Wake-up call

Safrit, Matthew

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Wake-Up Call By: Matthew “Matt” Safrit Nash Correctional Institution is a retirement home for child molesters. As such, it is presumably the softest prison in America. Rather than being thankful that their lives are not in danger every time they come to work, the correctional officers are emboldened by their governing of the frail, and become tyrannical. You know there is literally nothing happening at a prison when an institutional shakedown is conducted to confiscate cardboard from people who are using the boxes to hold miscellaneous items such as books. At 4:45 AM, we hear “wake-up call, wake-up call” to prepare us to be counted. At 11:00 PM, we hear “wake-up call, wake-up call” to prepare us to be counted. You read that right. Sleeping people are woken at 11:00 PM to be counted; we can never get seven hours of sleep; the old and the frail are sleep deprived. “Wake-up call, wake-up call...” Searching for purpose while being buried alive is a burden in itself. Some mask their allotted worthlessness with dreams and beliefs, but Reality is always waiting to say “Hello,” wrapping her arms around you with a cold embrace as she whispers in your ear “wake-up call, wake-up call...” She preys on the unsuspecting. She approaches with a smile—no one who lives long enough can hide from her love. When a critically invasive mind is buried alive, nihilism is a logical obstacle that haunts every moment of despair. Drawing in the nihilistic whirlpool, I embrace a universal mysticism because it makes logical sense and coheres with my experience. On top of that, it makes me feel better—what could possibly go wrong? In mystic absurdism, I do not know. I am, I suppose; and things are constituted outside of ‘me’ in a way that inclines my mind to believe external reality is real. Whether I interpret reality properly is another matter; however, I do have reason to believe it exists. The outside world is painful. If mysticism is true, then God bears the world’s sufferings as well because a Loving Being allows a world filled with evil to continue existing even though the God desires nothing but good. God, apparently, suffers along with the conscious. On May 14th, 2021, sixty misfits arrive at America’s softest prison. By May 17th, there have been multiple fires, a stabbing, and the tyrannical correctional officers are being ran off the block. “Wake-up call, wake-up call...” At America’s softest prison, officers used to ‘play’ prison—this made them obnoxiously oppressive to people for wearing hats in the chow hall. Now, at America’s softest prison, officers are scared to work on Unit 2. “Wake-up call, wake-up call...” One could call this karma—what goes around comes around. The gestapo have met Nuremburg, and have been found guilty. Reality has shown up, with a smile, to say “Hello.” One might even say, I suppose, that God is, therefore, good. Perhaps everything is okay. Perhaps I should just follow the recent inclinations of my heart and just love people. Perhaps I should find the compassionate side of anger rather than spite, and perhaps maybe, juust maybe, everything really is being taken care of... all for the better. Reading a Sufi translation of the Qur’an, I encounter the words: “To Allah alone are clearly known the secrets of the inscrutable destiny of every being. Allah Most High knows from within every life lived on the land and beneath the sea. Not a leaf falls of which His embracing awareness is unaware. There is not even a single grain of sand in the obscure depths of the earth, nor any plant, blooming or withering, that is not recorded in the Transcendent Qur’an, which is the perfectly clear Awareness of Allah...” So far, so good... While reading this verse, I am interrupted by a friend who tells me of a report on the Spanish News: A well respected member of a Mexican community, a long time, and long loved, local butcher of age seventy, has had body parts from at least thirty different women, who he raped before he murdered, found in his house. Likewise, a police officer of twelve years is discovered to have a back yard full of corpses... How Reality loves to smile as she sneaks up for a hug. How she loves the unsuspecting... the content... the happy... Sickened, I reflect for a moment on my newly acquired numbness... my sickness... my emptiness... twisting and turning until they are unified into a new experience which my limited concepts can only define as ‘hollow...’ and I turn back to the Qur’an: “My cherished human beings...” What a joke... I softly close the book. “Wake-up call, wake-up call.”

Author: Safrit, Matthew

Author Location: North Carolina

Date: 2021

Genre: Essay

Extent: 2 pages

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