. But HE isn't gone really. I get it. Just the form that we grew to love. He did what he came to do then he left. See you soon, Jerry.

A few weeks ago I wrote about human behavior and its causes. I didn't really elaborate, I don't think. I do recall my main point though: there are an abundance of factors at work that influence our behavior and we're not as autonomous as we would like to think. The New York Times printed an article ( titled, "The DNA AGE: That Wild Streak? Maybe It Runs in the Family," by Amy Harmon. It's a good article on the genetic component involved in human behavior. I encourage all who are involved in the abolition movement and other justice reformation groups to read that article and to investigate the topic, it should be a valuable tool for your cause(s). We live in an era where science rules, you gotta use it to back up your position or you might not be heard.

I dreamt that I was lying in a meadow with dense forest encircling me and in this dream I was dreaming. In that dream I was lying in a meadow with dense forest surrounding me and I was dreaming. In that dream I was in the same meadow, trees all around, dreaming. It was like looking into a mirror at another mirror, at another mirror, at another mirror. Dream overlapping dream, overlapping dream, overlapping dream; all the same dream inside the same dream. And it all seems to reflect the prevalent theme in my life these days: I'm trapped in a dream. Actually, trapped won't work because somehow I wanted in, like I asked to come or something. A fucking dream. Surreal. Awesome. I wonder if I could somehow shrink to the size of an electron, or even smaller, and float my ass up out of here, then consolidate into me again on some island where I could swim all day, play music all night, and gratify my every desire in between? Huh? It don't work like that? I gotta play by the rules while here? Hold on a minute, when I dream I can do all these things and then some; if this is a dream, why can't I at least fly every now and then? I feel stupid. Don't pay any attention to me, I have multiple personality disorder! :-) I'm bullshitting. I'm healthy mentally, it's this damn body I’m in that’s deteriorating on me. I think it knows it's dying. Like my mind, my body’s retarded. It’s cool though, it’s all a dream; all is good in the eyes of god. It's not bad being here; I feel that I'm progressing, doing what I should, enjoying the moment provided. It's cool. One of these days I'll be back in that meadow, at one with the field.

One Day at a Time,
Simple Man