So Proposition 8 passed in California last November, rescinding the right for gays to legally wed each other. And because of this the gay-rights cause has rallied all over the country and it's not unreasonable to expect new gay marriage bills to begin appearing on ballots nationwide. I personally believe, given the long overdue liberal direction our country is heading in, that gay marriage will be customary in all states within the next two or three decades.
What is the federal government's stance on the issue, or do they even have one? Sure, weddings in a legal sense are usually state sanctioned, but all of Washington, D.C. is a federal district; surely people must be allowed to marry there. What happens when Rove and Cheney come out of the closet and wish to walk hand-in-hand down the aisle? Is there some sort of federal legislation specifically prohibiting them from marrying? This bizarre line of questioning was inspired by something I recently read in the Rules and Regulations handbook I was issued upon my arrival here in Terre Haute. Section B, Article 8 states that with the warden's approval, marriage services can be performed inside the prison. But that's a little vague, isn't it? I mean, this is technically federal land, so would the marriage certificate be issued by the feds or by the State of Indiana? And what about the eventuality that gay marriage becomes legal; there certainly is no stipulation written in my book forbidding inmates from marrying each other. There have been a few times when I've noticed Ruby [see post "The belated bio"] shakin' that little ass of his/hers and thought to myself "Now there's one who's the marryin' type; one I could bring home to mom." Could I marry Ruby? After all, what's more beautiful than when two men find true love in prison? Or how about my roommate? What would the warden say if I submitted a request to marry Brad? In the off-chance that the request should be approved, there better be a pre-nup, because I'm filling out the divorce papers right friggin' now.
Seriously, we may not be getting divorced, but it's time for me to find a different roommate. I've been with Brad for well over two months, and that is easily a record. Describing me as a picky celly would not be unfair. Actually, it wouldn't be unreasonable to call me an outright asshole. The average roomie of mine lasts anywhere from 3 hours to 2 weeks before he is strongly encouraged to find another place to live.
Brad, though, has been an excellent guy to share a cell with. He's intelligent, generous and extremely respectful. We get along spectacularly, yet I still feel a strong compulsion to leave the cell. For really no good reason. We've had our disagreements like any two people would in such a circumscribed environment, but nothing major.
One we had not long ago was especially petty. We've got a steel shower in the cell which has the habit of occasionally turning on by itself (it operates via a push-button) and will only turn off when someone pushes the button again. Last week the phantom shower does what it does as I am up in my top bunk writing a letter and Brad is down below reading a book. Because it's much easier for the guy on the bottom to stand up, push the button and sit back down, tasks such as button-pushing logically fall on bottom bunk residents. Now, our shower is nothing if not hot, so as Brad remained in his bunk while the water steamed and the cell fogged and the walls started literally dripping with condensation, the thought suddenly struck me that perhaps Brad wasn't going to push the button.
"Hey, Brad," I said, "you think that you could, um, turn that shower off?"
After a moment of deliberation he said, "Why? I didn't turn it on."
Can't argue with that logic.
That was nothing though. A man with even a moderate amount of magnanimity would brush it off as nothing. And I tried. But an inattentive reader may have forgotten that I am a self-professed moron and I've allowed the phantom shower affair to sprout within me a seed of aggravation. I will certainly not find a better cellmate, so it's not as if the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence. Appears a little browner, if anything. I just crave change... That's the best-looking brown grass I've ever seen, this green crap has lost its appeal.
Time may change things. Switching cells isn't as easy as snapping your fingers, so a move may be more trouble than it's worth.