Prison Life: Tension Rising
Prison Life: Tension Rising
Change; whether good or bad can be stressful and our natural reaction are often fear, anxiety or resistance.
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy. Not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
Sat 7 Sep 2013
Yesterday (#Friday) evening wasn’t mine as so many things didn’t fit in place to make it a perfect end to a busy week and start for the weekend; well, nothing ever fits in place within the wall of a prison, and if there’s anything that fits in place, it’s the locks on the metal door that’s there to keep us here against our will and beyond our control. But then, looking around, much seems to fits in their places when one takes a stern look around the complex; the cops on the towers don’t part ways with their sub-machine guns, always ready to pull the triggers at any slight movement. And the gangs seems to fit in for a purpose to play their part in making here earned its name; Panama notorious prison #LaJoya (The Jewel) 😉
On some days, it seems the purpose of the signal jammer is being fulfilled as signal is virtually blocked, one has to wait and hover around different spots that we have discovered to be connected on the www, which can take up some reasonable time; time means so much to a prisoner, we live time daily; time is our existences!
And lately, haven’t been eating well, neither do many here eat well; but not many are into intensive exercise regime as I am. After giving myself a reprieve from torturous weight-training to recuperate from lower-back pain, but then, had taking up boxing, jogging and yoga; dammed kinda took me beyond my limits. But it pays off from how I feel even in a short-term. Gotta work my exercise routine around that now; mixing resistance and proper cardio exercises and good yoga stretches. Had wanted this week out of the gym, but couldn’t resist the weights on Friday; thanks to the cop who took over on Thursday after our headcount; he wouldn’t let people outside, thus, many were confined to the shared-gym hall. Had me pulling out materials for a proper all-rounder Chest workouts; started with flat bench barbbell, then inclined and declined with barbell until i exhausted myself. Then hit some biceps curls and dumbbell swing (improvised as there’s no kettlebell).
One doesn’t need dieting in prison, if you have to live on the prison food, you’ll freakin lose all the guts. But then, it isn’t healthy as muscle is been depleted also. Lately my main meal has been oatmeal + peanuts, does wonders after an intensive workout. Whenever our expensive fruits are smuggled in, I go for bananas and oranges, on Wednesday we had conferences pear and apple (4pcs for $3), went for a bag, forced to hid it from the preying eyes of my mates; too bad had to hide food from my mates, ain’t me, prefer sharing. But not this time. Four Bananas are sold for a dollar, that I share as we eat halves, sometimes with my cereals. The prison food hasn’t improve from what we have been having, but the lentils and beans is ok for me if only they don’t add too much salt. The chicken is scary as they are barely cooked, sometimes they come in cold and with blood. We have to re-cooked it again in order to eat it, sometimes I rather let it pass.
Back to Friday night, couldn’t keep up waiting for signal, but needed to speak with my little boy as he turned seven on Friday, didn’t work out; poor signal, when Schat finally called, line was death, #Carajo señal. Thus, called off my wait for signal and retired to my fortress and my Petit world and with an aggressive form of hunger. My cellmate who’s got a new online love always joined me for my all night, doubt if he knows what I do most of the time when I’m up here alone at night. The norm; anything done on smartphone to them is chatting to a woman or women; depending on how many one could juggle, thus, they think that’s what I do all night. Anyway, he had a cup full of coffee, but five minutes after downing the most-drank beverage in the world, he couldn’t keep his eyes open enough to wait for signal, the coffee didn’t help. We both called off our wait and descended down to our cells.
It was late, while the rest of the pavilion were snoring in the cold weather of last night with a fog so thick outside which will set the cops on the edge all night, some groups were drinking whatever they were drinking. It wasn’t the drink, but the noises of their raised and high voices that was annoying. They showed no respect nor any consideration for those sleeping. Our codes of conduct are unwritten, which we know by heart but regularly broken as we are prisoners; wild men that society couldn’t tamed.
Down in my cell, made me a bowl of muesli + peanuts and also made one for my mate; milk? Powder milk is what have I been doing since my incarceration, the liquid ones are pretty above our league, do get ’em once in a while, but have to be consumed same day or risk of getting bad. We ate in silence so others won’t be disturbed. Read some pages from the new novel I took up 2 days ago. Battled with sleep as I wanted to read more of it, but nature, like it battered my coffee-drinking mate, sent me crashing to sleep within minutes of closing the novel.
Sat 7 Sep 2013
Didn’t get enough of vitamin sleep as my mates came waking me, I knew something is about to come down on us. Phones and whatever illegal gotta be stashed, which abruptly ended my sleep. Set water for coffee as my mind needed something to keep my eyes all open and alert. Different versions of why the early impromptu call; but what made sense most; the cops wants a local whom they said entered our pavilion last night or some nights ago and had been sleeping here. Well, if it’s our local ladee matey from the other side of the fence, she will be waiting patiently for her “time of the month” after leaving here, as she must have done a good round among her several admirers and those willing to pay for her ass-service or mano-libre..
But the frightening thing about today’s shaking is another version of the story from a more reliable source; works in the kitchen. He said, there was an intel that a local from another pavilion had moved a pistol into our pavilion; with the latest trend of the locals having our pavilion as an extension of theirs, one is forced to believe that. Lately, we see the locals wheeling and dealing within and among us. The cops and their inmate-partners in our pavilion paves way for them to come and leave when they feel like; brings to mind, prison isn’t a free market, where traders and buyers are free to opt in and out, its meant to be a place of movement restriction. But not here, our fears are raised with the locals coming here as many could be transporting weapons into the pavilion, if they haven’t been doing that already.
Lately, the lads here are exhibiting undaunted courage as they seemed to have back-ups in case fright breaks out; they can easily reach to their stashed weapons, thus, my guess is right, there are just too many weapons at hand-reach amongst us.
In the past, there had been meetings that the locals shouldn’t be allowed in, and it’s not that we are keen on entering their pavilions; doubt if anyone will love to, neither the one housing the ladies wannabes, they are the most dangerous, with lethal attractions; Le femme fatales 😉
17:19:58! Sat 7 Sep 2013!
Haven’t had my bath all day; shower from a bucket of water should be the right description. No water, thus, a soaked towel is what is keeping me from drenching in sweat. Water finally came around 3pm, but for a few minutes, we have enough buckets/tanks filled for today’s use; if only the lad will be wise with using it.
Lunch, was half-cooked rice, lentils and chunks of fatty beef; had enough lentils + boiled eggs from breakfast, enough to keep me till our next meal comes up. Who knows what they will throw at us later in the evening.
Our big boom-box is back to life as the lads are belting out heavy tunes from Jamaican vibes through to latino rythmns; vallenatos, salsa, merengue, reggaeton, bachata and whatever will go with their drinks and their highs; probably in celebration of the reprieve from the expected search that would have been an early morning punishment. When searches comes, we are sent outside to sit under the weather; sunshine or rainfall, while the cops turned every stone in the cells and in doing so, some thieving cops nicks what little things could be nicked, hiding them their police pants with 1001 pockets. Cops robbing robbers?
Nature-calling… Gotta hit my cell, send a message to Mr. President and finally have a proper shower…. Brb to cover the day and our affairs on the inside (The Belly of the Beast)!
19:48:20 ….. Back to my signal spot which doubles as a mate’s bunk; he built a sort of cubicle on top one of the cells, very comfortable and better than sharing a small cell for six people with about 12-13 people. The only discomfort; he has to get down and use the loo, though several urinary are built upstairs, thus, he can take a leak upstairs along the passage that separates the two rows of cells and can also shower up there, but in the open. But the privacy we all craves for, he gets it, but at a whopping cost; to build an edifice as his, runs into thousands of hard-prison dollars. At the long term, it’s worth it; Privacy! His bunk is my signal spot, can sit outside his bunk all night, but with my back against the wall to have a 180 degrees view of my surrounding, ‘cos this is prison, not a monastery.
Before I left for my nature’s call, we all heard an enormous boooom sound; more of an explosion, despite having Amy Winehouse’s Valerie blasting through my earphones, I heard the sound, so also everyone in the pavilion. When I got down to my cell, a mate who was outside on patio with the cop told me, it was a grenade attack in Pav7 in our sister prison #LaJoyita and there are many injured. The police got the intel on his radio and had to sent everyone in as zero-movement is declared in both prisons. Nothing is new here, I once met a local back in renacer who threw a grenade into a locked cell and killed all the occupants, sometimes to take out one person, comes collateral damages, others got taken along; Gangs liquidation!
As the week goes on, we will get more and clearer intel on what exactly happened. But no matter the mood or mode in the system, our revellers ain’t budge as they are globe-trotting around the world with their music; everyone takes turn to play his type of music, at least something uplifting as it could be dead-dull in here sometimes.
Will need an early night tonight as I didn’t get enough due to the early morning search wake-up call. Apparently, while I was away to attend to nature’s call, there was a lite-brawl; test of strength; one of the lad who has been training with me, looks high on muscle juice, hope he’s not juicing as many seem to want quick muscles without earning in with hardwork. He took on his compatriot, but others came in on time to split them up. And what happened next; angers bottled up for another day, which could be fatal.
My dinner wasn’t bad, but friggin tired of rice, my mate made tomatoes sauce with chunks of beef, with rice, had a bit, couldn’t eat as I want to; maybe from my sleep deprivation. Will have my cereal before hitting my bunk bed.
23:00:48 ….. The time-keeper just blew his whistle, someone did gave a nickname; Chupapito (meaning, D!ck sucker), in prison, there’s always expensive jokes. With the whistle off, music and every other noise should cease, well, some will adhere, but defiant ones will continue and nobody will say a word. Everyone seems to have a way to release his stress but not the depression which will eat them gradually until they cross the threshold and which can only be cured through therapy and medication. No wonder, most prisoners upon released becomes something else.
Whatever happened at our sister’s prison will come sieving through our baskets of informants; mostly the cops themselves and our so-called pastors.
On the inmate whom we heard went AWOL from his pavilion and was suspected to be here; a friend said he saw him on Thursday in our pavilion. Thus, the lad waited to be counted in his pavilion and then vanished and went into another pavilion; and he should be having 7 days to make his escape since that was his plan. But his mates gave him up, funny enough, you won’t know who gave you up. Then starts the blame game. Hope the cops got their man. The lad was with us in renacer, where he escaped with his mates, but were all caught during the carnival, heard one was killed; should have stayed back; told him 😉
Hope it will rain tomorrow, got some laundry to take care of. sleeping around dirty clothes ain’t my thing. This week saw many newbies hauled in, quite a handful of them; In, to begin an uncertain pilgrim journey for self-redemption or self-damnation. The choice is theirs! 😉
Need to plan out a new workout routine for next week; mixing 30 minutes of intensive cardio with my resistance training. Exercises help with focus; if the new cop will open the door to hit patio.
23:51:51…. Thought our revellers will call it quit after the whistle went off, but the lads ain’t abating…… It’s like the feast just got started. They’ll sleep it off tomorrow being Sunday.
What a day……. So much can happen within the 24hrs of day; if only time permits. Our small world, with so many open-secrets.
As I retire to my cell, a part of me will sleep while another watches and remain alert for our alarm when it happens.
“My strength did not come from lifting weights. My strength came from lifting myself up when I was knocked down.” – Bob Moore
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