In The Joint: Every Inmate Sees Himself As A MAN!

April, 23

We had a plan for today; like every other community in dire need of whatever they deemed an essential. And our plan was that by 8AM today, everyone in the pavilion Will assemble in the gym hall for a shout, catcalls, raise as much noise as we can until our demands are met. And what is such demand that will cause all the sleepers to rise that early. 

The demand isn’t about our freedom but a basic necessity for survival: WATER, AQUA!!!

For days now water has been coming sporadically, one can only get enough for the day’s usage like the Biblical Manna. When water comes, only those with electric water pump are lucky enough to fill their tanks, and those of  their friends. For sometime now, I was lucky enough to get water, but lately it changes as the table turns. My cell rarely get enough. 

Without water so much will be disrupted; my daily workout in the gym, cleaning and cooking, toilet usage and just about anything and everything.
When it comes, we are lucky if the colour is clear enough to see the bottom of the white containers, most times it comes in hues of colours; I have seen yellow water, orange, choco coloured water, one close to green tea and some like urine. Matter-of-factly; we have drank sh*t water here, pity those who don’t boil theirs before drinking. They flippin don’t know what they are drowning in. 

We can’t really complain about the food as we don’t know where it comes from, if the cooks are blind with dripping noses and whatever they throw into the concoctions they prepare for us. Sometimes they come stale and rotten, as inmates we’ve got no choice but to scavenged and perform whatsoever magic to change the taste and make them edible. 

But water; the mere fact that there’s none drives one nuts, it brings about confusion and aggravated moods among inmates. At such moment, we tend to live on the edge as on a time-bomb; anything could set us off. 

Such was the setting-off this morning, woke up pretty early after a night of “Drink to freedom” for a mate who was acquitted after 14 Months in the joint. Sat outside by the wailing for a better signal as I needed to download some songs;)

Back in for a quickie (Nap, not the other quickie,lol 😉

Heard the announcement, calling on all to assemble in the gym hall, was flippin knackered to get up. Laid back, until I heard my mates coming in one after the other and all the words from their mouths were fight, wood, knife, clinic and they mentioned two names. Then, I knew something has gone wrong. 

Delegation were sent up to the admin to discuss how the water issue will be solved amicably with any disturbances; it was agreed that a water tanker will be sent down and each cell will come out with 20 buckets or containers. 

Now the near-death experience by one the old school here in the joint sort of marred the joy of having water. 
He was the one who went about last night to call for the early morning meeting. 

But he never get to see the water and wasn’t there to contribute a thing as he always does, despite being one of the old hands in the joint.

He was stabbed with a nail-like metal on the back of his neck, which went in pretty deep and probably touched a nerve as he dropped on the floor shaking; from witnesses, he couldn’t move half part of his body. The lad who did this quickly handed himself to the cop on duty. 

And since then, one side of his body is still not functional. One thing I have learned in the joint; is to be careful with the younger lads, they might be fathers as many will tell you, but they don’t have anything to live for or anything to make them want to leave here alive. When making decisions, they rarely think of the consequences. “People doubt everyone and everything… except their own ignorance”……that was the case of the old timer, who wouldn’t forfeit $20, but took to abuse the lad and treat him like a dog; even as the lad ran into the church in session, was still beating him with a plank of wood. Hope he recovers fully.

Saw the lad when I went up yesterday (Tues, Apr 24, 2012) to meet up with my Consul. He was smiling, he looked fairly satisfied, but on the other hand, the old fella will do all within his connection in the centre to get him. The fact that he’s here for years, he will pull strings and make sure the lad is put down; and it will be hard and fatal. Brawls and Fights in the joint doesn’t end in punches thrown, but ends when Blood are drawn and sacrifices of the highest type made. “He who fights and run away, lives to fight another day”……guess Bob Marley said that! 

Each visit from my Consul, bring new friends wannabe; isn’t pathetic when you have something, people will come to you but when they have, they will run from you. Well, I’m learning not to be too kind, many wanted vitamins “For Free”, bluntly told them, I paid for them. The embassy is not Salvation Army, lately neither Salvation shops gives anything for free; at least a token is demanded for those used clothes;)

It’s like I’m getting the flu, gotta go on a massive attack and recover ASAP, can’t afford to be sick, it’s bloody annoying and expensive.  

Yesterday saw the king being dethroned; Barcelona FC and Chelsea FC; I’m not a Chelsea fan, but 90 percent of the inmates here and in the prison population are all out for Barcelona. Took a good piss at them and also won 3 packs of milk for my cats; but wouldn’t be pursuing the bets, if they honour it, ok, if not let be. Such things could lead to brawl; one reason I don’t bet and gamble. 

Wed, 25th! Water crisis is driving me nuts. But gotta workout and with the flu in season; but this time around it is more of sore throat, glad I had Looseners sent to me and my consul got me some Vitamin C, thus I’m fully prepared for El Señor Flu…Bring it on! 

Fcuk a Duck!!! The whole pavilion is hit by the flu big time. Nightly strong cough can be heard when it’s all still at night, wheezing coughs, sneezing and daily many spitting on the floor and coughing without covering their mouth; guess it’s time I start walking around with a muzzle over my mouth like those Chinese folks. 

In the pavilion, decisions were taken on how best we can handle the water crisis; we’ve decided that each inmates contributes $2, so that a water tank could be purchased and place outside the pavilion, till date nothing has happened. The lads will rather buy a joint than pay for tank!

Back in my cell, things are falling apart as the lads are becoming too daft and difficult to live with; unwashed utensils, dishes and dirty kitchen. Apparently, that’s the way they live at home, so they can’t accept or see the need for changes. It’s all about #Tolerance and #Endurance; which I have abundant of it.

Our lives goes on as we toil from dusk to dawn to make ends meet. Many families on the outside depends on income from their locked spouses and fathers; so businesses and competition is very high among inmate and gangs; fighting to control whatever is profitable and worth selling. I have seen someone hawks real knives and lives on the profits made such sales. 

Our Lives are lived, One day at a time and it’s hope and faith that keeps and takes us to the next day.  

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