Prison: Where inmates rewrite stories of their lives.
Prison: It’s like a writer creating characters, setting them in a situation with opposing forces and alternatives and the characters dealing with circumstances, choices, and a plot to survive the situations. In his course of survival, the circumstances becomes more and more complicated, more grave, that it reaches a point of crisis. At the end, the prisoners like the main character of a story is driven by the force of their own personalities into their destiny!
Thus, once banged up, one is set in motion by the internal and external forces to move forward, backwards or remain stagnant; and at the end, the character’s destiny is in his own hands!
Prison: where inmates re-learned the first rules of the game very well & go out to break them again. Apparently, we’ve copies of Panama #PenalCode in here. Makes me wonder why copies are left in the population…..probably for inmates to know which part of the law they have broken ! #LifeInPrison
Memo 2 November Mon 11 Nov 2013
Took 2x400mg of liquid-gel Ibuprofen before hitting bed last night, woke up with less backache, don’t want to depend or hook on #Painkillers, can be devastating. #Addiction!
Know a mate who is hook on painkillers, lad can’t function without doses of his painkillers, he’s now using stronger ones, each visit to the infirmary always end with him fighting with staffs for more painkillers. Sometimes he comes begging, which I can’t denied him, he was my first training partner and a old-school gym rat; knows loads of training techniques and also seen tons of prison walls intercontinentally. Too bad, in friggin pains now.
Gym was scanty; visit day & secondly, no water, a mate gave me a tank, which I shared with my cellmate/training partner. Don’t know what will happen next, we will need water for use in the loo. And there’s no sign of rain now or later.
The lads are back from visit, all smiling with bags full of goodies and what had been smuggled in. There’s so much food in the pavilion & things for sale, some are dealing & wheeling their foodstuffs to pay debts or sustain die-hard habits, which ain’t easy to wean off.
Last night, an old hawker was walking around with a 2×4; his debtor whom one of his creditor gave him a sleep-space (creditor wanna be close to his debts) wouldn’t pay. Why sell to him, when he doesn’t pay his old bills; that’s the most stupid thing here, competitions is driving dealers, traders to trade in credit, and at the end they lose as most debtors won’t pay.
The lad was kicked out from the cell next-door to mine; bad habits, snorting & all sh!t had his cellmates sent him packing. Not easy now! Same debtor owes my pharmacist-cellmate, but my mate ain’t worry about the money; counts it as bad-debt!
The lad is a walking corpse, but won’t give up his habit, maybe, that’s his own way of dealing with stress on the inside. Many’re like him, something gotta keep them functioning.
#Workout was #HIIT #Back &#Triceps + bit of #Abs! Short of breathe…. Too hot, had to down some cold gatorade to help with the heat in the gym, and we definitely need some rain.
Our new #Shemale was out for visit, wonder whom she had today. She must’ve been a competition to the many flat-chested/flat-ass female visitors ;-), but she look her best.
17:23:02…friggin hot in the pavilion; adding salt t o injury… Still no water; scare of munching on food brought in by the lads from visit, especially the salads, though much better than our prison food.
Finally left for our signal spot, the spot is above our sewage passage and drain, where my fork fell in, had to get it, getting in metal cutlery is very difficult, have had that fork for more than 3yrs now; always hid it during search as cops will take anything metal; could be a fatal weapon in the wrong hands at the right time. After the lad whose hands it dropped brought it out, boiled it in hot water and bleach to kill whatever germs on it, now it’s back in service.
The metal on the signal post is carving in from strains of people constantly standing on it. Soon it will collapse like other parts up here. Hopefully I will be lucky this evening to get access, there’s so many people up here.
My cellmate whose got scalp infection is really suffering from it, after several bouts of self-medication and treatment, when it all seems to recede, it all came back with vengeance, all over his head. He’s got it for about 4yrs now. Worst thing about it, the doctors knows what’s wrong with him, but won’t tell him, kept plying him with different medications that ain’t helping. His mate, who was in same case with him, died of #HIV #AIDS. complications, pray, he’s not infected!
After running queries upon queries online, found out his medications are what #HIV patients use. Leaves a big ??? on my mind!
Medical conditions in the pavilion is awful; inmates are left for death before they are wheeled out in wheelbarrow to their fates, many survives, but the unfortunate ones won’t make it pass the first police post as they take their last breathe. Though Doc presence here, has really helped and changed a lot. Many go to him with medical and health-related questions, and he always make out time to attend to everyone. He’s got some patients he makes morning rounds to their cells, which is uplifting and hopeful for them; at least someone cares about their welfare and their pitiful conditions.
The Bahamas pilot finally gave in to be extradited after falling ill, and waited for treatment, which never came. He knew in America prison, he will be treated of whatever ills he’s got. But for the justice side, hope he gets a fair trial. America want their #Prisoners alive to do their time, thus they will do all to keep him well and alive if found guilty. #Lockup #AmericaPrisonFacts
Had a enough for today; lentils that came in for lunch + drumstick from my mate who went out for visit + Papaya, breakfast was Banana + coffee. Eat less = Sh!t Less #WaterCrisis
Lately, the locals been storming our pavilion in numbers, their mates here allow them in, after they had greased the cop’s hands. Their coming in ain’t for good. Problem brewing!
The foreigners pavilions are the main hub of businesses in the centre; whatever the locals nicked within their pavilions are brought here on our open and free market; a trader or dealer is never threatened or ask to pay dues, and there’s freedom of movement in our #MarketPlace; very good environment to do business, but one must be wise as many end up bankrupted due to unpaid debts. Despite all the beatings and threats, a once buoyant and fat trader/dealer can decide to throw in the towel for good, since he can’t get his debts to keep up with business.
Some dirty jobs that can’t be done are given to the locals to do; like the case of our ex-president that had his jaws broken & still hospitalised 1week now, someone in here had suspected him of being a turn-coat or sapo as they call snitches here. Paid the locals to do him, and they did him properly; broke his jaws which will require reconstruction. And the lad never had teeth, lost quite a few since he got banged up; whoever paid for that job, specifically wanted all the lad’s teeth taken out, thus, the blows to his mouth; heard he is in dire condition, wish him speedy recovery.
Dental care here is like hunting for unicorn; the dentist is specialise in removing teeth, he doesn’t fix anything, if anyone succeed in booking an appointment with him, no matter what little need be done to one’s teeth, he will yank it off. Seen a mate who went to him and had three teeth removed on same day. I’m doing everything to protect my shinning! Wouldn’t want to leave here like a vampire with fangs 😉
Now back to the locals encroaching into our congested space. The last incident is one that has brought chills to our spines; last week, a local walked into our pavilion with a loaded pistol, probably on extortion mission; one amongst us must have paid him to come in with the gun and threatened someone, likely a debtor who is not willing and ready to pay. #PrisonBusiness #PrisonViolence
That incident is raising tensions amongst us, from intel, the lad did flashed someone the piece, maybe that was what he was asked to do. Whoever he came here for, is probably owing someone. To this lads, it’s not the amount owed, but the guts of not paying. I have seen inmates got slashed, stabbed and disfigured for debts less than $5! In prison, it’s all about dignity; one we all lost when those cuffs were hung on our wrists like giant silver armbands.
Our new president is trying to put a stop to the locals coming in here for good; in doing so, he’s also putting his life on the line of fire. Foreigners can’t walk into their pavilions, dare it, you’ll be skinned and eaten alive, but them, and because of their cronies, they are so free to come in as much as they want, sometimes, they come in here, spent hours, dining, smoking and drinking with us; one is left to wonder what all the gates and locks are meant for. Well, if someone could leave his cells and right under the nose and watch of the cops, sneaked into the director’s office and nicked a fan; then anything is possible. I’ll sneak and nicked my way out of the centre, than nicking a fan and back to my cell.
We all hope, there will be an end to the locals coming down here, for now, we just have to live with it; constantly watching over our shoulders with our backs on the wall.
19:59:02 on Mon 11 Nov 2013….. Some crackhead inmates are grilling meats on the #BBQ rack, wondering who is so stupid to do that in an enclosed place like this. The air is stuffy with the smoke from their #BBQ, it’s choking, all our laundries will suffer from their BBQ smokes. Everyone is above the law here!
A mate did bring me a piece of the grilled chicken, wasn’t bad, taste very different, like home-cooked; some inmates don’t just want to accept that they are in prison, certain things shouldn’t be thought of, guess that’s why they call here prison; to deny one certain things like BBQ and Pu**y, but the latter, some are bedding whatever or whoever they can 😉
20:38:35 on Tue 12 Nov 2013
Another hot day in the jungle, our water crisis is pushing us to the wall, wondering what will be the next step of action. Few are buying water from the locals; the only way to get water. Seems the locals cut us off from the prison water supply, so they could profit from selling water to us. Those who can’t afford it are silently complaining, we need one-united voice to fight against the injustice within these walls.
Still went out today and had a good #Chest workout, glad I went out early, as I was disturbed by inmates who flocked in and wanted to train with me. We had a good-ass and excruciating workout. Was worth the time.
We’re still feasting on our yesterday’s leftovers from the visit. Trust my cellmates, they can always turn stone to bread. Had my sauce with lentils that came on the lunch cart. After lunch, tried napping, but too knackered for that, no idea of what came for dinner; cold cereal will be okay later tonight.
A lad selling pizza (we bake anything that can fit into out prison-made oven), fell after getting his foot trapped in one of the many holes on the metal flooring on the passageway above the cells. His pizzas fell with him, that’s money and hard-labour gone as nobody will eat from those fallen pizzas again. Inmates spit, urinate and throw all sorts of bins there.
Should be having an early night tonight, damned too tired……apparently, couldn’t and didn’t get my early night…#PrisonLife
Wed 13 Nov 2013
Woke up to noises of my mates hustling for water, it’s pathetic what the water crisis is turning us into. There’s been series of fracas during our quest for water; setting your tanks and having some moved it to a different position which ends up in heated verbal arguments or inmates getting physical like it happened one evening. Didn’t expect such in my cell, but this morning as the tap ran, which ran less than 5minutes; the lads were busy filling their personal tanks while there was no water in the general tanks for toilet use.
When I objected what they were doing, they weren’t happy, I rather let it out as it is than bottled it up and speak behind their backs as the do when I’m off to gym each morning.
Anyway, left for school, boredom like always, but keeping up with everything, and so much to be done. Without internet access, will be hard to complete most of my school work ;-), back to basic….using dictionary!
Back from school, met a supposed-to-be lady, but was one of the full-trans dressed like a proper ladee walking around and savouring the attentions from lads locked up in their different cells. Her presence caught us unaware, but then, she is a man! Period.
The director and his entourage were having a tour of the centre while prisoners-workers were digging up trenches for our new water pipelines; this is probably the 3rd time that pipelines will be lain to transport water to our pavilion and at the end, it becomes a white elephant project.
We are made to believe, it’s probably the locals who are benefiting from sales of water to us, are sabotaging our pipelines whenever they are set up and working. We’re been levied again like other previous water projects; we paid, but no water. Hope this time it will work for good.
My mood with my cellmates today is a bit cold, after the morning water scuffle, I’ve made up my mind to be more careful with dealing with them. Though I always try to keep and end loggerheads on daily basis, try never to take it serious; we’ve lived together for such a long time, I sort of trust them for my safety, and they also hold me at high esteem; being older than the younger ones and second-oldest in the cell.
It’s a clash of cultures and civilisation, prison acts as a crossroads for merging of these diversely cultures. All we are left to do is, adapt, adjust and improvised; accept what you can, let some slide and keep one’s distance, then you earned your respect. In prison, it’s how you carry yourself, so will others see you.
Took a short and much-needed nap, only to wake up with itching eyes and burning nostrils; I’m the only one in my cell who cooks with “Hot Chilli”….. Thus, when I woke up to burning sensation on my eyes and nose, I knew what it was; canisters of gas had been thrown, and thank heaven for wind, which blew all the gases to our pavilion. The action was in Pavilion 8; the second of the three pavilions meant for foreigners. But from what I later found out, pavilion 8 is no longer for foreigners alone; the authorities sent in 40 local inmates who couldn’t be housed anywhere in the centre with their fellow locals; due to gangs war. But having the locals (mostly young adults) with grown-up and old foreign inmates doesn’t work. From intel coming in, there are gangs within the walls of the pavilion, and these young lads seeing how the foreigners tend to live in affluent wealth will want to resort to extortions and thefts. We have gangs in ours, but not to the point of threatening each others with guns. That’s what happened in pavilion 8, guns and several weapons are smuggled in; keeping tension in the pavilion very high.
Gun incident in our pavilion has always been locals sent by our fellow foreign inmates to threatened their fellow inmates for unpaid debts or street war that spiralled into prison. Sometimes, the locals are used to pestered and threatened an inmate whom the prosecutors are keeping as a useful witness. It has happened before, faeces and all sort of rubbish were hauled at an inmate to change his statement.
The gun incident in pavilion prompted the search that brought the director and his entourage to the pavilion, doubt if the gun was found. At the end, everyone will be punished, the gangs are always above the law as cops are always scare of reprisals by gang members on the street. We do have some locals in our pavilion; but they are/were locals with dual-citizenship (American/Panama); some opt to live with us where it’s much quiet than with their fellow compatriots.
Guns and other form of weapons flow in freely into the centre through means that has been in use since the first inmate discovered he has to proof a point by doing someone or protect himself from getting done; reasons, we have weapons!
A mate has been experimenting with different flavours for his liquor, finally perfected the use of coconut to distil moonshine and come up with a #Malibu #CoconutLiquor flavour. Tasted it, wasn’t bad, the flavour was overwhelming for a first try and he did well. Well done lad, our faithful clients will be queuing for this, hope they make some profits before copycats jump into it; though, most of our distillers ain’t too keen about flavours as their clients are ok with whatever they distilled.
Signal was a bit ok, was able to update my blog with an article on stress, depression, and bipolar disorder; worth sharing.
Back in my cell, as #Christmas is around the corner my cellmates like others in the distil business are busy distilling in anticipation of buyers from within our population and from the locals who are one of the biggest clients; they prefer quantity to quality.
It will be another yuletide in the slammer, how time flies, six inmates were released earlier today, hope they will make it out from the immigration before Christmas. A Jamaican lad is due or overdue; waited for five months for his papers to be processed. The lad did an extra five months after finishing his time; how pathetic the system is.
Thu 14 Nov 2013
Our weekly headcount day and also pay day for the on-duty cop; he will get more if he was a good cop. The lads seems to like him as he allows us outside, but sometimes he will want us behind the building so that his bosses at the admin block won’t see us. When he did made his rounds, he sure did get enough, sometimes they get more than monthly pay-check.
Today was my cleaning day, enough water from yesterday, waited while my mates did their morning rituals before cleaning. A cup of coffee and banana was my breakfast before hitting gym for #Shoulders and #Arms #HIIT workout. The gym was full, but managed to gather enough weights for my solo workout before my training partners will join me.
The Jamaican who did more five months on his time was finally hauled to the immigration; where he is likely going to spend couple of weeks to get his papers processed before deported to his home-country; where his ill-fated journey began 6yrs ago.
For the rest of us, and my compatriots, it’s a waiting game, one our cats plays with the rats that are deadly. Talking of rats; an inmate here, whose wife died after rats munched on her toes while sleeping and infected her. The lady was released and left to die; she eventually died a month after her release. Her husband and a cousin of one of my cellmates have spent 59 months and just went to trial earlier this week where they were both sentenced to 60 months of prison term; and their charges were association, with people they suspected to be drug cartels members. How they wasted their lives.! #Pheeeeeeeeew!
Another confrontation with my pharmacist cellmate, lad is a little twat, but an ok guy, just don’t know when to push the button. Prison, at the end doesn’t do anyone any good; it’s time-killer, time-wasting and destroy people emotionally and psychologically. From my experience here, I beginning to know why the rate of re-offending is so high here. The lads are left to rot and waste away; my mates will wake up each day to lousy talks of their inglorious past lives, and men will literally sit all day talking everyone. And today was me and my political correctness attitude, how I want things to be done. Bad enough, back from workout, drenching in sweat and definitely stinky, and my cellmate know too well, it’s either me or our mates who trains with me that will be entering the shower. But my friggin pricks-of-mates at that moment all wanted to jump into the shower; well it brought out my other side, as it ain’t the first time they are doing this. But someone gotta set the record straight, had to let them understand how I feel about it. My training mate who is older barely talks to them, kinda playing the cool guy, but feels disgusted with their attitudes. Hope change will come.
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw
After all the verbal brawl, we all laughed and life continued; well, that’s one thing most people praises us for, how we can rant in heated brawls and then get to eat together again. Hope we remain this way and able to keep our cool.
The cop allowed me out, but was too tired to do anything outside as it was blazing hot, but did picked some #Spinach for my quick lunch; definitely have to get some spinach seeds and plant some, a mate gave me lentil soup, was delicious.
After my lunch, slumped into my bunk, for a powerful nap as I was friggin tired and dehydrated from workout, woke up some minutes past 9pm.
00:33:50 at my signal spot!
Thanks to #Android phones for being able to save tweets to draft, unlike #BlackBerry, which is not possible. Sending all my saved tweets, but not for too long as the signal won’t be for long.
Resigned to my cell, which is still steaming-hot from the heat of my mates distilling earlier in the evening. Run-up to Christmas, inmates will be brewing and distilling all they can. A mate asked for my wine recipe, refused to give him, told him to pay me, I’ll make a gallon for him, he’s a miserly fella, hard to part with his cents. Then, none of my secret for either. #Wanker
Slumped into my bunk bed, with severely sore-back, something I’ve to live with, hope to get a better mattress, maybe it will help relieve the pain. Did some reading before nature finally took hold of me…..Zzzzzzzzzzzz
Fri 15 Nov 2013
Barely closed my eyes when my mate came for my phone; he wakes early, goes up to the signal post to seek and chat, he also like reading daily news to keep himself abreast with the world’s affairs, at least makes good use of his time. The lad was due to leave last month, but still waiting for his released papers; he’s the oldest in the cell, then me!
Finally went back to sleep, praying there won’t be any surprise visit by cops for one of their impromptu search. Glad they didn’t show up, seems we are cool for now.
Up around 9ish, a breakfast of wheat bread + peanut butter and a cup of green tea, before hitting the gym; last day of my workout for the week, try to keep it five days each week.
Workout was for #Strength, had #Chest and #Triceps with #Abs in-between each sets. Was a good and intensive workout to end the week. Others will continue on Saturday, would’ve love to get outside and run, but doubt if the cop will let me out. For now, just relaxed and recuperate.
No water today, and we’re running low on what we had on Wednesday and Thursday, if there won’t be water tomorrow, then, we’re back to square-one. Our lives, our miserable lives.
Electricity was out for most part of today, like always our inmate-technicians had it fixed.
Seeing lots of new faces in the pavilion, we’re so many, that one barely recounts faces of new inmates, whom upon arrival are “Dead on arrival”….. Like #SteveJobs scoffed on the 7-inch tablet back in 2010… Some new inmates, once that iron-maiden of our door is opened and they walk in, the expressions on their faces definitely look “Dead on arrival”; don’t know what lies ahead of them, and who will be swindling them before they adapt and adjust and understand #TheLife on the inside. Their faces tell tales of men left to withered away and of no good.
Our pavilion is such a small world of its own, where so much goes on, but then, one takes in only what will be benefiting; maybe not all, but I rather stick to intel or news that is useful to me.
A Mexican old inmates who finally got extradited with others on their dark Thursday, was actually the time of his life here. The man was a handyman, built the cubicles-like-cells on top of our cells for those who could afford it. But he was also good at something else, helping a particular young Colombia lad relieved himself of build-up tension. And all these actions happened right behind my back where I sit every night writing, reading and surfing.
The old man’s cubicle is behind my mate’s, and each night I always see the little lad, not knowing he was actually shagging the old cow, the man was a fitness enthusiast, had all the gym equipment fixed and painted. But was also living his open-secret la vida loca. Heard he was paying the young lad to shag him every night. It was such an open-secret that another black Colombian lad went one night to ask him if he could shag him and get paid, to which the old cow refused. When I asked the lad if it was true, he didn’t denied it, said, he drank quite a few too much and needed to relieve himself, thus his lewd request, too bad he probably went and have a solo-handjob 😉 …. Well, now that the old man been whisked away by the Gringos, he will sure be living the time of his life in an American jail where inmates abuses is rampant and higher than in other countries. He sure will be loving it there, good for him.
Another old inmate who did #PrisonTime in #France, also pays a young lad to get him laid in the public toilet shared by over 100 inmates in the gym-hall. They were caught by others who suspected their movements. Now, some young lads are asking the old fella if he would pay them to get shagged. Good for them!
02:14:20 Sat 16 Nov 2013
Up at the signal spot when one of my cellmate came up to use my phone, but signal was a bit tricky, he tried but unsuccessful, I stayed back for a while, trying but to no avail before resigning to fate and down to my cell.
Sat 16 Nov 2013
Supposed to be a general cleaning in my cell (weekly), little water left from what’ve used, thus, no general cleaning today. Woke up early but back to sleep, ‘d love to hit patio for a good run, but heard the cop ain’t letting anyone out. Thus, stay put in my bed, just before 11am, my mates made rice and egg-sauce, had that for breakfast with a cup of black tea. Little walkabout and back to read, until I napped off for an hour-plus.
Being Saturday, so much is going on in the pavilion; meetings on how the new administration should run the pavilion, pockets of fiestas in different cells and corners in the passages. Different types of baked, fried and cooked food are being hawked around the pavilion along with those screaming whatever top-up cards they have for sale.
Those selling lottery numbers are also busy looking for their next unfortunate victims who daily contributes to their piggy-bank and after investing over $200 in lottery and wins $50 are so happy they have won something. There’re others selling drugs (pharmaceutical drugs), others selling clothes, slippers and whatever the locals could nick and send in here. Phones and chargers are sold on daily basis, new and used. For drugs and liquor or moonshine; users knows where to find their respective dealers. Dealers on those stuffs don’t go around hawking their deadly goods, the goods silently call and draw men to where they are ;-), apparently they get the most clients; from within our population and outside from the locals, who are too busy stabbing and shooting each other, that they don’t have time to brainstorm.
Talking of shooting; Panama prisons are known as battleground for warring gangs and for liquidation of one’s enemies. On Thursday and for duration of three hours or more, inmates were engaged in gun battle with diverse gangs factions in one of panama’s modern prison in Colon christened #LaEsperanza #TheHope. It’s funny how they name their prisons; #LaJoya #TheJewel, #ElRenacer #Rebirth….. Well, beautiful names but different things on the inside.
Video cameras picked some of the lads as they were shooting from their burnt-out windows. What was played on television was like a scene from Hollywood movies. While they were shooting and being shot at, families were crying and screaming outside, and were all picked by cameras; a scene which most families of inmates wouldn’t want to watch. It looks very much like the #Venezuelan and #Honduras #Prison uprising; gang wars that spiralled out of control and got cops and army involved, where after the war had ended; collateral damages were so much, it will take years to heal the wounds of that war.
While the cowboys in Colon were shooting and being shot at, the locals here in pavilion seven were also busy shooting at each other. Whenever we walked past that pavilion, they seems to look calm, but deep within and amongst them are sleeping volcanoes waiting to erupt at any moment of disturbances. After their shoot-outs, two were taken to the little town close to the prison, but they were deferred to the general hospital in the city for treatment. Hope they survive and live to shoot another day.
Weeding out guns from the population is a very difficult process, one that will cost the government a lot of money. Wardens and Cops are underpaid; thus, the need to supplement with jobs from inmates who are willing to pay to pay any amount to get arms for protection, sometimes higher that their monthly wages. Who wouldn’t succumbed to such a sweet temptation?
Each day is lived with all anticipation of anything can break out; like the motto of #BoyScout #BePrepared’, we are always prepared and ready for the inevitable.
Up on my signal post all night but feeling sleepy, and there’s no sign I will be lucky tonight. Many are dumping our once favourite #Smartphone #BlackBerry to cheap #Android phones as they fared better when it comes to picking up signal. But for some of us addicted to keypads, nothing beats BB with its Qwerty keypad. Makes writing very easy and I’m so used to the keypad layout, I can write with my eyes closed 😉
Finally, knackered and tired of sitting, gazing into the unknown, and waiting for signal. Walking down the passage way, the amount of rats running up and down the passage are overwhelming. It’s likely they outnumbered us the prisoners in the pavilion. The mother and son cats living upstairs are also tired of hunting as it seems the rats are getting smarter; they operate below the passage where the cats can’t reach them, all the cats do is sit still, wait and watch. But, they always get lucky, after hours of patiently waiting, one unlucky rat will always pop up and there’s goes a proper dinner for the cats. So bad cats don’t eat cockroaches, so much of these critters here, that we have given up on them. Initially, we used to buy insecticides, but it’s all waste of money as you can’t stop them from reproducing in thousands. We’ve learned to live with them; side be side!
Back in the cell around 2am, someone is missing; the young lad that got blowjob from our new cellmate after night of binge-drinking. Hope, he’s not getting laid in one of our dark corners or blind-spots in the passages. Well, wasn’t long before he came in, told me, he was busy searching for signal.
Hope he was, lately I have been following @msnbcLockup on twitter, bet it will be a nice series as they go behind prison’s walls to see first-hand what goes on behind the scene; life on the inside!
One of the tweets today raised some goosebumps on my skin, it’s one gigantic question that’s on everybody’s mind; prisoners, cops, wardens and even the staffs. The tweet as it was on #msnbcLockup timeline;
“Inside every prison, there’s one question both inmates and COs must ask themselves: who can I trust? #msnbcLockup #Lockup
#Trust; 1. to believe that (someone) is honest and means no harm. 2. to feel that (something) is safe and reliable.
After reading this, and then looking around, the environment is not one that ‘trust’ could easily be plucked from a tree. Within our walls, trust is earned, one must work for it, some barely trust themselves. Thus, one’s safety is evaluated daily; one bad utterance of yesterday could change things the next day. No matter how close you are to someone, you don’t loose your guard.
To the men and women who will walk this path, trust mean everything to them. One’s survival depends on whom one trusts, thus, the formation of gangs; alone you are a goner, but in group you seems to be safe. Imagine a gang of 40 inmates (the forty locals housed with foreigners in Pav8) or a pavilion with more than 200 men (some pavilions are used to house groups of a particular gang), all belonging to one gang to avoid gang wars when they are housed with other opposing gang members. That’s what trust does in prison, despite how they profess trust, there’s still that strive and mistrust amongst them; we’re human!
Not even can one dare to share secrets with other inmates as there are tendencies of betrayals; seen first-hand from my cellmates, who will sit every morning in a groups of other lazy, lousy men and discuss things that sometimes were meant for only one person’s ears. We see in movies of prisoners disclosing secrets to other prisoners, which he has kept to himself for a very long time. Some could be where loots were stashed or boasts of his infamous acts; literally, confessing his crimes and therefore further implications. Then his so-called buddy will strike a deal with cops and prosecutors for either early release or lesser sentence by testifying against him. Such is “Trust” in prison.
A mate once made boastful rants of how he beds sixteen years girls, how sweet and innocent they are; definitely innocent. The wanker seemed to forget that we are all fathers of teenage girls or soon-to-be teenagers. Not even criminals like to hear of such, from that moment, we see and take him differently. Because of that statement, he had a fallout with another inmate; this inmate won’t stop talking of that statement, being a father of teenagers, he can’t believe why a man should be that stupid. That inmate whom, personally I think is a paedophile, doesn’t like sports, not into music, movies, books or anything other men will be interested on, probably his idea of manly fun is bedding minors. Glad he’s here for now.
Another cellmate of mine, after giving me his phone to work on; I found pornographic videos of little girls as young as two or less; I was bitter with him, asked him if he likes it, he told me, a friend sent it to him, but I knew he downloaded it. Even, if someone sent you such a video, on seeing it, you should delete it, but keeping it for that long (after checking the properties and date the file was created) I knew he had it for a very long time and was using it to satisfied his dirty urges.
Mistrust will make inmates when they know of their release date, won’t tell it to know one. The locals are good at that, back in Renacer, a young lad who was close to us, though he’s back now and in Pav2 with the ladees; when the lad was about leaving, he didn’t divulged nothing to his fellow buddies, but came to me and my other European mates to tell us and even wanted to give me his cherished #Rambo-kind-of-Knife; accepted his utensils but not the knife. So also amongst us here; the latinos upon their released or repatriation, rarely tell anyone, for fear of reprisals or payback by inmates they had hurt or stepped on their toes.
Having lived with these lads in same cell for more than 3yrs, I have learned to trust them a bit, despite knowing they loathes me as much as I do about them. But I respect the tranquillity we have maintained; other inmates talks about our cell as the best. It takes one person to realised that he can lead and then takes up the mantle of leadership and actually lead. That’s what I did; I speak out to what is wrong and I praised them for doing right and because of that, they know, if anyone attacks them, I will take up their fight. They are bunch of lads I love to hate but just can’t, once I had a terrible diarrhoea for more than a week; they did all I couldn’t do. Guess that’s how they got my trust.
“I will not be afflicted at men not knowing me; I will be afflicted that I do not know men.” – Confucius
14:03:13 Sun 17 Nov 2013
Spent all morning till now in my cell and the most part in my bed. After breakfast of oatmeal, showered and back to sleep with a cup of lipton black tea. Was writing and listening to music when the phone crashed and what I didn’t saved were lost. Wasn’t bothered as I needed the sleep, slept and got up just about when lunch was wheeled in (the state of the food-cart, will make one vomit), was about eating oatmeal again, but this cold, but opt for the lunch which was chicken-skin soup + white rice, just the soup and a handful of rice will keep me full, discarded the skin, despite being salty like always, I devoured all as I was starving.
No water yesterday and today, my mates are pinching into their reserves, I have two tanks, which will be okay for tonight and tomorrow, after my workout. And then after we are left for fate, what the day has for us. The water project going on is definitely not working, there’s been series of meeting between the pavilion’s leadership on what’s best for us, but they don’t seem to agree on anything; that’s what happen when crooks are seated together to disagree and agree; always mistrust. “There’s no honour among criminals”…..??? #Food4Thought
17:16:36 Sun 17 Nov 2013
Just got down from seeing Doc. and his mates, his new cell or shanty build-up is much better than our normal cell, spacious and airy, we are some time together chatting, about life and all there is. A french-Canadian who had pulled off seven of his teeth out of pain showed them to me. After several attempts to make appointment to see the dentist failed, he resorted to doing it himself. He ‘d say, he sent videos of him yanking them off to the Canadian embassy and other offices. Dental care is like valet service, for the privileged. Many amongst us will leave here with bare mouth and toothless. Gotta take optimum care of my shinning. Did munch on some #Gouda cheese with slices #Salami, wasn’t bad. They tend to live quite different from the rest of us, polled up resources together, cook together and eat together, unlike the rest of us; all man on his own and God for us all 😉
Cooking pasta, dinner came in and it’s animal fats and white rice, with shredded leaves they call salad. Cooking pasta and tomatoes sauce, that will do me for tonight.
19:32:19, Sun 17 Nov 2013
Had my dinner which was filling, not rich, but enough fresh tomatoes and onions and bits of boneless tilapia fillets. Should I get hungry later on, a bowl of cereal will do.
Up at the signal post, the spot is cramped with inmates pointing their phones in one direction which look like a scene in one of those ancient Latin American cultures where worshippers are all on their knees with outstretched hands imploring their gods to come to their aid. It’s not different here, in our palms are our smartphones, the most are android phones as we implores the gods of signal to bless us with signal. If this piece is uploaded tonight, definitely mean I was among the few lucky ones. If not, I’ll keep trying, maybe tomorrow after my workout.
Our ex-president just got back from hospital after a week-long admission, where he was treated for broken jawbones. He has some wires fixed in his mouth, hope he’ll be able to eat. ‘uneasy lies on the head that wears the crown’ …..;-)
Bit quiet in the pavilion tonight, though some are drinking and doing what they love doing. But, the atmosphere has remained quiet and tranquil all day and evening. Hope it stays this way for a long time.
Soon, weekend will be over and another week unfolds before us; we men bonded by our desires and fate, soldiers of fortunes, men who will rewrite their destiny when the time comes. But, before that time, there must be our #Redemption and #Emancipation of self!
“Things that are done, it is needless to speak about; things that have had their course, it is needless to remonstrate about; things that are past, it is needless to blame.” – Confucius
“When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them.” – Confucius