Thursday, March 31, 2005

a tale of several Chrisses.

For the duration of his detention, things were remarkably peaceful around here, but shortly after Chris's release, my gate was kicked in for the first time since his arrest. It was probably a coincidence, in fact I'm sure it was but that, in addition to the unwelcome presence of his one time best friend's truck in my street, followed shortly thereafter by the presence of the best friend himself outside my house, left me a little bit wary about what the fuck was going on. This guy is also called Chris, so for the sake of clarity, we'll call him Chris-2, and the Chris this story is about, Chris. The first time I had contact with Chris's parole officer, Christine (I shit you not) was last year and in an effort to seek reassurance about his mental state and my safety.

I spoke to her again this morning, and this is where it gets off the point and onto the subject of truly weird coincidences.

Chris only recently become her client, so while I was enquiring about him last year, her side of the long involved discussion was in reference to another client of her's with a very similar name. So similar in fact, that again for the sake of clarity, we'll call him Chris-3. Thing is, I know Chris-3 already as he's a cousin to a good friend of mine called (wait for it) Christine, herewith referred to as Christine-2. Chris-3, by the way and in good company with Chris and Chris-2, was also a suspect in my Housebreaking And Trashing Incident of 2001.

I don't mix with criminals as a rule. I know both of these men because of their familial connection to Christine-2, who is very much NOT a criminal.

As an absolute aside, in my home once and all at the same time were three Chrisses, one Christine, two Lisa's, a Wayne and a Dwain. Whoa.

Back to this morning's phone call with parole officer Christine. Once we were clear on exactly which Chris we were referring to, and that we were each referring to a common Chris, we had a lovely chat. The synopsis being that statistically speaking, petty criminals see the light at around about the age Chris is now, and so discontinue with their law breaking and violence, if it indeed existed in their younger days. They begin to learn how to deal with confict-which is often of their own creation and from their inabilty to deal with adversity- in a more constructive manner, and begin the walk away from their old life. While I can't be sure this is the case with Chris, and despite his past actions, nothing about his behaviour at present suggests it isn't.

Christine has made herself available for the discussion of any future concerns. She encouraged me to take him at face value, but to also, if I was considering taking him up on his offer of coffee, to not drink it if it smells of almonds ask him if he's in counselling or anything, and then gauge his response. Obviously anyone with a criminal record or a history of mental health issues isn't going to gleefully admit to gaol time or recurrent bouts of ECT, but his reaction, if any, should give me a better idea as his head space. She's confident that there's nothing subversive about his intentions, that he probably is trying to make amends, but she's also certain that one never really knows what's going on inside someone else's head.

I admit I have a certain curiousity about his motives. Ostensibly he contacted me about that speeding fine, but since he spoke of it for like, a minute, I'm not sure it wasn't an excuse. I admit too, that I'm entertaining the idea of seeing him, but I'm certainly not planning on it.



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