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13: Lonely Circle

It's taken me a bit longer to get this post out. I came down with a nasty head cold that took me out for almost 4 days. I've also been paying attention to the plight of the Jan 6 trials. I get pretty angry reading what the judges are saying, and how the media portrays everything. It's all purposeful, and it's meant to destroy. I pray daily for all of the Jan 6'ers regardless of where they are in the process, whether it's working with attorneys, waiting for a plea, going through pre-sentencing documentation, serving a sentence, or done with the formal part. All of it sucks.

I left off laying out that I was deserted by the closest of friends, co-workers, and some family. I was not without a few supporters, but there were many whom I have supported in meaningful ways that assumed I was an "insurrectionist".

I didn't understand the judicial process. I had never stepped foot in a court outside of a local traffic court. I had not been on a status call. These would happen approximately monthly, and they would pertain to when discovery would happen, when a plea might be offered, and, mostly, scheduling the next status call. Nonetheless, I didn't know if something would come up that would be a big issue for me, so I would get anxious.

The conditions of my release were that I could not go outside of a 50-mile radius without court approval. Here's the thing - I wasn't working, having just sold my business. I couldn't really look for a job while in the middle of my legal problems. Having been etched into every Chicago TV and news outlet's Jan 6 coverage material, I didn't feel comfortable going to church. The one thing I could do, though, is drive.

I spent most of my life in the Chicago suburbs. Some of them are beautiful. There are great parks and places to go and things to do. Downtown Chicago, before it became a crime-ridden cesspool, has been an exciting destination for theatre, sports, and fine dining. I really didn't think much about the rest of Illinois. I didn't have reasons to see much else. So, I decided it was time.

I would drive for hours. I might put on music if the mood felt right. I would generally listen to my favorite podcasts. I also got a paid youtube account so I could download and listen to other items. For example, my wife and I explored the southwestern limits of a 50 mile radius listening to a series on the book of Revelation. This series would eventually take over 20 hours of listening!

When I was by myself, though, sometimes I would listen to nothing. Silence. I would look straight ahead and try to feel. I would feel nothing. Sadness didn't really fit - it wasn't time yet for that. Anger? Well, sort of, but only when I thought of a focal point for my anger, like a person or a conversation. Resolve? For what? I don't even know what happens next. I had explained that everything happened in a "Shock and Awe" phenomenon. Having my physical, emotional, rational, and mental self so completely taxed with reacting to completely unfamiliar surroundings and events made me feel nothing. I'm not even sure I thought about anything.

I will tell you, though, that there are parts of Illinois, especially along the Illinois River, that are nostalgic in nature. Many small towns on the river, or on the way to the river, have a main street right out of the 1950's. Some have outdoor walls painted with local events, like the Lincoln-Douglas debates. This would take my mind off of my own situation, and I would start to enjoy specific routes and drives.

I prayed often, for understanding and hope. I know there are so many Jan 6ers who are in a much worse situation than I was. I would read about terrible arrests, FBI raids, and the DC Gulag where people like me were being put in solitary confinement, refused medical treatments, cannot speak to their attorneys, and in some cases, beaten. Is this my country? Is this what my country has become? How did this happen? I knew there were so many others facing the ire of this government, but there is no place to really connect. I prayed that Americans would share in the feeling of injustice of this whole thing.

Surely, people see now that locking up people with a sincere concern for fair elections is pure lunacy. Or evil. Unfortunately, for much of my time, it was the opposite. While I no longer received crazy emails or actual hate mail, the appearance in public was that I should be shamed, that I'm in a cult, that there's no way there was fraud in the election, and if you even try to mention it, you are an insurrection supporter, and believe the "Big Lie".

The psychological operation at play would, at times, work. I would feel like I must have done something that is far more wrong than I understand. Our society had been shown that protesting against our government is ok. Even if it gets rowdy, there are no real consequences. The "Summer of Love" showed us that, from Minnesota to Portland, to New York, and Chicago. However, it's clear that only applies to one side.

Since I couldn't get a job in this environment (nor did I want one), I took on many projects around the house. I replaced a basement door that had water stains from a flood years earlier. I replaced a sink. There were some plumbing enhancements. I took on woodworking projects, like building an outdoor box for storing grill supplies. I even organized all of the paint cans in the basement. You know, the cans from two homeowners ago that dripped onto the shelf. All taken care of.

I also used some open space at the building that houses my ex-company to create an office. I own the building, and had used this space for a homeschool group to use for extra curricular activities, like photography, painting, and video. Since covid, they have not been meeting. I needed to feel like I was going to a place of importance, where I would redefine myself. What did I do there? I taught myself Python (programming language). I learned about cryptocurrencies. I learned how to use API's. I wasn't sure what I would do next, but I needed to get new tools in my toolbox. I would also follow other J6 cases. I would be in the office 3-4 days per week, about 6 hours per day. All the time knowing that (with one exception, my business partner) the people a few doors down had not said a word to me since Jan 6.


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