Homework theme: a resolution impossible to keep
Robert leaned back on his thin, lumpy mattress, interlaced his fingers behind his head and closed his eyes in an attempt to block out the surrounding noise.
“New Year’s resolution time,” he thought. “Why not?” New Years’ resolutions were an exercise in futility for most people, but especially for Robert.
“May as well make it a humdinger, then.
“This year,” he decided, “I’ll go to church every Sunday. That big church where they greet you by name and you know that they know if you’ve skipped a service.
“I’ll hold doors open and carry packages for all the women, even the ones who don’t look like they’d appreciate help from a man. And if they yell at me, I’ll let the door hit them where the good Lord – no, no, I won’t do that. I’ll smile, hold the door, and continue on my way.
“I’ll go visit Ma in the nursing home every Wednesday and Sunday after church. I’ll sit there patiently while she tells me what a disappointment I turned out to be. If it’s a good day and she doesn’t remember who I am, I’ll give her an extra kiss on the cheek before leaving.
“At Christmas, I’ll throw money into every Salvation Army kettle I see. I’ll even smile at the bell-ringer. They have it rough. You wouldn’t catch me out there doing what they do. And I won’t just throw coins, either. It’ll be dollar bills.
“And I swear I won’t put a gun in people’s faces and demand all their money. It’s easier than getting a real job – but if I’d made that resolution years ago, I’d be able to keep all the other resolutions this year instead of sittin’ here in prison, in the middle of a twenty-year stretch for armed robbery.”