This week has been nothing more than an exemplification of sloth. After the big move out of cell B-213, the process of adjusting to a new roommate and new cell atmosphere provided me with a perfect excuse to do absolutely nothing of any substance for the past six or seven days, instead choosing to observe my new celly in his environment and study his habits. This process takes several days and is not at all as easy as one might imagine, being by far the most difficult part of a cell transition. It involves spending no less than 72 hours crouched in the corner of the cell camouflaged with blankets and sweat t-shirts, disguised as an occasionally-quivering pile of dirty laundry. This is an important task because as the subject adjusts to the presence of another male's pheromones in the air, anything besides the utmost furtive movements will send him into a rage. This unfortunately means defecating into a plastic bag and drinking my own urine for hydration until a bond of trust can be formed and the subject develops an acceptance. After the initial 72 hours, it is finally safe to emerge from the stinky-laundry cocoon. The actual visual presence of a rival male will startle the subject initially, which provokes quite a bit of chest-thumping and grunting in an attempt to assert dominance. This is all just part of the instinctual ritual, though; it is customary and necessary to hoot and holler and growl right back. It is the subject's natural inclination to establish himself in an alpha-male role, but he is temporarily blind to the fact that he is no longer part of the pack and a role of dominance in his current world is not only unacceptable but also self-defeating. Once the subject is finally adjusted to the new presence and his attempts at dominance have subsided, creating trust and rapport is important to truly be accepted and share in his hunting strategies and his environmental network. Establishing such rapport is most easily done by showing excited interest or even wonder at the subject's communications and also by the sharing of food items or other sundries. Such acts create a bond which will eventually transcend to trust which stems from a feeling of provisional security.
After 20 years in the concrete jungle my subject still did not know how to create fire. When this feat was demonstrated to him, my status was lifted from intruder to demi-god. In return for providing him with the technology to brew hot coffee, I was given a banana. Two, actually. And a cup of coffee.