By Dick Johnson
When I got out of prison, I tried to go straight. I really tried. I had spent my time locked up preparing for the right kind of life when I got out, but I just can’t do it.
I got a job at a hardware store, and I paid my bills, just like everyone expected me to. But, I cannot stand being a slave and scraping to get by.
I went to church, and gave my life to the Lord, and I really believe. God knows I do. But, I can’t do it.
I work hard. I do my job. But, it’s never good enough, and my boss wants to talk trash about my work. He wants to treat me like I’m a liar and a thief, just because I was locked up. He wants to disrespect me and run his mouth. He wants to threaten to violate my parole, and get me sent back.
I’ve looked for other jobs. But, they are more of the same; just slave labor to a different boss. Since, I’m a felon; it’s hard to find work, because people won’t hire me. Of course, I’ve had some possibilities. Dish washer or janitor, working part time, but that’s it.
To be honest, I have no idea what I would like to do with my life if I could. I have never known what I wanted to be when I grow up. I never have. It has tormented me, my whole life. Why am I here? What would I even go to school to be? What jobs or business would I like to pursue? I have no clue.
I like writing. But, I always got too drunk to write before I got locked up. I did some writing in prison and it was a great release for me. I’ve tried to write but it really never goes anywhere, except for a few, “atta boys”.
I have tried everything I could and reached out in every way. I tried helping people, through church. I tried volunteering. I have tried everything, and nothing has taken off, or allowed me to have an ounce of respect for myself or from anyone else.
So, I am done. I am going back to crime. That is the only thing I am good at. That is what I am, that is what I grew up in, and that is what I was born to be.
I wrestled with God about it for a while. I really tried. But, I was done. If a cop, a soldier, a judge, a boxer and a politician can all claim to be for God, then why can’t I? What’s the difference? I gotta earn a living, why do I have to be a slave to do it?
So, I’m done. I decided that my first crime was going to be robbing my sack of shit boss.
Wish me luck.
(Bio: Dick Johnson is a writer from St. Louis, Mo.)