One Man’s Home
House arrest. It used to be a joke. Faggy little ankle bracelet, weekly meeting with the parole officer. It was a hundred times better than prison, because you got to be with all of your stuff, your books & your magazines (and I know simply because I remember owning paper media I’m ancient), your movies and your games. And you could cook your own food, sleep in your own bed, wear whatever underpants you felt like.
On top of that, it meant you got to avoid the real punishment behind our kind and conventional prison system: no other prisoners. You didn’t have to worry about who was going to kick your ass for glancing in the wrong direction in the showers, or if you were actually going to get to eat today because some moose might feel he deserved seconds more than you deserved firsts. And no rape; as a man who is neither ugly nor big, traditional prison would not have been kind to my rectum- so that’s a plus, I guess.
See, I actually thought the prosecutor was doing me a favor when he suggested that I be considered for the new house arrest program; I sincerely believed that the judge was showing lenience when he granted the request. But then I found out that they locked you out of your home computers- you know, the place you keep pretty much all your stuff these days, your digital movies and magazines, your music, newsfeeds, your phone program- everything. Not only did they lock away all your old stuff, but that meant you couldn’t get new stuff.
It also meant you got whatever cheap shampoo and conditioner, soup base and papery lunch meat the Department of Corrections procurement flunkies could get for pennies on the dollar because it was basically going to expire the second it arrives. I’ve learned to cook, I guess, so, you know, woohoo on the learning of lifeskills- assuming you can count boiling bologna with a can of beets cooking. I mean, if I could access the internet, even for a minute, I could snag some recipes and maybe be able to make a meal fit for a human being, but of course that’d be a nono.
I can hack the lack of privacy- I mean, most of us have gotten used to the fact that there are cameras pretty much everywhere; and really, I popped my masturbating while I’m pretty sure another dude’s watching and probably touching himself creepily cherry a long time ago, but- frick, I almost forgot- there’s no porn. I’ve seriously already used up all of the memories of ex-girlfriends. I’ve gotten so desperate I’ve been trying to spark new fantasies, try to take the cute (kind of) assistant D.A., get her hair down, tear open those stalkings… and that’s about where it all falls apart on me, because it’s so unreal, because I can only hear her talking in my own voice, and I only see her naked in this ridiculous, childlike approximation of what a naked woman is, and I just loose it entirely.
As a result, I’m so horny now I usually wake up dry-humping my mattress, which I guess would be okay, except there’s this button that keeps snagging my pubes- and it’s usually the combination thrusting/plucking action that wakes me in the first place. It’s getting so I’d almost prefer to have a sexual predator roommate- not as much for the sex as for the companionship (although this is probably the lack of rape talking- being sexually assaulted has a way of limiting your need for companionship). But someone to talk to who would give or take sometimes; it’s amazing how much you can miss being held.
I tried smearing crap on the cameras, to get the screws to discipline me or yell or something, but they just tainted my beef supply, and I slept through the entire thing. The only difference was they took away my pillows and blankets for a week, so I slept a little worse, which as a punishment was really pretty lame. But you know what takes its toll more than anything, what wears on me harder than the loneliness and the boredom (and really makes the both of them so much worse)- I can hear you. I can tell when you’re watching a movie with your friends, when you’re just talking with your lover, I can tell when you’re making love; I can't make out specifics, but I can differentiate situations. Society, reality, life- they’re on the other side of my wall, so close I should be able to touch them, smell them, taste them- but I can’t. The walls are too thick, and the insulation does its job too well. I watch the world through frosted glass, and listen to the dull, inarticulate sounds of human existence without being able to participate.
If you have any mercy in you, please, just make them take me to jail.