[ahym haz kuhm tuh–dey]: This psychedelic soul classic was written by two of the four Chambers brothers, Joe and Willie. Joe wrote most of the lyric after sitting in on a class at UCLA with Timothy Leary and taking LSD. Willie put the music together and contributed the line, “My soul has been psychedelicized.”
The House That God Has Forgotten Part 68: Taking down the little guy.
I was in the elevator today…taking that long ride up to the 12th floor. You now that trip like all those rides on the elevator in The House That God Has forgotten. You stop on every floor, 90 per cent of the time there is no one there. You stand there. Sometimes leaning on the walls, sometimes walking back and forth (like I do) or perhaps just looking straight ahead as the numbers turn.
Sometimes I really hate being in the elevator. You end up being in there with total strangers. I hate small talk. “Oh, are you going to lunch?” (No shit I think when I ask…they have food with them and are on their way to the 3rd floor).
Anyway, I was in the elevator and I ran into an old friend. I call people I know at The House That God Has Forgotten my friends. We have been through a lot with each other. Sure I do not sit there and go out with them after work when I am off and take a coffee or even eat lunch with them for the most part…but we have lived together. We have lived together in The House That God Has Forgotten and that is a solidarity that is forged in stone.
This guy I met in the elevator has seen me at my best and my worst. He was there when I was suicidal and was one of the few people who generally tried to stop me from doing anything stupid. I would go on a bender. Drink a ton of vodka and lie on my living room floor and think about how I would or should do it. Not thinking about my daughter or my family in America. The only thing I cared about was “Who will find my cats?”
That is was kept me alive.
He noticed. He made a stand and pointed out one night when I was in one of my more desperate days of my breakdown. He asked the VB to give me a call. I still remember the call…his skåne accent asking me if everything was ok.
It made me snap out of it that night. Which was a good thing.
So this is why I call the people I work with my friends…
I saw him in the elevator and asked him how he was doing. This guy has been washed up and thrown out like a dirty rag in The House That God Has Forgotten. He is smart, he knows the system and the job. He is awesome to have on your side when you have to fight the system (trust me from one of the many issues I have been through with the higher-ups) and if you are the system you need to watch out more than ever because he knows more than you.
You see after all those years he has remembered things. Instead of just going to work and not giving a shit, he sat there and analysed everything. And above all he memorized it.
He stands there in the elevator and tells me he is physically hurt. To be 100 per cent honest I have no idea what it is. I tend to play like I know what people are talking about. Usually by nodding my head and saying “um humm” over and over again. (Honestly, I was fucking lost. His head could have been falling off for all I know)
He tells me without not so many words that they have broken him. That they have forced him to walk the corridor (after being pushed out of his home on another floor) and it has run him down.
How can you expect anyone to run up and down the same hallways for months on end every day without a break not fall apart? How can you really expect that of someone born in the ’60s? He is in great shape. But even myself as a 44-year-old could never handle it.
Then I realize why it is so hard for me to understand that we are no heroes in society. Let us not even start about how we guard criminals. I think already we are way underpaid for that…but how about what we do to our bodies?
Bad backs and twisted knees. Wrists that are fucked up from opening and closing cell doors. The walking up and down sounding like a flight attendant all day. Thermos, Coffee or tea, here is your food, gym, shower, promenade, oh and you have a visitor.
Even in my job, you have your problems. Bad backs from old broken chairs. Problems with your wrists, your mind on overload because you are sitting there all day watching people and waiting for something to happen.
Overweight, underweight (shockingly I see a lot more of the latter) people with muscles that eat all the time, and people that look…average whatever that is.
All of us broken. Falling apart. Not just like my friend here.
Is his case however it is personal…the bosses hate him. They love to screw with him and it is because he well…says what is on his mind. They overlook the good stuff he does. Like how he can talk to the wildest of inmates and get them to be like a tame house cat, or how even if he wanted to be..he is not…lazy.
I will be the first to admit that I am completely unstimulated by what I do. It gets old looking at you all the time. Going here, going there, pushing a button and complaining about having to wait a few seconds.
What gets me to want or even dare to go to work is the people I work with. The times they make me laugh, or I make them laugh, or the inside jokes.
Something that everyone on every floor has.
And I look at this strong man. This force to be reckoned with and see how they have physically broken him on some revenge plot over nothing for anything else than saying what is on his mind.
Kind of what I do here, but he is much braver. He says it to their faces. I just smile and act like I have a big secret world when I write here.
After over 30 years they should let him sit back and enjoy the end of his ride. Not break him down and try to destroy him physically.
Even after 1 year, 5 years or even 10 years should they not do this. (And they wonder why so many people quit).
As I read in a book one time… when i think of him there is only one sentence that comes to mind.
“And Jesus wept….”