I landed a full-time desk job for the first time in 20 years. I’ve been at it for about a month.

As a joke I’ve compared the lifestyle adjustments I’ve had to make, after 20 years of the flâneur lifestyle, to that of celebrities or the wealthy sent to prison. Before getting locked up they might get coached and counseled on how to be a good prisoner, and what compromises they should expect to make.

In no way would I compare a paying job to being a prisoner. But there are parallels when it comes to freedoms I once had. I can’t shit whenever I feel like it, which has already caused some internal discomfort. I can’t just decide it’s time to watch some porn and masturbate. I must eat lunch at a time set by someone other than myself.

But these are not compromises or sacrifices. These are insignificant behavioral adjustments.

I’ve encountered two situations, however, which illustrate how I took on this arrangement without leaving my past life behind. I still have radio stations and YouTube videos. I still have websites with their oceans of overshare ramblings. Most of that runs on autopilot but problems still occur.

One example of something I had no ability to address was when my PBX disconnected from the DID provider. I have no idea how this happened but all calls to the phone numbers that connect to Payphone Radio and Practice Room Radio went to a voicemail greeting that I did not set up. Neither of those lines should go to voicemail at all.

The Payphone Radio was a particular concern on that front since it uses the number of the old Apology Line. Apology has been gone since 1995 but people still call 212-255-2748 to leave messages. I did not acquire that number with the intent of reviving Apology in any form, and I emphatically do not want to be responsible for handling calls from pedophiles and child molesters.

My concerns on this are not hypothetical. For a brief period of time after acquiring that number it did, indeed, field a series of calls from a child molester, with more detail than I had need for in my life. Fortunately for my conscience this person was registered and publicly known for his actions, leaving me off the hook for feeling any need to report him.

But for one day last week the possibility returned that the old Apology number might receive calls of that sort. As far as I could tell I had no ability to resolve the problems with the PBX. The only option would have been to access the FreePBX admin interface over my phone, but I had failed to add that login info to my device. It could have been possible to connect to my home PC via remote desktop but I had shut down the PC for the day.

I straightened all this out end of day but it was a reminder that I don’t have the agility or nimbleness I did before to manage some of my own affairs. Nothing of tangible or financial value was on the line, so I just took it in stride.

Another example of my inability to perform once simple tasks involves the 181, my PO Box and public mailing address since 1990 or 1991.

The USPS sends me emails with photographs of all mail received at the 181. About 5 weeks ago I received one such email showing an intriguing looking letter. The format of the address on the letter affirms the sender found it on my website contact page, where I use the zip code format I was given by the post office back in 1990/91 (I don’t remember exactly when I first rented the 181). That zip code was 10185-0002. I don’t know that the zip code I was given ever officially changed but today most mailings go to 10185-0181, even though I’ve never given out an address with the zip code +4 in that format.

The letter appears to be from Japan. I get letters like this on occasion, from individuals unknown to me who just want to check in and say hello.

In the past I could take my time and head to the 181 to pick up something like this whenever I felt like it. These days, working Monday-Friday 9-5, it’s impossible since the post office is only open Monday-Friday. It’s too early in my job, which is in Lower Manhattan, to ask for 3-hour breaks so I can bolt up to Rockefeller Center just to pick up a piece of mail that has no timely urgency about it, at least none that I know of.

There is one person I know who could possibly have picked it up for me. I would have had to get the key to the 181 to him, and he would have to go out of his way to pick this up and get the letter and the key back to me.

But he and another candidate for this arrangement were out of town. One other individual was a possibility but it was too much of a stretch, I think. With nothing of urgency at stake I had to let the intrigue linger for about a month.

Today this mystery will be solved. I will walk the walk, a journey to the 181 that should be one of my once-signature double-digit mileage treks, the likes of which I now cannot indulge in as regularly as before. I am perfectly fine with that, by the way. Those long walks were the stuff of soul-searching and learning but I can’t help think much of that time time was wasted.

As for the job it is one that I’ve been interested in for a long time. I like it, but have no intention of sticking with it. The pay is not good, but I knew that going in. I took this position out of want more than need. I’m basically losing money at this, which I cannot afford to do for very long.

At this point I am not comfortable revealing the employer or other details, for a variety of reasons. There is nothing weird or secret about this. I’m not working for the CIA. I just don’t like talking about where and when I work.

But based on certain aspects of my past I feel like getting this job has been a kind of performance art, or a coup. Maybe all will be revealed. Or maybe I’ll conclude that it’s a boring tale, exciting only in the corridors of my mind.