Days that melt into one another

12 Apr

A long slow day that as sodden and as miserable as prison can be. A monday in civvy street is a depressing part of the week for most people. Sometimes Mondays feel good, a new week to tick off has begun, but with little to keep me occupied beyond writing, at the moment, today feels somewhat worse.

That sensation of being trapped and unable to leave the prison, makes for such inner gloom.

Just because I am not trapped in a metal cage doesn’t mean I’m not trapped in any other sense. My life can’t begin fully until I walk out the front gates on their terms. A month in and many more to go, I’m starting to get irritable. This week is number 5, I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be close to the end. It will come, patience is an attribute I’m still working on.

I finally pick up my radio, I look forward to buzz free listening. Not having to hold my arm in the air, or hang the radio off a ceiling light fitting, just to get signal. As if that yard will make any difference in the whole scheme of things, where radio waves travel through the ether.

In the mail room today I’m perked up by a backlog of letters forwarded on from Wandsworth, there’s a prison letter in there too. It’s from Darren, I rip it open and trot back to my cell to start reading it all.

My original diary entry wrote this as:

“I felt like a squirrel, racing back to his home to bury his armful of nuts”

It sounded dross; so I’m only going to refer to it, as an item that fell on the cutting room floor.

…and rightly so.

I try not to write like a CBeebies script writer.

Back in the cell. having returned from B Wing office, there’s a note on the floor. It’s a B Wing Call Up slip.

What’s a B Wing Call Up slip?

It’s a sheet of paper advising you to report to B Wing reception and collect some paperwork. Sometimes it is simply a reply to an App, others it could be collecting a sealed response to a complaint. Having just got back from there I immediately turn back to see what awaits me in my filing cabinet.

A response to my application to be a billet cleaner. Single cell and free time in the day to devote to study and writing.

The App I’m told, is going to be put in the in-tray of the cleaning officer. Did they need to call me up to tell me this?

Day 37

Wet again.

Canteen day brings a cheer to my week. I spend the morning causing untold damage to a door frame in Carpentry, at lunch Delroy returns to the cell after one of his rare occasions out of the small room; angered by an ‘Electronic Tagging’ rejection form.

“Offender not UK Citizen”

As I’ve said before, he is and his passport to prove it, is in his locked property box here.

It’s a bit of a ‘Computer says no’ situation. As annoying as I find him, I don’t take pleasure in his discomfort. He’s harmless and just a belligerent old man. He has been advised of his appeal opportunities, but they won’t be heard till November: 4 months away. It sounds to me, that an appeal isn’t necessary, just someone taking a personal, bottom-up view of the situation. This bureaucracy and bad communication doesn’t do the prison service any favours.

Later in the day, I deal with an altogether different type of John Lewis list than an MP is used to. I submit to Ex-Politician Elliot Morley, a duvet order form, after ‘Property’ here rejected one brought in for me by my sister.

No sooner have I put my order in, I’m offered an unused still wrapped one from an inmate on my course who had another sent in from home. The spare is sat in his property box. Leaving Ford soon, we discuss me buying his off him at a discount. I head back to Elliot and cancel my order. I could have a duvet much sooner than I anticipated. A small completely irrelevant luxury to you reading this, but a home comfort I’m reminded I miss every night.



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