Gate Star

There's a term in prison slang: Gate Happy.

If you're gate happy, your release date is days or a few weeks away, and you're feeling bouyed up and optimistic, looking forward to it. You're still on the inside, but you're nearly out.

Even if there's nothing for you on the other side of the gate but a nebulous freedom and a whole lot of concrete problems, the prospect feels better than a stone box.

Well, I've got two weeks to go. And I'm feeling pretty good about it - with the inevitable downside that time can really *crawl* when you're waiting.

As for what's waiting for me...hmmm.

* A bacon sandwich. Yes, I'm perfectly happy to live without pork, but seeing as I haven't had it for over a year, I want it.

* A midnight meetup with my married, closeted friend. Yes, I'm perfectly happy to live without, erm, porking, but seeing as I haven't had much....

* A replacement laptop. I don't live online, but pretty much everything I do except basic biological functions involves a computer. Sometimes two.

* Parents and friends. You don't need to see them very often, but it's good to have them available.

* The Doctor Who 50th Aniversary Special. Plus a year's worth of other recorded TV and radio, so I can be a complete and utter couch potato over christmas and new year, munching my bacon sandwich in front of my new laptop.

* Same old same old. The plan was to wait out the recession while getting moderately rich doing a job I enjoyed. Now I'm bored with the job, not well paid and the recession's still going on.

* Little holiday, big plans. There's a lot of things I want to do or try out. But talking about them seems to make doing them more difficult. Which is either a profound psychological insight which explains much human behavior...or me being a bit weird.

* See the world. Some time off teaching followed by a job in a decent school will hopefully turn me from a tired old lag (more prison slang) weighed down with experience...into an experienced old lag weighed down with wisdom.

I want to try a different country. 

How to Say Goodbye

Three ways to leave. (1) Talk the boss out of his fantasies, so he'll fill out the paperwork which will allow me to leave. (2) Get driven to a country that doesn't need the paperwork, and buy a plane ticket there. (3) Put a brick through a window so the police will deport me. The fantasies of (1) are: That this business which has been bankrupt for 6 months can be turned around and transformed into a cash cow which will make the boss enormously rich. That I am not out of patience with his incompetence and utterly bored with working here. That his one asset (yours truly) can be persuaded to stay, with promises of becoming enormously rich (see above). That breaking several laws by keeping me will go miraculously unnoticed by the authorities. Oh, and that the other school in this town which went bankrupt and the two others which soon will be...are exceptions to the rule. Oh, and that being 2 months in arrears with the rent for my accommodation is neither a breach of contract nor liable to become a problem vis-a-vis my having a place to live. And that I am not as a consequence moving all my stuff into the classroom, just in case. I have actually lived IN a school before - working in Bulgaria for a different delusional incompetent. Oh, and that refusing to answer the phone is an effective coping strategy. Oh, and that I'm prepared to put up with this shit. As for option (2), Interlink - the incredibly slow and bureaucratic company which owes me wages for 3 week's work - should pay me, and the other three teachers it owes, by the end of this week. Which will enable me to get a plane ticket and a ride to the airport. This would entail breaking fewer regulations than staying - go figure. Alternative (3) is a last resort. Making plans is the easy part. Now for the hard part.


1) Leaving soon. Finish the month's course, sell the school, arrange the trip home.2) Laptop dead. See you when it's revived, or there's a new one. 3) Sending from the phone is a pain.