If you follow either of my other blogs, you noticed that I've been on vacation. My two weeks off of work started with visiting Monty. It was nice, because I was off and we could do something during the day. His work schedule put him home around noon, and the plan was for me to come over on Tuesday afternoon, and he'd take Wednesday off so we'd have the morning.
He called late that Monday morning while I was driving home, so I did not pick up the phone. The message he left was full of despair. "I've been fired," he said, "so you can come over whenever tomorrow. I'm going to talk to my therapist, be back around 1, call if you can."
I learned that the losing of his job was a direct result of the aforementioned press release. His immediate boss was apologetic, saying he did not want to do it, but it was over his head. That's a small comfort, if it's comfort at all. Still, the result is the same: no job. No getting out of the house during the day. He might have some way to fight that decision, a guilty plea is not a conviction, but is it worth it? How is he supposed to look for another job? He needs the income, needs to build his savings for when he gets out. The depression in his voice was clear as bells.
He asked me why. He knows he did wrong, he's trying to do right, to pay for his crime, to change, to heal. He wanted to know why it was coming at him from all directions, why punishment is coming from unexpected corners when he's working so hard to take responsibility for what he did. I told him that his actions, all actions, have repercussions, and since this is unknown territory, he's finding those repercussions in places he didn't expect. It's all part of the same fee he must pay. "I guess you're right," he said, resignedly.
So, we changed our plans a little. Instead of waiting until the afternoon, I went over in the late morning after most of the traffic had gotten out of my way. And, instead of staying the night, I continued to my parents' home in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. I have to admit to lying here. I needed to get my car fixed and had an appointment at 2:00 in the afternoon Wednesday. It would have allowed me to stay the night at Monty's and make it in plenty of time for my appointment. I told him that the appointment was 8 and I couldn't stay the night. I feel only a little bad about it. Knowing what I know now, the thought of having to sleep there makes me uncomfortable. I was happy to find a way out of it that didn't involve the painful truth.
A teacher in my faith once showed me a passage that was a code of belief and conduct. I don't remember enough of it to site, and I'm not among my books and notes at the moment. The line I remember is that we must always speak the truth, except when the truth causes harm. We strive above all else to not cause harm to others. That is why I was only a little sorry for the lie. It protected him and spared me.
We had a good visit. We watched silly cartoons and movies that we knew line for line. A few times, he would bring up his situation, and then apologize for doing so. He said he felt bad because it always seems to come up when I visit and when we talk on the phone. He's right, it does. But it's a part of his life, it's something he and everyone who knows him must face. And, if he needs the outlet, that's one way I can support him. I can't relieve the guilt he feels for it, though.
He called last week, but in the midst of my hectic vacation, I did not return his call. He called a couple days ago, but I haven't checked the message yet. Things are still not settled down from my being away. Maybe I'll get a chance to catch up later. This is where things are since I saw him last.