RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE.
Monday 8th through Sunday the 14th February 2010.
The only thing one holds dear in a place like this is HOPE: …. “And Hope they say is precious, however remote it could be and desperate hope they say can make optimist of any of one of us”… from the Book “Lineage and other stories”
Hope, I believe is what will keep us through here, hope and our faith in what each of believe in, will one day take us back home to our loved ones. We hope that we don`t stumble into other`s path and become hunted as it has become the norm here.
The weekend came and gone rapidly, finally got the password to the laptop and had to use it all day on Sunday from morning through 6pm lockdown time. He has arranged someone to pick it up from me, guess the rental business is paying him good, as we pay $10 to use it. It is even better than paying $3 for an hour; I make proper use of it whenever I get it. Was able to update my blog and get current news of what is happening around the world, since the Panamanian news are filled with homicide, news about carnival and advertisement of anything under the sun; selling laser brush that will turn every bald man`s hair into afro, ya right!!!
MONDAY started as everyday, since my incarceration, came to find out as one wake up every morning, things may look same, as it will be same routine, same people, same sort of languages and same Sh..t happening in the centre. But everyday day is born pregnant with its own secrets unknown to man. One can make plans for the day as I always do, but end up not fulfilling any of those plans, sometimes you watch as those plans vaporised into thin air and that we can liken to our lives here, many live will be wasting away as many are not doing anything to put a check in their lives.
Up and picked our BF, this midget of a guy serving BF hasn`t been doing us well, in this place people will do anything for nothing. The bread were not complete, didn`t have enough strength to complain, as I plan to meet him outside and talk to him. He is short Colombian who was caught on the sea with his Boat full of the white stuffs and he`s been locked up for seven good years without trial. But he made good use of his time by turning his body to one big mass of muscle, it`s like no fat has ever come near him, he has the keys to the box in the gym and the six pack we are crying for, he`s got it and got extra. But he is also a mean business man, as he sells Snicker Chocolate, Cigarettes, Eggs and anything you want. But he does not sell white. He stutters when he talks, so he is always laughing and once sold things on credit to me, but didn`t give me my change of 50cts, didn`t take it serious, and that is why I hate buying things on credit, love paying cash and off with you.
Dressed up and up for my daily walking and jogging, my body has been aching as I have been doing loads of weights and the muscles are coming up, people noticed it and many are asking if I was training back home, well, I did trained but off and on, wasn`t a gym addict, but now I guess I will be. My right knee has been aching badly, had it bandaged and walked instead of running, I hope there`s something good walking under the heat of the sun. I walked till almost 1pm, sneaking into the gym to do some chest and biceps ops. I felt good after the training and it was all good, seeing my body back in shape.
Didn`t make time to the library as I was into a new book, all the stories had moral endings and it was good as most were about prisoners trying to escape and other things that happened in Prisons, could make an analogy to our centre from the book. Learn some few tips on how to live among cons and stay free from harm. You can either pay you rent to the hard guys or those that got big guns, guess like the real world the strongest nations are those that got the biggest guns. So also here, got enough guts, bigger Knife, and the know how of using it, then homage will always be paid to you. That, we are going to experience soon.
Monday was nice and as every other Mondays it went fast, at lockdown, we had our normal chitchat and it was fun as our Mossad agent guy has his buddies on TV, the President has hired Mossasd trained private securities as his personal bodyguard, one will think that it`s the Nation security agency that should provide the president with security, but here, I guess he knows what he is and what he is into, so he went for the best and bet ya, he`s paying those Mossad boys above the roof.
Watched couple of movies as that is the best we can give ourselves since the Panama TV don`t offer anything real, all we see are old movies and repeat, and since we don`t have cable, so we are left with our ripped movies. Jail is the only place one can do that and the movie industries can`t do no sh..t about it, we read of people being sued for downloading and sharing files online, well if they know the sheer amount of Music and movies files that flows around prison, guess they will start focusing on suing.
Lately been so tired, guess from the training and walking under the heat of the sun, went early to bed and that was Monday….
Tuesday, 9th February 2010:
Up as usual, got our BF and didn`t get back to bed, but stayed up and did some reading and writing some lines of words, want to start writing songs…. guess I can do it as I`ve some time, matter-of- factly, there`s no time, even in prison, time flies, use to think that one has got all the time, but lately got to know how fast it goes, so one has to plan and make use of it. One of my Pan buddies been incarcerated for 6 years and still have 8 more to do and he tells me, it`s like yesterday. And in those 6 years, he hasn`t done anything about his life, he went to jail when he was 15 for killing another youth in a gang battle. That`s how young this guys starts with the gang thing, the numbers of homicide in Panama, I guess is more than that of Europe combine together and mostly by minors. That is alarming!!!
PRISON BREAK PART II
Well, back to Tuesday, while we were sleeping some dudes were busy planning and nursing something special. Those things has never crossed my mind as I always think where will I go to and what about my family, well if wasn`t a husband and father, I would have given it a second thought.
We had our SECOND PRISON BREAK (PART II), barely 6 weeks from the first one and what brought the new Director here. But this time around it wasn`t just one fellow, 6 inmates broke away to freedom and life on the run. I wonder how they will live, 6 were from Pabellion and were Minors turn adults… though we still call them Minors as they all look like Minors, some will tell the have kids, and you will be looking into someone`s eyes who can`t even take care of himself and then kids. Like one of my lil Buddies up there: Luis, he is a nice fellow as he gives me Cookies when he served food. He will sneak a pack to my cell, and what he wants in return, a stick of Blanco; that `s what they call Cigarettes here. He`s a young dad of 2 kids and he will be going home as he parents paid the DA (Fiscal) 2 Grand to close his case and get him home, did asked him where his Fiscal is, maybe I will pay and go home. His case is in a different province and he is in for Robbery so es no possible! He promised to sell his phone after cheating me on the meat he sold me for $4 and my mate told me it`s worth $2. So he promised selling his phone for a Tenner when he leaves. Hope he remembers that.
Now the Escapees, 5 buddies from pabellion cut through the mesh wire/iron of the cell roof and waited as soon as the BF guys were opened up to serve BF, that was when they made their move, one Colombian from our area the Galeria, two of my country guys share same cell with him. The story is, he squeezed himself through the bottom of the door and made his way out, from the time he was brought here, he has been a loner, always kept to himself, few times I came across him, it`s just hello and that was it. The 5 Minors and I guess our Colombian buddy made their way through the old gate up by the visit area under the canopy of darkness and hidden among the trees in the garden area. They disappeared and gone with the wind, like film Face off, when Travolta told Cage face off…. this was it, they went off just like that… their faces were off and they are gone from our big market place.
Life in the centre is like an open market scene with many faces and traders, with wares to sell and others wanting to buy, each one of us has stories to tell which is what we trade and the buyers are those that will sit and listen to your stories. Different characters exhibited by these different soul on journey which many don`t know where it will end. One of my American buddy once told me since he came here, he has witness 3 Knives fight and all ended in someone dying. I guess that`s where those ones ended their life long journey.
Went out for my usual training, as soon as news of the escape broke out, we know what will come next, lockdown and there it goes, the wardens herded everyone back in, called off my training, had my shower and back to the cell. Early that morning, one of our informer from up, a good guy whom we have build a good rapport with, has come in to inform us about the escape and gave us the names, of what use will it be to us. I guess as buddies, he brought the info so we should be prepared for what will come next. Which eventually came, the Minors that escaped; Bambam wrote about him earlier, he is a small guy that can walk through anything without you seeing him, he was a henchman for one of my country dude, he once used him to extract debts my English Mate owed him. That was wrong as we are all foreigners and we are in the same boat; he has been paying his rent and treating these boys as their father. So he can easily ask them to do anything and they will do it. He even has one that work for him as his boy, but that one is a cool headed boy whom I have had the chance to talk to, he had a good upbringing and lost it due to peer pressure. The old guy went to my mate and told him he owes BamBam money and the exact amount my mate owed him. Bambam met up with my mate and as I said, the Panam youths when they are about to strike don`t walk alone; with his crew went up to my mate and told him that My Country mate owes him and had ask him to get the money from my mate. My mate was pissed as he went to this old bloke, tell it to his face, that his dealing was with him, so he should come to him and not send his henchmen to do his dirty laundry. Doing that my country mate has sold his soul to the devil, I once got money from him, and he was after me like vultures after carcasses. Had to pay him off as he was ready to ask for that money in presence of everybody in the centre, no sense of secrecy.
What will he do now that his henchmen are gone, probably recruit new one for his majesty service.
Gone with Bambam was one that always nicked things from my former cell and even had the guts to come to me in my new cell and asked where my bed was. And then went around looking at loopholes around the cell if he could steal from. When I told Jer, my other English mate who has paid his dues by time he has spent here. He called him in and talked into his pity soul and told him, Nigun Persona (Nobody) steals from his cell, all the minors knows that, the little brat was pissed and said we called him thief, my mate said, yes you steal and your crew, he said he was going up to the minors and will tell that we called them thieves, but my mates once lived up there and all the minors respect him for who he is. From that day, my itchy fingers friend never came close to our cell, once he asked me for a dollar for blanco, gave him and told him it`s more better when you asked than stealing. It was on the day of his escape that one of my country bloke told me how he asked him to see his phone, then dropped it in his pocket and said the phone is now his. After much was said and button pressed, he had to pay $10 to get his phone. Well, I have been here for 4 Months plus, I guess I have paid my dues and earning my place and respect here and among them. One of our German friend once made a terrible mistake, he was asked for money by one of the youths, he had the guts to tell the lad that The German Embassy don`t give them Germans money, but mine and others give us money. I was really pissed with him, told him he is the most stupid German I have ever met. But the lad knows me and I told him, to leave him alone, that he`s crazy. So one has to watch his back constantly as anything can happen here. Most of this boys won`t stand a chance in hand to hand combat with any of us, but because of how they fight, you fight one, you fight all and they never fight empty handed. Always with weapons, so one never want to get into fight with any of them.
My mate and I were happy that my Country bloke`s henchmen and his grew are gone for good, and they are truly gone. Later that Tuesday evening, their names were read out on the National News, but without photos, they were labelled as dangerous. From what information I gathered, they will be apprehended very soon, as they are bunch of fools who are probably going back to the gang warfare. They have a friend who’s got some money and weapons, and they are going for reprisal. If it was me, will get my ass out of this bloody country, I guess the Colombian will do that, find his way to Colombian and maybe back to the drug trade as that is the best export from Colombia to the world. He should be back home in Colombian as I`m writing this.
That morning when I learned of the escape, Carlos, one of the minor who now lives in the Galeria showed up at my door while we were talking about what has happened. He asked me for Regalo (Gift), which is always Money, told my friends, why didn`t he escape, would have love to see him go, and he asked what I said, they told him, he said he won`t leave without me, that he want us to leave together. He looks like a nice fellow but always coked up. And that what they all do here, once you get here, you either picks up the habit if you never had it or let it go if you had it before or you kept on with it if you had it also. Well, I won`t smoke and I won`t snort or dope up. The Moonshine taste good, but the colour is scary, that I have drank, The prisoner`s brew.
Lockdown and in the cell, what happened outside nobody knew, but we knew it was busy out as we heard noises, little did we know all the trees in the Garden area were been cut down and the whole area turned into a desert, the little chilli Pepper tree survive the onslaught while others; the Mango, Avocado and my beloved Noni tree went. The roots still stand, so we hope in a year, they will all grow back. Even the trees outside the centre were all cut down, there were fruit trees and many here always wait for the season of each fruit as they get free fruit from them. The whole place looks like wilderness in the jungle.
Many inmates had visit today, and being lockdown nobody knows what will become of the visit, there were loads of Catcalls and banging on the bars, the Director whom I guess will be on panic and having his job on the line; as he came to replace his predecessor after the first escape, now barely 6 weeks on, he is facing same problem. We saw him with the Police all dressed up with gas mask, we know what was coming, we all got our towels and ready for what will happen next. Then there was a call outside that Pabellion was on fire, they all ran out, with that we know we won`t be gassed.
The Minors all ran out most on underwear only and screaming and making catcalls, the air was filled with excitement as more banging from the Galeria and noise from the minors screaming burn down Renacer. Thank God we were still under lockdown as many would have broken into our cells. The fire service came and the fire was put under controlled; from what we heard, after the escape many actions had to be to taken and immediately in order to prevent more, the real welder in the centre was freed some weeks back, he was perfect as he can fashion anything from nothing with metals. Now the new one, guess was his apprentice doesn`t know the do`s and don’ts of welding, mistakenly had a Mattress on fire and then the whole cell. The whole minors were let out and finally when they were sent up, we were also let out for our evening shower.
That Night, all cell in pabellion were left open as some cell were without electricity, many lost their phones and other valueables, even Hugo my body lost his phone. That`s to tell you that thieves are no respecter for their own buddies, they steal from each other. One will think there is honour even among thieves…. No way!!!
After shower many didn`t want to go back into their cell, many wanted to protest the lockdown that was coming, but then we know how crowd control is done here, canister of CS gas will be fired into the crowd and everyone will head back to their cells, so we made the right decisions as nobody want to be gassed. The problem here, is many are used to being let out as this is not a maximum security prison like others in the country, we have free time to walk around and do what we want between 7am when the cell are open till lockdown in the evening. So whenever there`s incident and we get locked up, people get tensed up and soon there are even conflicts among inmates as they get bored looking at each other faces. You never know when you say the wrong word that can upset your mate. Being punished for others crime is outrageous, but then what can one do.
We were able to get our stuffs from the fridge and made our diner, spent the rest of the evening watching films and talking as usual, the Ligament on my right knee hurt badly and was swollen, had our Mossad agent friend massage it with hot ointment. Exchange few text with my Schat, we had disputes over certain things, wasn`t impress how she run the home, felt she is giving the kids free run in the house, realized she is just a woman and they can be soft with kids. Also in her situation she is a super woman, juggling so much at same time. Praised her for her strength and always pray that she stays strong till I`m out to take my place. Device a trick of maintaining my presence at home despite not being there, always tell my kids they won`t get what they want if they are naughty and they behaved, but my lil boy seems to know that this old man ain`t here and can`t do much. Sometimes he ignores me and hung up on me especially when he has important thing doing; playing of course!!!
Tuesday ended as we slept and but not sleeping, like I said, we never sleep deep, one has to be conscious of the environs as the cops or wardens may sneak in for an impromptu search. Or the worst, things could happen in the cell. Always be prepared!!!
THE REAL RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE
Wednesday, 10th February 2010:
Still under curfew and lockdown, breakfast time has changed; it used to be served as early as 5.00am, but since the famous 5 from Pabellion and the 6th man from Galeria escaped on Tuesday. The directive has made many changes not just to the centre but to time and how we are handled. Trees had been chopped off so the guards can have a good view of the centre. Before, the wardens will come before 5am and opened up the cells for workers and leave the cell open while they go about their daily routine. Their mates will be the first outside; some will head to the gym while others will go out for smoke or the early morning fresh jungle air. But from now on, the cops accompany the wardens, only the workers are allowed out while the cell are lock and those out are counted and the police checked around for any unusual, I guess same is done up at the Pabellion. One will wonder how long it will be. Things become messy within the Prison system as there was escape in La joya also, one of the Maximum Prison; my second stop before coming to Renacer. Even the minister of Justice was weary of the whole affair. Drastic actions are been called for to get things right.
We were let out after the investigators left and things seems to look normal, went for my daily walk and jogging. Made appointment for a hair cut, had to wait as many people were on line. No problem will use my time well and cover up for the days I missed training. When I finally got in for my hair cut, one of the guys that shared cell with my prospective business partner was on the stool having his hair cut. While I waited, couple of lads from upstairs came up to him, said certain things, from the looks in his eyes, he didn`t look happy. Knew something was wrong but what was it. Heard the name Santos (My Prospective Biz Partner), and the lad stood up went into his cell, while he was way asked my barber (who happened to my Country mate, the one I had brawl with, whom we are now buddies) what is happening, he said nothing. The lad came back, finished with his hair and left. Took my turn, while I was there I saw the white lad who came from up to the santos`s mate climbed up and Chapo (Santo`s mate) came in, looking unsettled.
When I was done with my hair, had my shower and came out to use the library, found out it was closed for the day. Activities looked normal in the centre as there were football match and other things were going on simultaneously in the same time. Things appeared to be normal, but it wasn`t as things were to be unleashed soon afterwards.
I saw Santo standing out just at the entrance of Galeria and he had his jacket on, the temperature outside should be high above 40 degree Celsius. Asked him as a friend if he was ill and he said yes, told him if he has seen the doctor he said no, told him, that I have some pills which he can pick up later and use till he sees the Doc. But he said he will take care of himself. Manni my English mate had met him about 10mins before I did and asked him same. Got same response, they talked a bit as Manni is his client and an expensive client. According to what he told me he once bought cigarette off him and promised to pay later, but Santos needed a date as that is the principle here, you give a date and when that date comes, make sure you don`t fail as the unexpected could happen. My mate told him in a week, he got 5 sticks for fiver, a dollar a piece but has to pay $7.50 in place of the fiver; my mate was okay with the deal. But when the due day came he was on our door on him for his money, my mate couldn`t meet up as he was disappointed again, he told him to wait for couple of days, Santos told him he will pay $10. My mate reluctantly agreed as he had no choice. He eventually paid him, from what we heard about Santo and what he told me about himself, he wouldn`t let a dollar of his go without reasons satisfactory to him. He escaped jail in the eighties and went to the States, thought he could have started a clean life there, after many years in jail in the States, he was repatriated back to panama and back home, they found out that he has been on the run for more than 20 years back in to finish his time for crime committed in the eighties. But how we became friends, when he was transferred here, he found that I speak English, he came close and ask if I was Jamaican, told him no, I`m an European of African Origin. He said his grand dad came from Jamaica; I guess those that came to help build the Panama Canal and eventually settled here.
While in the states, he mixed up with loads of Jamaicans and learned to speak bit of Patio, which he always speaks with me, try to keep him at arms length. He never like the church guys, as he said they all pretend and once they are gone back to the street; they will get back to their old lifestyle. Once told him, he should leave them for God to judge. I have my own reservations about most of the guys who handle and run the church, heard how they fight for power and other things like in churches out there. So what happens on the outside can still happen here in prison, we are all humans, ain`t we?
This day was Santos day with fate, if he had listen to me or my mate, I think things would have been averted, but honour and prestige and most especially gang loyalty plays a lot in places like this.
I sat behind him after my 5mins talk with him, not knowing that in his jacket was a massive Rambo kind of Knife, within splits of seconds, knives were drawn even from Chapo his mate who was playing football, and 5 other youths from Pabellion, I was frozen on my position, and my blood ran cold, seeing how big the knives were, some with zigzag edge on he back. Santos ran into the field, then another lad (Frisse) from upstairs whom I don`t really get along with as he always looks coldly and barely talks, but hung out with some of my friends from the Pabellion. He jumped up with a long blazing Machete and ran towards Santos, along with other youths from upstairs. While the white Chiriqui lad who was in the Galeria earlier that day ran towards Santos; later found out that, he barely knew Santos, and if not for him, Santos would have been history by now. He sort of prevented Frisse from causing much havoc on Santos, some of the lads made their way to Chapo.
Santos plunged his knife into Frisse left hand, but couldn`t pull it out, and the lad push himself forward and with a single swing of his long machete, came the gapping slash on Santos face, from his mouth through his ears, dividing his ears in two, one could see the white of his inner skin. From the nature of the cut, one will believe his aim was his neck or his head and that he meant to kill him. Never seen anybody in my life with so much knife scar like Santos, he has loads on his Belly and legs and one on the left side of his face, some few bullets scars on his legs and body. Now the new one, we nick-named him Son of Frankenstein!!!
As if the wardens were waiting for this to happen, they came in after the rumble, then Frisse has ran up with Santos`s knife sticking on his right hand and with his Machete, his mates and gang members sorted him out and give him the gang first aid, while this went on, all knives vanished from the scene. Like I said, they always passed it on to others hanging around, and within split of seconds all disappeared.
When the wardens came, Santos was on the field holding his right side of his face and wriggling in pain. The white Chiriqui boy dropped his knife with hands raised up, Chapo knelt down with hands up. They were all hauled away to the security area and reception, was happy that the Director saw all these, as these will be an eye opener to where he is in and what lies here waiting for him.
The wardens all ran up to the pabellion in search of the knives, but they came back with nothing, Frisse was hauled down and taken in, but kept away from Santos and his group. We knew what was coming, one doesn`t need to be told, most of us went back to our cell as others stayed and watch. Sooner or later, the whistle was heard and we all knew what that meant. Everybody were herded back to their cells, there we talked about what happened and those of us that saw everything first hand. I can easily enact the whole scene and what happened that day, as we use to see on Crime scene reconstruction. Guess we will need the C.S.I team here, not the New York team, but the Miami team as they`ve got more beauties. We all love them here as we watch them everyday. The New York ones are bored…..
We were let out later in the evening for our cold shower, remember one foreigner at the transitory jail, who jump into the shower but had his hand under the running cold water. After a while most of the guys waiting couldn`t wait for his one hand wash game, he was told to get on with his shower. He replied that he is waiting for the water to get warm. They couldn`t help laughing, I guess my mate thought he was in some kind of hotel.
Our shower is always cold, but lately, we`ve notice that the water is becoming warm, that is how hot these place can be, when sitting on the patio sometimes, you will feel the heat on your head as if it`s roasting your brain. Hope not.
That night, learnt from my mate that same time last year, a guy was stabbed five times at the Patio while watching other cons played Dominoes; he never made it, he died at the gate. Well, we figured it out that the sun could also be a contributing factor to the tensed atmosphere here in the centre. Well, with things going this way, one has to be careful how ones talk and acts up with anybody here.
There were loads of Police presence that night, but nothing happened and we had our Diner and watch some films. When I spoke with my Schat, I was reluctant about telling her what is happening in the centre, as I know she wouldn`t feel too good. Had to let her know as I didn`t tell her of my brawl with my country mate until some days ago. She was surprised. Told her about this and made her understand that I`m sound and safe. I tried to mingle too much with the Panamanian youths and also I`m keeping arm`s length from them. She was worried but what can she do!!!
Hit my bed with prayers that the day has finally come to an end and I`m intact and in one piece. Couldn`t sleep as the thought of the day`s incident flooded my mind. Many were not happy as they vented their heart about the fight. I hope I don`t see any of these until the day I`m gone for good.
Late that night, the door to Galeria was open and Santo was lead to his cell with a heavy plaster on his face.
Thursday, 11th February 2010.
Breakfast came late as time has changed, after lots of Catcalls and banging on the bars, were let out to have our shower, then we realised that Santos and his mate has been taken out. Rumours were out that he is been taken to the Colon Prison, but from what I gathered, he was brought from the Colon Prison to Renacer because he had some problems there. We later find out that he was taken out from the Population to somewhere up by the Clinic and kept there till lockdown.
Things went as they were normal, but not, as the atmosphere was still tensed from what happened the previous day. We were all on guard, barely could trust anyone as you don`t know what is in the other`s mind. Everybody seemed to be on the edge, and nobody wants to push nobody over that edge. So we all kept our cool and pretended as if nothing happened.
Got calls from my former mate from La joya where I stopped briefly before coming here, they had learnt of what happened here. Johnny; Gringo Loco was worried about my safety, asked if I would like to come back there as it is safer there, of a truth, one feel more safe there as the inmates in pabellion 6 are all Foreigners and most look like family men. So they all seem to be more responsible and whenever there are dispute between inmates, others intervene to save the day. Unlike here, nobody interfere as that is also one of the rules in Prison: Don`t interfere in other con`s business. Mind your business.
WHY THE RUMBLE!!!
We later learned that, $5 was the cause of the bloody fight, Frisse or his mate bought Cigarette from Santos and probably refused to pay, words were exchanged, and some couldn`t stand the words. Then they took it to another level and we all saw and witnessed the outcome of that level.
Nothing special happened to all parties as they were led to their various cells, the white Chiriqui lad was taken into Anexo; the supposed secured hold-up in Renacer. Heard once, a guy was brought into the Anexo, but not 5mins into his transfer, he was jumped on by five others inmates and they finished him. Heard he was sent to kill someone there, he had his knife, but it was useless against five knives. When the wardens came, they couldn`t get anybody to testify or pinned his death on anyone. Another one bites the dust.
One of the guys in the Anexo who took part in that killing was brought in from La joyita after throwing a grenade into another cell, killing 2 inmates in that cell, well my first thought was how did grenade get into the prison, as we all know, this is Panama where anything goes, from corrupt politicians to corrupt prison wardens. Heard that some of the wardens have alliance with some of the gangs in the prison system, that could be scary as one doesn`t know where one trades on.
The day went so fast, and we were hauled back to our cell, sometimes I imagine how powerful the whistle can be, it stops traffic when used by the traffic police in country like France, players are controlled by it on the football field and here in the Prison, once you hear it, you know you are been herded to your cell, like herd of cows. What a life!!!
We`ve been getting loads of new films lately, not bad as that is the contribution from the movie industries to us, wherever the Chinese are, you will always get pirated stuffs and films also. One of the inmates visit always comes in with loads of film which our con friend flog for a dollar, also get to see some cool xxxx rated ones, my old mate Pepe loves that, wonder what he does on days he goes out, as he is 61 years old. He is a nice guy, lately his girl hasn`t been nice to him, and he had become love sick. Whenever he gets to talk with him through my phone, he blushes and kept talking all day about her.
The day`s gone without much, and weekend is fast approaching, hope they get to transfer these guys so things will get back to normal if it will ever be.
We learned that there won`t be visit this weekend, the guys were happy, more catcalls and banging…. the night was filled with more mean looking police, dressed with canisters of CS gas all over their body, ready to do anything when order was given. Thank God no order was given and they didn`t get to do anything.
FRIDAY. 12TH February 2010.
Negotiation started as many are not willing to give up their visit, representatives were sent to the director and they had talks on him lifting the ban on visit for the weekend. How I wish they could as well set up such group to start working with the youths and hold talks with them in letting go of their knives and whatever weapon they have up there in the pabellion.
They put in so much energy for the visit business that only last three and half hours, when they could do same for their safety here.
At the end of the day, we learnt there will be visit, guess they won and they were happy.
The place look tensed and nothing of importance happened as all that was meant to happen has happened on Wednesday. I guess many were thrilled from what happened as I saw many youths jumping with joy on the day of the Rumble.
We shared jokes about the fights and how scary this place is becoming, my Mexican friend who I met right from the transitory jail and whose family pressed some important buttons to get him here and who was robbed of his phone the first day we got here. Was so scared, he told me, he will do anything to get to the Green area, wished him luck.
All this while the library has been closed from public use and our lives has been concentrated on our cells and sometimes on the passage of the galleria, but I rather remain in my cell as hanging around and too much familiarization with the folks here can`t be trusted. The less the see you, the less the talk or think about you. So my bed has become my soul buddy now, sometimes will be on my bed and my buddy Hugo whenever is let will come to our gate and hola at my name; Big Black, just to get my phone and call whoever he calls to send him call credit which he eventually sell and never uses. Since I have two sim card, I now transfer most my call credit to the one I barely use, so when he ask me for my phone, he will get to see that I have little or not so much call credit left as I have noticed most time he used up to $10 at a time. especially when he sees I have credit up to $50 or more, despite his ways, his dope head he seem to be a nice fellow, but with Panamanians, they are like Volcanoes, you can never predict them, even volcanoes can be studied and a good forecast given of a potential eruption but not with these guys.
I guess I will be able to adjust myself to life here as many as done before me. Try to avoid the panam youths as much as I can, but they are inevitable as death is.
Saturday. 13th February 2010
Came with Normal openings for everyone after Santos and his mate was hauled away, there was normal visit for everyone, and the carnival was setting in the city and other part of the Country. All went good and we had a normal lock down.
Well life in the centre is a sort of twist, like I said different people exhibiting different characters, some live to eat, there is a kitchen here in the centre which is of no bounds to most of us especially the foreigners. And there are some guys who spend the whole day busy with food, and seeing them, they don`t really look like they are fed properly. My mate and I had been wondering what they do in the kitchen, when you see them, they are always busy cooking something or washing something. While the other old kitchen is used by the Panam youths to cook food as sell, like I said, that is one business in the centre that they all indulge in. And they will do anything to get us the foreigners to buy their food; I have learned to always stay away from them when they walk towards me. Most of their lives revolve around Smoking, Dope and Food. Maybe they`ve got something else in their minds, which I don`t know.
Nothing much happened, except people gossiping and talking about the incident.
Our Mossad agent friend been acting eccentrically lately, like I said, we don`t have knives or anything that when he snap can be use as weapons, whenever he sees any top cop on television, he seems to know them and always said they were mate and buddies in the Police academy. That can be creepy as it seems to know every top shot, and he is still here in a country where you have choice of making calls and things happen. If it was where we come from where we ain`t gone such choice, once you are in, no button to press, you just do your time and no special preferences. Esta es la vida!!!
The day ended as others, carnival is coming so everything seems to go a bit slow and it will be worst here in the centre between Monday and Wednesday. Can`t wait for the bloody carnival to be over with. And life turns normal in the centre. One never knows what will happen here as all the warring parties are still in the centre.
I happened to cook this evening, made some rich vegetable pasta sauce, with some frankfurters; it was delicious and tried to get as much vegetables as possible as our food here is mainly white rice without sauce and some kind of foul tasting watery stuff with anything they find nice that could be added into it, like I said, no matter what you get, they all taste the same and after eating you feel like puking. The only good thing I get from the Prison food is the dried fried chicken, and that is if the Panamanians will allow it to get around. They always hauled them to their cells in cellophane bags and give the rest to their mate, when you get to them; they tell you Papa, No mucho pollo hoy (Papa, Not enough chicken today).
Sunday, 14th February 2010.
Things took a different turn, as only those with Visit were allowed out and others locked up, well things will be different now, think I`m getting used to the locked down and sudden change of things. Each new day comes pregnant with something different from the previous day. No matter what you plans had been for each day, they are bound to be changed, my timetable and daily planner are now useless as I can get to put them in use. The library which has been my little place of solace remained close since the incident. Has it`s the norm in prison, one has to get accommodate all sort of things that is thrown at you. Remember my short stay in La Joya, there almost everybody has television, so one is likely to find six televisions in a six man cell and radios, all can be watching different programmes at the same time. Imagine the noise in that cell, but here in Renacer, the former director has made it that each cell one television. One or two cells here has two televisions, despite that, whatever you choose to do, you have to live with the noise. I have learn to read with noise as a good background, sometimes not from my cell, but from other cell and the most annoying noise from a bloke name Yoyo, after doing his dope will start reciting lines of lyrical delusions, which I also believe the wardens do hear him sometimes if not all the time. He was the first person I heard when I came here, then I had thought someone was going loco, but with time I found out that, he does that after having his white dessert after his diner every evening, he will make a good stage actor as he has a good voice and also a loud one.
Nothing much to do, than lie in bed, read and read till I get tired of reading. But had a nice piece as I couldn`t stop reading. Went out and hung around the other inmates, one of the Panam boys whom some grams of Coke were found in his cell during search met up with met and told me he want to learn English and wants me to teach him, well promised to help him. But I like to keep an arm`s length from him as I know most of them are walking trouble. They barely understand what friendship is all about, well I guess not just them, most friends I thought were friends even back home, since I have been here, many had neglected me. I guess not too many people know anything about the ethics of friendship. Well like they said, such is live, all man to himself. Guess being here is like going back to my basic and getting the basic principle of life and the education one can`t get from the four walls of any learning institution out there, but then one can become paranoid and eccentric about life and dealing with people in the normal world as I have seen how most of these guys are. I wonder how they will fit into the mainstream society. I can`t imagine myself being here for such a long time, as I may loose it.
My new friend, Fabio who happened to share the same name as my Italian friend who was arrested same day with me and since them we have bonded, but when he got here before me, he forged bond with some Panam youths who used and abused him when money stopped coming. Now he lives in fear in his cell. All his Italian mates that took him in when he came here from La Joya had all left him and moved to other cell. Hope things get better for him.
Sunday, came and gone and life continues….. Nothing much to write about, I and my Schat been talking and texting which is all we can do most right now and which has been very relieving for me, all is well at home but a bit tensed up there also. Told her to hold her peace and continue with what she does that I will be home someday and soon…. hope soon.
Evening and night time came, thought about stars, the only time I saw stars was in my former cell and we all took note of it, it was nice to see the sky, moon and all the stars in their full glory. Since my new cell is a bit inside and worst of all we barely get signal for our phones. Most cells has very good signals, but since the Antenna cables run through the ceiling of our cell, and both mobile and television signals uses radio wave, it`s not so good with our mobile reception. So we always move around the cell in order to get good signal. If the mobile phone companies knows how much they are making from this centre, I believe they will come running and search somewhere in the forest where they will install some kind of telecom mast to boost our reception.
We had our diner and loads of prison talks and actually watch some men film, I guess such films are barred from prison, but they still find their way in. Our old bank robber loves watching it, so also every one of us, just as I predicted all the gals in the film were friends; they all hooked each other to get into the lucrative and fast money making Porn industries. At the time of filming the average age of those gals would have been 18 years old. And all of them from somewhere in California, they all went to same school and probably dropped out at same time. And ended up doing same biz, having sex while being recorded and the films which will later be sold for profit making, they were young gals ensnared into the sex trade just as most of as were in what caused our being here in the Renacer: The Good life!!!
Up to my bed and with my books and nice night, dare not tell my schat how naughty I have been, that night, I guess I begin to feel the one thing everyman locked or unlocked will always feel. But what can one do, guess nothing other than learn to suppress the feelings and live with it. Guess as I`m always busy reading most of the time, I barely thing of the thing, except when I come across such scene in my any of the books I`m reading. Guess I will tell her when I`m out, and then will get to do it and cover up for all the ones I had missed while in incarceration. Cover up for the lost years……. and that was it another day in the Jungle and the jungle of life.