Two Years BehindBars; Waiting On A Decision Where My Fate Hangs On!!!
“One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is that things are what they are and will be what they will be.” ~ Oscar Wilde.
Like in the song; “In my place, were lines that I couldn’t change…… lines I shouldn’t cross”, such is our lives BehindBars; there are invisible lines of limitations that every inmates knows. No matter how strong and powerful you look; just have to respect those lines! As such, one is virtually alert, even in one’s sleep, everything you do; should be done in absolute secrecy. All the inmates, whom I have seen left here on repatriation or freedom rarely tell anyone about the exact date, even their fellow Cellmates get the wind of it, the night before they leave! Then all others are sleeping! Such, is how far an inmate can go to protect himself!
Prolonged isolation and incarceration, without a means of rehabilitation and separation from families and Loved ones are some of the nastiest ways of driving someone insane and berserk!
My time-line of life #Behindbars; past my 2nd year mark, now heading towards my 3rd year. A lot has happened and so much is happening on daily basis, wasted years, but with a well of experiences; ones gotten from the wrong place. Doing my best possibles to “Doing my time” in such a way, when I leave here, I wouldn’t look back and call those years wasted years; but a period of hibernation, one that I sat back and review my life and learned from where I slipped and fell so hard!
Christmas 2011 came and gone; The 3rd Christmas since my incarceration. In the past, there had always been improvisations so we can have something that look like Christmas. But since my mate left, it went from that to eating from the cart and scavenging whatever was sent to us. Glad I survived it. The new commissioner of police won’t allow families of Inmates to drop food by the security (As it’s always done during 24th and 31st). Only those with powerful connections were able to bring in proper food and had a wonderful time! While the rest of us made do with looking and helped ourselves with what came as our Christmas eve dinner! Wasn’t bad, but pathetic! 😦
Doing time BehindBars could be compared to a drive on a cold, wintry night; the road is full of surprises, blitzing snows on one’s windscreen, risk of slipping off the road. Such is our journey BehindBars, even to those who are repeated offenders and faithful clients of the system; spent years, lived in comfort, but once released and gone, they lost all they had. When they come back, gotta start afresh, all privileges gone; risk of meeting new, tougher and nastiest inmates!
2011, went with many of our comrades; a journey they never made it back home, could be scary when someone you played with, trained with and all of a sudden is fighting for his dear life; he knows at that moment, this may be his last fight. One is left to wonder, who will be next. Since our only means of alerting the cops at night is by banging on anything metal; when I stay up all night reading and hear clang of metals, damn frightened the wits out me. From my bed, can’t tell what is at hand or how serious the situation could be. But once I’m out, like many curious inmates wanting to know how serious it is, only then can we find out!
Many of the deaths had been out of negligence from the authorities who had Repeatedly failed us; no medical facilities, no medical staffs or an attendant when there’s a case of emergency. Those with chronic dieseases or life-threatening sickness are left unchecked, the frail and older inmates in need of constant monitoring are left to rot away. Promises upon promises had been made to keep us tamed and under control as many believe change will come. But it all amount to empty promises.
Self-medication is the modus-operandi inside the centre; from my broad reading and from words of mouth from inmates who had done time elsewhere, an inmate is never allowed to keep medication in his cell; one could easily overdosed himself and that is it. But in here, one can find any type of drugs; be it legal or illegal. If it wasn’t so, the mortality rate would have matched those of the ghettos of Panama. So much are in the hands of inmates within the pavilion; syringes, psychotic and antidepressants drugs. And from rumours and words spreading like Wild-fire; there are many amongst us with highly contagious dieseases which could easily be transmitted through several means; like the hair clippers, cup-sharing, and poor hygienic conditions!
A Swiss inmate who went home on repatriation after couple of years BehindBars; weeks before Christmas, was left in quarantine and from his fellow compatriot here, he’s likely going to spend two months while bunch of men and women in white overalls run checks upon checks on him. Back from Renacer, where he was in isolation due to burst-ups with the native inmates, he looked so worn-out, but later picked up life when we all got here. I hope he does get a clean bill of health after all the check-ups!
Many Western inmates who had gone back home, left here with diverse kinds of dieseases; the majority were couch potatoes, sit in all day smoking and drinking! Hope my exercises and workout will give me a clean bill of health when I finally find my way out.
It’s been a long and slow journey as one’s routine remain same with every new day. With so many people in such a small place, it virtually makes one’s life more miserable; my only comfort is found in my comfort-zone; my bed! I’ve learned to twist and turn within my little enclosure! In the past, I can wake up, sit around in the cell and read, but not anymore; friends of my Cellmates comes in as early as 8am and sit all day chattering about nothing of importance. Maybe that’s their idea of doing time; and it might help keep their sanity. But not me as I can’t stand people hanging around me for such a long time as they do everyday of the week. Sit all day talking; just about whatever comes into mind! Pheeeeeeeeeeeew!
The long awaited year #2012 is here, we are yet to see and know if the #Mayas were right; #TheEndOfTheWorld! Damn, wouldn’t want the world ending while I’m banged up here, neither the Panamanian authorities will not be happy as there won’t be foreign prisoners left; since foreigner inmates generate money for their lawyers and statistics helps bring money from The West. We are the Money-making Machines!
The transition from 2011 to 2012 went smoothly; no fatal incidents, just the normal #Prison’s wrangling and #Inmates dressing up in their best clothes; damn kept me wondering where they were going to when we were all under locked. Later, found out in some cultures; one has to dress up in his best for the transition into the New Year! The believe goes on, Good luck, prosperity, things are new! Damn if only their attitudes will change; what a place it will be here, but that is years from now!
Many are leaving on repatriation; all those I knew and could rely on are leaving one after the other, leaving new faces whom I have to start afresh with! Such is life #BehindBars.
There is hardly a day that goes by without drama from within the #Prison complex, the worst being in front of visiting family members; like the incident of the last visit.
On the Last fortnight visit and the 1st for the year; (9th of February 2012) as many went to spend less than an hour with their loved ones; who have spent more than 6hrs waiting, one will conclude the visit doesn’t worth it. But those few minutes spent with loved ones every fortnight is rewarding as they come back refreshed! Fresh food and groceries that cops at the security/search points will allowed will be brought in, the centre is beaming with life as the lads all comes in smiling.
In Pavilion2, where we thought will be calmer than elsewhere in the centre, could be damn too hot for comfort. The lads who wants to be girls with their tits and pimp-up ass ain’t much different than the rest of us. Guess mixing estrogen and testosterone is not such a good option for anger management; a fatal stabbing took place within and amongst our feminine-males! One of the injured with hands on his belly trying to hold back his innards from spilling out, another had a deep cut on his face (will need proper surgery to correct that). Guess we thought wrong about the jolly good and flamboyant inmates of Pavilion 2; they are men and Panamanians, despite the make-ups, strings, tits and the gorgeously female-looks! Hope those three injured survived and the one that lay inert on the floor, whom the cops won’t attend to; guess he was one of the perpetrators.
Whatever will become of them, nobody cares. Everyone is busy looking out for his own safety and well being!
Talking of well being and health; the story within my pavilion is quite different as many are sick; constant cough and those hidden ones we don’t see. Living and leaving here with a clean bill of health will be the 7th wonder of the world! It’s scares the wit out me!
Finally, my process to get repatriated is on its final phase; #Panama authorities have approved my being sent back home to do my time; close to my family and loved ones. Despite my family being in another European country; visiting will be much easier as they can always come by. Moreover, I will have that peace of mind that I’m within familiar waters, despite never being to jail before, but the fact that I am in my country will give me that peace of mind!
As I await the decision from back home, each day comes with #PanicAttack; thanks for access to the net, researched materials are few clicks away and they have been helpful. When I had lower back and sciatica pain, the net was my doctor and resource for all my treatment and recuperation.
While waiting, life continues and the watch out and being alert remained as part of my daily routine and my life.
My little kittens; all grown up and all they do is sleep all day and good hunters at night! Panterita (panther); the only male and all Black, showed how good a hunter he is by catching a bird; was a beautiful sight, seeing him hunt! My only fear; rat poison is widely used in here!
Signal is much better now, gotta update this before dawn when the signal goes bad and loco!
My well of experiences BehindBars, will be of great help on the outside; every details matters! Nothing and nobody should be taken for granted!
One of my Best reads has been “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu; such a little but a great guide for any type of warfare. Life BehindBars is a warfare on a different terrain. A typical inmate see himself as a fallen soldier among other fallen soldier; especially those affiliated with gangs! Thus, The Art of War is a good companion even in place like this!
According to Sun Tzu;
“If you know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know NEITHER the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle” – Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
The above principle duly apply even to our low existences BehindBars!
“Don’t judge me by the mistakes I’ve made, but by what I’ve learned from them” – Marlyn Monroe
“It is never too late to be who you might have been.” – George Eliot