7 Mar


The sun’s beating me black and blue,

from the morning wake-up,

stand up, come unstuck and shake up,

there’s condensation and the new day’s happiness evaporating,

Jail fiends and bad friends permeating,

Shame my name and terminate him.

 Man it’s devilishly hot today, even terrorists won’t test this day.

PLUNDER, the officers A/C

THUNDER, footsteps chase me,

CHUNDER, you can’t catch Masey…

Obviously you can…. I’m writing this from prison.

Day 16, it’s dead hot, where the sun’s rising and strikes our polished floor, that’s red hot.

Actually it’s London’s hottest day in 5 years – little fact for you. Do what you will with it. What I’m doing with it, is fully appreciating, quite exactly how hot it is. Take a normal external temperature and ramp it up right the way to the ‘Insanely Bastardly Warm’ level and you have understood quite how revolting I feel at this point.

This place is very humid, the smells of poor sanitation, bad hygiene, cheap tobacco and the smoggy outside air mix into a cocktail of stench. There’s a parasol in this cocktail too and it’s ripped with the thoughts of a lifetime of futility, wasted souls perished, as the parasol has too. (I’m smiling as I write this – maybe my humour has darkened already.) This cocktail of stench, a smell you can’t forget; scars your senses, like the jangling keys and the slamming doors, I will always know where I am if I smell this vile odour.

Outside, two inmates have a slanging match protected from one another at the moment by a locked metal gate. The argument’s over cell cleaning, one’s not pulling his weight. On my own landing, i poke my head out the door and a man with a blue mask is heading my way. I don’t write of blue masks often this is because, right this moment, the reason there is a prisoner walking around with a blue mask on his face is as foreign to me as it will be to you reading this. This presumption assumes you do not work in the field of Respiratory diseases. I notice as he walks down the wing, others step back from him, heads down, they step well away.

Is this man a vision of unprovoked violence?

Is this one to fear?

Only if you fear disease – I’ll be a little more descriptive.

5 foot 6 maximum, approaching his 60s, slight, wiry, grey and strangled hair of several feet in length wrestle with the air behind him. Gnarled, worn and drawn, the unkempt man, a tramp in his heyday; is feared to have Tuberculosis. He’s not alone, there’s another who arrived today on the First Night landing. I’ve never seen a man with a mask stroll around in public, now I’ve seen two.

There’s unlikely to be much grasp of the dangers of contagion of TB amongst fellow inmates, so the standard practice is to pull your t-shirt over your nose and shuffle out the way. Does this help? Can we catch it? Goodness knows, but we aren’t exactly being kept abreast of the situation either. I’m personally more amazed they’ve got someone to share a cell with him. Out pops Gollum, or as I call him ‘Fingers’. Gollum – not his real name, whom I refer to as Fingers,has black and brown digit tips, brought about through an addiction to Heroin. A pastime that requires holding a flame close to your hand and melting the solid lump into a vapour to be smoked. I’m judging from the shade of darkness here, he smoked a lot of Heroin.

As for the man in the mask, his nickname is the imaginatively titled and deviously cryptic, ‘Masked Man’.

I’ve been the Disgraced Banker and you’ve been a great audience, until tomorrow.


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