Day 28 – The Lunar Month

2 Apr

Boom, 28 days done, the hallowed lunar month. The moon waxes and wanes its way back to where it was the day I got sent to prison. It seems so long ago now,  the unknown, the letting go, the uncontrolled detachment from my family and life’s little luxuries. Landed in the lap of the lost and I am a little more comfortable in my skin again. As Jeffrey Archer put it:

“I’ve been to hell… this place is practically Heaven”

I get up at 8 and head to the dining hall to sample a cooked breakfast, courtesy of the Queen. It’s not Claridges but it’s better than prison oats (Superfast – as they are branded). A choice of 3 items from Halal sausage and eggs; boiled or scrambled, toast, chopped tomatoes in sauce and baked beans. Thankful for the boost in protein, a nutrient that is lacking from the diet inside, I wolf down my selection sat alone on a table nearest the exit. With an hour to kill before the second gym session, I have nothing to do but stand outside and listen to the conversations between other inmates. From the banal to the downright fabricated, these individuals represent an amusing diversion to listen to. I ascertain the following:

– Many apparently have a multitude of women on the outside – Described as:

“I got some next-girl on the regs”

– A concern over money worries in this credit crunch is not isolated to the outside world, on the contrary, I hear from one chap:

“I got bare tings coming up for making P’s, you get me…” (Sounds like a question, it’s actually a statement, fyi)

– Not forgetting, the summer weather reminds us all to be conscious of our own body image:

“I’m on some MAD workout and diet, to get hench man. It’s some secret workout from an A Cat up north.”

These are just a fraction of the conversations I overhear, stood amongst the bone-headed and the bone-idle. I’m sure there are others who struggle to hide a smirk or two at the pleasingly pathetic subject matter that echoes from such environments. It is endearing really to know that even those the newspaper’s condemn as thugs and villains, are equally as insecure as the rest of us.

Sat on the concrete floor playing chicken with Hemorrhoids, I figure out what I shall do in the gym. In the background my thoughts are jarred with the frenetic chiming of the sailor’s bell attached to the chapel. It’s a call to prayer, Christian style. It may be a sunday but my body is my temple.

I smash out Daz’s circuit in the gym and have breakfast mk II in the billet: green tea and peanut butter on toast. I have a visit later today, it’s my first brush with loved ones since Southwark, I decide to save my hour of walking until after the visit. I’m expecting to eat a good deal of junk food, I may need the exercise. I spend a half hour writing in my diary and try calling R.

The British Grand Prix helps kill off a little more time, I can’t tell you how excited I am to see my friends. Freedom if only for two hours within a secure environment. G and Clive are heading down, ecstatic I am even able to tolerate Delroy, as we watch Button, Hamilton and the incongruously named British F1 driver, Paulo Di Resta. It soon strikes 2pm and I leave my shadow standing as I fly over to A-Wing to hear my name get called out for a visit….

Joining the massed ranks of the equally as chirpy ‘men of shame’, I jostle with others around the screw’s reception desk. I’m nervous, I’m excited, I’m anxious…

“Mason”

Yes! I hear my name.

I run out the building over to the visits hall; the gym as it was earlier and get ready to see my mates.

 

 

 

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