A Compatriot Repatriated, What Become Of Us Left Behind The Walls And More Tales of Wonders From Behind Bars.

 

“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.” – Ben Okri 

 

Failures (or temporary defeat) are meant to provide good information about what doesn’t work

 

“Neither temporary defeat nor adversity amounts to failure in the mind of the person who looks upon it as a teacher that will teach some needed lesson.” – Napoleon Hill (The Law Of Success)

 

Updated my blog today; tales of events that moves and shapes the lives of men sequestered to the ends of the world, to where many had gone and never returned and those that came back had lost the better part of themselves to the demons within the walls of Prison. Everyday on the inside is a battle to survive the odds of surviving, we face dilemmas, obstacles and unknown hurdles which we are meant to overcome by our resistance, our adaptability, our endurance and our wits, and even with the very life that we fight to save. A life full of uncertainties, but also full of HOPE! 

 

Monday, 12 May 2014 

Sciatica pains since last week and forced me to take days off from my workout. Everything I do, I do them with extra effort and in pains, ran out of painkillers, and my pharmacist-cellmate doesn’t have what I need. I have to work on crude remedies ; ginger has been helpful, drinking loads of water. And yoga stretching helps relieves some of the pain. Sitting, lying down, walking and even standing for a long period of time put more stress on my sciatica nerves which sometimes numbs my right foot. Not a good sign! 

 

Woke up bit later than my usual time, but first in the cell to rise. Went through my rituals, about leaving for the signal spot, then others started rising from their slumber. Our day, our week has just began and it will be a hectic one. 

 

Upstairs, few were connecting to their loved ones or friends, most were still arranging with whoever will visit them today, to know if they are actually coming. Got online, all messages and emails that were waiting on the queue started rolling in; pictures from schat on my little girl’s birthday came in, and I believed from what I saw, they did had a wonderful and blissful birthday bash. Glad that schat can make turn little things to amazingly massive and impressive occasion 😉 

 

Sent all saved tweets from Sunday and added few ones before signal became slow. Had to leave for my cell. Whoever had cleaning today, has finished, made oatmeal as I prepared to hit the gym. Few spoonful before leaving. Those going for visit got themselves ready for the brief moments with their missus or girlfriends. The lad that had dominoe inserted in his mojo came in and spoke to my boxer-cellmate, then the others picked it up, that he has gotten his name on the list to get his mojo pierced. Friggin beggars belief that everyone is jumping on this frenzy. Got me wondering if anyone amongst the first sets who had theirs done has used it and told them of his experience. Anyway, hope he knows what he’s doing. Easily swayed! 

 

The gym was almost empty because of today’s visit. Did some sets of benchpress, flyes, inclined and declined presses and added some pull-ups and loads of stretching for my aching back. Felt bit relieved.  

 

Back in, rushed in for a quick shower and washed up all my gym stuffs, including my training shoes. Finished with my shower, then came the heavy downpour, filled all our tanks and every available containers. 

 

The lads made it back before the downpour, lucky fellas. Enough food to take us through three days, but all fried stuffs. There are foods we only eat during visit days; shrimps, burgers, salads and proper home-cooked fishes and meats. Thus, every visit day is our Christmas. Enough food for friends and enemies 😉 

 

The lads who had been drinking since yesterday are still on their benders, they won’t stop until the pavilion run dry. The capitán was here to warn about last night noise, that if it continues, they will storm us and take away our fans, televisions, stoves and heaters. They did that to pavilion 8, when they went to demand for guns used by inmates during shootouts with cops. They were under lock down for three months, took aways visiting and conjugal rights from those who had. And all their electrical appliances were taken, and they had searches almost every week. Hope these lads here will heed to this new warning! 

 

20:52:55 upstairs at the signal spot and signal is awfully slow, nothing is coming through, like the portals are airtight closed against us. By 9pm, nothing happens, will be heading down to my cell for an early night and to do some reading. 

 

A debtor owing me 5 bucks from wine he bought months ago, had me connected to his wifi. Something I should get, but then, the headache that comes with it during search, place to stash it as it is way bigger than our phones. 

The connection was superb, downloaded all news update and other articles I needed to read later, and which kept me till 2am. 

 

Finally got my eyes shut for the night…..ZzzzzZzzzz

 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 

Woke up twice to use the loo, the latest was by 4:30am, had to boil water and killed the annoying cricket that won’t allow me some sleep with its chirpy noise. And some sneaky roaches, friggin hate them. But too bad for the cricket, at the wrong place and at the wrong time. 

 

Finally up around 7:30am and made my way to the signal spot. Signal, not at its best today, maybe later in the day. Might have to wait a while to catch my surf, others are coming up to wait and wait till they also get a surf. Those with routers will find it a bit easy getting online. 

 

Not feel like hitting the gym today, still in sciatica pain, should get more rest. Hope by tomorrow, I’m strong enough to return to my workouts and my trainers would have dried up. 

 

My training mates came for me, gave them routine for the day. Can’t wait to get back, nice lads, better the lots of wankers here 😉 

 

Nothing special today, but friggin hot, no water and no rain, but we have enough to take us through the day. Also got my reserves which will come in, if it continues for days; nothing is certain within the walls of prisons. 

 

We still have enough food from yesterday’s visit; but friggin salty fish, wasn’t bad, but the salt was all I tasted in the fish. My mates and salt, a bag of 500g of salt on Monday will be used up by Sunday. Got me wondering if they just friggin drink or eat it raw? Have preached of the ills that comes with salt, but they just can’t do without salt and oil! And one is really suffering from severe high blood pressure that defies medication. 

 

Spent most of the day upstairs as my cell was grilling hot, one of my mate was distilling another batch of his mashes, while the others were waiting in line to cook; some days we all sort out our foods, other days we cook and eat together. 

 

Had an early night, hope to wake up early! 

 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 

Up before the lad cleaning today got up as he likes doing his cleaning as early 5:30am, friggin nutters! 

 

Brush up and got my tea pipping hot, and left for upstairs, signal was ok for the first few hours. Having dressed up for gym, had to leave and get started with my workout. Felt more better than yesterday. The gym was scanty as I made a very early call. Had a good workout with my team, exception of the local who later came late, after we had finished. We did an all-body #HIIT #Crossfit routines and had abs finishers. One of the lads made a shake for the group; we all added to it, I bought ice and got powder cinnamon. Others added oatmeal, milk, peanuts, and melon. Wasn’t bad, refreshing and nutritious after a hard day. 

 

Still waiting for protein I ordered through a mate, almost three weeks since I placed the order, paid him and yet to get my stuffs #prisonbusiness is also #monkeybusiness! Friggin risky! 

 

Nothing appetising and healthy on the prison food cart today; sausages and sweetened cinnamon tea came for breakfast with our balls of bread, lunch, only heard about it; supposed to be chicken soup, but we always get chicken skins in place of real chicken flesh, the lads are busy selling the real thing. And for dinner shredded chicken came with our half-cooked rice. My postworkout was rice with eggs I dropped in one of the lads soup to cook. And dinner we cooked macaroi with pieces of the shredded chicken. Not bad, added my permasan cheese to it and some chillies. Enough for today 😉 

 

Back upstairs, busy at the signal spot and signal is bad, can’t go back to my cell as it’s bloody hot. 

 

Spent the rest of the evening at my friend’s shack, which is cooler with fresh burst of breeze coming in from outside through the iron bars. Much better than being in my boiling cell, who knows, the lads may be cooking as they always do; late night soups ;-), some of us do our time with food! 

 

Thursday, 15 May 2014 

Been my day to clean our toilet/shower room, woke up sometime after 6am, set water on the stove and went straight to my cleaning before the others woke up. One of my mate had connected me to their wifi (which they change the password daily), so when I woke up, there were messages from schat and was able to quickly update my news apps 😉 

 

Done with cleaning as our PA system came to life for our weekly headcount. Went out with my improvised yoga mat (towel cut in twos, use one and wash the other), did some yoga stretches while the count was on; exercises to relieve me of the sciatica pains. All accounted for, none missing or any escaped. Straight to the gym and continued with more stretching and did some pull-ups and dips; less than an hour, was done and back in. Had a proper shower and washed up my clotting. And had oatmeal with peanuts as my postworkout meal.  

 

Enough rain today gave us more water to take us through couple of days, the prison authority are probably relaxed and happy as the rain is doing their water work. Only hope my mates will be wise with using water, as anything can tip this state of equilibrium and throw us into a state of droughts; days on without water. 

 

One of my cellmates hooked me up on his router, but they kept changing their password daily, not bothered though, but very useful to be able to get online right from the comfort of my concrete bed;-)

 

Had an early night, washed all out utensils before taking my nightly shower. There’s so much dust buildup in the cell. Will make out a day to do proper cleaning; my bunk and other parts of the cell, but have to wait as there’s no cardboards and other needed materials in the groceries.  

 

Friday, 16 May 2014

Sleeping early got me up around 2:30am to use the loo, and behold my phone’s screen was filled with message’s notifications, signal was up through my mate’s router. Had to stay up till 4:30am, reading and tweeting and all from the comfort of my small world. Finally went back to sleep and woke around 6:30am, and no intention of hitting the gym today. 

 

Earlier, used the opportunity to search for what’s best for my lower back and the sciatica pain. From google’s results, seems #DexaNeurobion is a better option, and few inmates had had this alongside their juicing; the latter which is becoming a new frenzy and trend after the stone in the dick amongst many of the lads here. Should be working towards getting some vials of Dexa-Neurobion while Dr. Porter is here, I will have him administered the dosage as I don’t trust many of prisoners-turned-doctors who are busy injecting anybody who’s willing to part ways with $3. 

 

Was starving, opted for a hot chocolate with milk and hints of cinnamon, had it with peanut butter sandwich, filling, but got me thirsty and wanting iced water. Got some ice and had a fill of real refreshing cold water; thirst quenching….yeah! 

 

Been upstairs, signal is off and on, being patient is the only way to get about getting online. 

 

Two of the lads, good friends, just got a call and went for medical evaluation; signs that they are leaving soon, likely on Monday. They have been waiting for this moment since three years now; caught with nothing. Not in panama, once you are suspect, you definitely gotta do time and real hard time. Hope the lousy greedy workers upstairs don’t demand more money to get their release papers signed and get them going. Even then, they ain’t free as they will be remanded at the immigration for indefinite amount of time. That’s the snail-speed process of the Panamanians. 

 

Talking about snail-speed; in the case of the two missing Dutch students, everything seems to be heading to nowhere. All the tips coming in seems to be false and leads to dead-end! Read on twitter of two suspicious body found around the area they thought to have disappeared. Praying that it’s also a false tip or info, despite the optimistism, at the back of our minds we still fear for the worst. Their parents are dead worried, from the pictures on television, they have lost great amounts of weights. Hope something positive comes soon. 

 

20:41:41 had had a bit of my wine with my lunch, got me napping for two hours, friggin needed it, helped with my ached back. It’s time I get on the ass (not in) of the lad in charge of the clinic visit, gotta get my name on the list for the next round of visit, if there will be a next round. But the best option, is to buy Dexa Neurobion from outside and have Dr. Porter do the injecting; much safer than having the many prison-turned surgeons inject me, don’t trust them. Can’t afford to leave my life in the hands of another banged up; well, sleeping every night, I tend to know exactly that, I trust my cellmates as they also count on me to watch their backs. 

 

I’m hook on wifi, though slow signal, but much better than the phone hustling with routers for signal 😉 

 

A new lad was hauled in, unlike many of us, he’s got many amigos here. Well, not really amigos as their relationship didn’t end on good notes; most are people he did deals with on the street and they felt he duped them, thus, they are happy, the gods of underworld has brought him to them. One of his would-be enemy was singing and rejoicing on seeing him. This new lad was busted with darkened money, and other government documents which he uses for his scams and fraud schemes. But luck ran out on him when cops busted his residence on an early morning raid. Busted with two ladies (maybe they were having a threesome, who friggin knows) and with other colleagues of his. According to the lad who wants money from him now; the new lad is known as shagmeister, like getting laid with his pals girlfriends. In prison, men washes their dirty laundries as they have nothing to do. We call it singing or ratting! 

 

Little does the new lad knows, I know more about him than what he will tell me. Moment he stepped in, the lads catcalls and tried to heckled him, but I guided him through the throngs of sweating men by flexing my hard-earned muscles ;-), but then the joke changed as many shouted that I’m taking my bitch in. It’s what we do to all newbies, but no violent welcome, just the best reception anyone can get in prison, most especially when our shemale is out, she can plant a warm kiss on their cheeks and tell them she will be available later in the day, exclusively for them. That alone sends the pavilion into sea of laughters and catcallings. What a life! 

 

Well, from all I have heard about this new lad, he definitely got to watch his back constantly, as many of those he scammed are here or their people are here and they won’t hesitate taking it on him if he doesn’t pay them; and these lads are hungry and in need of money to do their time. 

 

Back to me, as we are all doing our time individually, every man bears his own cross and sentences. No matter what friendship they have, everyone is on his own when that time comes. 

 

Saturday, 17 May 2014

We were roused from our early morning deep sleep by my pal from upstairs who came to warn us an ongoing search in pavilion 5; the local’s pavilion housing the biggest religious congregation in the centre, and also the most dangerous and vicious gangs in the centre. 

 

His warning got us all up, but my mates were bit relaxed, maybe still coming out of their slumber. But when the cops outside made moves towards our pavilion, that got them scrambling, the older man fell while trying to untied his router where he had it high above the pavilion, lucky, he wasn’t injured. 

 

All stashed and ready, but it was a false alarm as they didn’t come down here. They only moved to positioned themselves around the perimeters as the locals were scattered all over the field outside their pavilion.  

 

We had our stuffs stashed all day, until it was clear they won’t be coming this way. Green light to pull our arsenals out from their hiding places. 

 

Had our general cleaning today after stashing all our stuffs, set a full pot of ox feet on the stove, which I later cooked Colombian Sancocho (kind of soup, but friggin rich) and with green plantain and green bananas and loads of vegetables. One the lads cooked their type of rice; literally fried rice, burnt! 

 

Did some cleaning and washing, and still off from my daily workouts due to my very-sore back. The pain can be excruciating and unbearable, but then what can one do, I’m out of strong painkillers, but did popped in two paracetamol tabs of 500mg each. Didn’t feel any change, I’m adviced to get the nuerobion intramuscular injection, it might help as many here who had had same problem had that injected and they felt some relieve. Sore and ache back and sciatica problems after cardiovascular diseases seems to be the most complaints amongst inmates here. And it’s not just among the elderly or those leading sedentary lifestyles, but everyone of us seems to be affected by this ills. Then, it comes down to that, our concrete beds and immobility is adding to our medical and health woes. Yet, many doesn’t realise that. 

 

Spent most of the evening upstairs by my mate and the new lad, who seems to know loads of people here. But, his reputation with those who knew him is not something to write home about, seems to had stepped on many toes while a free man. Then, little did he know that tables do turn around ‘what goes around, comes around’…. some of the lads are on his ass for dough gone on bad deals and unfulfilled promises. For now, they are talking in low voices, and because of my mate and me, they are sort of calm with him. In the past, an inmate was pounced on for unpaid debts on the outside. A creditor found that he was slammed in here, called his pals to collect his dough, turned into a serious fight. Such could be the fate and lot of this new lad. He definitely gotta start doing his time watching his back. But he’s very confident that he will be out soon, if his lady presses the right buttons! Hope she does and in time! 

 

Still in pains, what I’m reading online about lower back pain, sciatica nerves injuries is not something someone in prison without access to medical aid should be reading; When this happens, when you feel this or that, when you don’t see this or that….and loads of stuffs that ends with……. see your doctor for immediate checkup. For now, I will rely on my self-medication and also try to get my name for the next clinic appointment. If I had money, should be ordering Dexa-Neurobion for my self-medication.  

 

Bits of revellers doing what they love doing on weekends, which actually helps with doing time, of which can be very depressing if you don’t have any clue of what to do with your life once banged up. Thank goodness for their creative minds; music, joints, moonshine and later comes the highs and tiredness which automatically send them to sleep in peace; forgetting the day’s problem. 

 

 

Sunday, 18 May 2014

We all went to bed last night setting our alert level to #CodeRed; expecting an early morning raid on the pavilion. But as we rose up from our slumber with the dawn of a glorious and cool Sunday morning; sign of rainfall later. Nothing happened, our sentries were on full alert and on the hour lookout and for the rest of the day. 

 

Had a cup of lipton black tea as I’m out of green tea, later had oatmeal + cornmeal for proper breakfast, showered and went upstairs, but in serious pain, had to get back my cell, where I spent the rest of the day either on my bed (almost bedridden) or sitting on the edge of the bed reading and tweeting; still hook on a mate’s router. 

 

Schat, the kids and her visiting brother with his family went out eating at Nandos, reminded her that daddy’s chicken should go to my boy as he’s the man of the house; bless him, he claims the television and living room are his, while the girls could have kitchen, pink bedroom ;-), well wasn’t left out in the Sunday roast, pictures were sent to me and messages from everyone. Missing them….. but then, first thing first! Time is everything! 

 

Back in the pavilion, we also had our own Sunday roast, got a pound of ox lungs, a mate bought another and we made stew which we all ate with our fried rice; Colombian style. Wasn’t bad! Whatever came on the prison cart for lunch, got no idea. But for dinner, took the legume that came and warmed it up, adding chillies; filling and enough for today. 

 

22:00:05 finally left for upstairs as it was becoming unbearable hot in the cell due to the distillation one of my cellmates was doing. Told him about the water crisis, since I’m not in the mood to upset the truce in the cell, allowed him to use water from the general tank. Though he tried going out for rain water in our dugouts ponds outside the pavilion, the cops refused him; citing his punishment. I heard the cops is under a 72 hours punishment for letting many inmates out at the same time. The captain saw the lads outside and told him he will be doing extra time and for that period of time, nobody should be out. 

 

Upstairs signal is pretty bad, since I haven’t been coming up early as I used to, I wouldn’t know how bad it is in the morning, but by this time, it’s very bad and slow. 

 

Meanwhile, one of the two lads who will be release tomorrow was on the search for someone to lend him money to have his mojo worked on; lad wants polished domino inserted in his wiener like many of his compatriots are doing. He wasn’t expecting this release, but as his folks had forked out enough dough to close the case, good for him. Wish him the best and that he doesn’t return like many; #RepeatedOffenders 

 

Talking of a #ComeBack, an older inmate who was stabbed by a lad he pursued for debt payment of $20 and almost got paralysed had done a 2nd term in this centre; first did 4yrs and now almost 6yrs and about to leave. His partner is long gone; live in panama and worked his time pretty fast. The lad went upstairs to get his paperwork processed for his release, but was told he has another case pending and he had been sentenced on that case to another 40 months prison term. If he can’t fight his way out, which I doubt, he will be doing a 3rd term in the slammer. Not a good thing, as it will gradually drive him into the abyss! This new case is on document violation, wouldn’t tell us and don’t care to know; we all have our crosses to bear. Each man for himself and God for us all! #PrisonSlogan! 

 

Monday, 19 May 2014 

Up in pains, but lay back and waited for the lads to round up with their morning rituals. My mate made cornmeal porridge which I later ate after my morning rituals. Was filling and nutritious as he added eggs into it. After that, downed a cuppa tea, ran out green tea, so I made do with the lipton, which I still have few bags left. 

 

Tuesday, 20 May 2014 

Went to bed late last night or early this morning, and my mate cleaning the cell woke me up when he called me around 6:15am to asked some flimsy question. He must be friggin out of his mind. Vented my anger and disapproval at his attitude, which wasn’t the first time he did that. 

 

Couldn’t get back to sleep, and signal been out,  had to climbed upstairs to my signal spot, which was also empty as the lads were still deep asleep. 

 

Actually, it seems my mate who had me hook on his wifi has got me disconnected by changing the password. No hard feelings, signal was ok this morning, at least good enough to send my tweets and chat briefly with schat. Left for my cell and got ready to hit the gym; but not in my usual form. Friggin miss my active workout, but can’t afford to do much as my back and sciatica nerve has gotten sort of handicapped. 

Was able to do some yoga stretch, back stretching, push-ups and pull-ups. Spent about 40mins and left for my cell. That was enough for the day. Showered and washed my stuffs. 

 

We got a pack of Ox foot for Colombian Sancocho, I did the cooking; have learned quite a lot from my cell mates about their cuisine. Everyone had his fills and satisfied, but some wanted more, not enough for a second round. 

 

My pharmacist-cellmate went for his fortnightly conjugal with his missus, later came back with rice and fried fishes. Got a piece of his fish, passed the rice, which I later had for dinner with the salad he brought and my yesterday’s lentils.

 

A new lad was hauled in this afternoon, a francophone africain to join his partner who has been here with us for some days now. At least I have people around to help revive my french. Yet to meet the lad, but I have heard loads about him through my mate who knew them from the street and from his partner who has been here for a while. He’s welcome to the jungle and to the real world of the underworlds; to the darker side of darkness, sooner or later he’ll hate or like this place, but his ability to adapt rapidly will be his only saviour.  

 

Spent time with them, how small is the world, me in Europe and he in latin america, and he seems to know people I knew; but meeting in prison is not where to relate as each man will give his life for his survival. A man knows what he’s about to do might take his life, but he’s willing to give his life to save that same life, such is the prison paradigm! 

 

Lucky chap, came in yesterday, bouught a shack made out of cartons by a Jamaican inmate who happen to be jack of all trades and master of all; so he says. The lad farms, builds bunks out of cartons and even added sliding doors, he’s the plumber in charge of our water system and controls the electric pump. He also fixes any type of electrical appliances and he’s probably the best cook, and he’s a natural healer, but first on the queue for the unstaffed clinic visit. Above all, he loves my brew! Soon he will be leaving, and he’s selling whatever he can lay his hands on. Hope he doesn’t sell the cell with all his cell mates 😉 

 

A friend gave me a vial of Dexa-neurobion, no needle to get injected, when asked around, everyone directed me to my compatriot who is never in lack as he’s the juice master in the pavilion and as they said, he had enough; gave me a new syringe whiich I later took the needle out as the Dexa-neurobion came in its own syringe. Would have gone to Doc, but was too late, had to meet an older man after asking those he had administered injection before and they confirmed he knows what he’s doing. He gave me the shot for free, which others charge 2-3 dollars for administering shots of anything. 

 

Also had one of the ladee-wannabe lads did some back alignment; laid on my belly and he did three movements stretches that got my back cracking. After all done, shower and scrambled to my bed for an early night, which wasn’t that early as I was still awake by 2am; did some reading and candy crush saga. 

 

And finally closed my eyes to catch some sleep where my dreams are never as scary as my reality; #PrisonExperience! 

 

Wednesday,  21 May 2014 

My pharmacist-cellmate cleaning today got up around 6:30 and went about his cleaning, he tried been discreet and quiet, but still got me up. 

 

Got up with the others and went about my morning rituals, the Dolo-Neurobion injection of last night seemed to have relieved me of some pains, felt a bit at ease this morning. 

 

Still out and off from workout, had an early shower and breakfast of lentils; leftover from yesterday.  

Finally made my way to our signal spot, as I been cut off from the wifi signal; most lads who don’t have personal routers get connected with about three wifi networks and pay 5 bucks each per week. That’s loads of benjamins to get connected. I rather wait on signal on the signal spot. It’s patience, but does come through.  

 

Upstairs was crowded as everyone wants a piece of the spot, the pressure is on the wire welded on the passage between the row of cells. It’s caving in due to the pressure exerted on it and constant water is also causing it to rust. Many had fallen through the pockets of holes in the wire and it’s usually the drunk. They all ended up with ugly injuries and scars, many had to get anti-tetanus shots. The sight of the scars on their can be scary and makes the fainthearted not to walk that passage. At night, I sometimes climb down and walk around to my cell. 

 

Signal wasn’t bad at that time of the day when I got upstairs; almost 10am! Was able to chat with schat, who was busy as always, sent some tweets and read what’s happening in the outside world; quite a lots of news and so much happening that will make us look like aliens when we finally get out. #Rehabilitation #Resocialisation 

 

Some days, the lads in the kitchen decides churning out absolute rubbish in the name of food to us; for lunch and dinner, what came on the cart was such. Lunch was chicken skin greasy soup and half-cooked rice, and dinner greasy mincemeat, passed both and had oatmeal for lunch and mix vegetables salad for dinner with peanuts, wasn’t bad; should get the picture on my twitter timeline: @Doingtimeabroad 

 

 

My surmise about prison; it’s set up for failure, which one will, and in some, repeatedly. But the human bodies and brains are resident and able to adapt, improvised, and even bounce back from failure to success. Treated unfairly and in a harsh world, where one have no control, but one’s pathway to success is in his hand; you can control how you handle the situation. From my ongoing experience, the constant and incessant threats and actual violence makes one more aggressive and less sensitive to violence; evidenced in many prison violence all over the world; blood and more of it and it’s all nothing, there’s a kick and the rush of adrenaline and testosterone when it happens. Makes us want to see more of it; a little verbal altercations which should have ended verbally, but peers and gangs pressure will spiralled it into a deadly ending. 

 

And thats exactly what happened today, sitting by the signal spot; sweat from the heat and friggin flies over the area. A lad, seated downstairs in the passage was attacked by another, the attacker’s mate joined in what will become a bloody brawl with the lone lad bleeding from his right eye. Wasn’t fast enough to capture the moment, but got some shots of the aftermath. It takes just seconds or splits of a second for life’s changing event to happen to a man; good or bad. But in this case bad, wouldn’t know the extend of damage done to the lad’s eye. Like everything about prison, everyone minds his business. 

 

After the fight, the bloodied lad and his companion (they are the most stubborn group in the pavilion, always late night drinking and music, violating our unwritten rules) all came out and camped at the entrance of the attacker’s cell, laying siege at the front of their cells. The executives were called in to breakup the siege, after hours of intense negotiations, the siege was broken up and the lads dispersed. But as we all know, that just the beginning of the beginnings of greater things to come or rather, darker things to come. All parties involved will forever walk looking over their shoulders and stand with their backs against the wall. And on constant full alert for reprisals.  

 

Before the brawl, I had noticed the attacker was on flipflops smoking his joint, while the other lad sat down chatting, the attacker then went in and changed into trainers; which is always ideal when one need to get something done that requires standing on one’s feet. When he came back, his mate was behind him, as soon as he launched the attack, he mate pounced in, wasn’t a fair fight, well nothing about prison is fair. The government running of prison is full of injustice and inmates running other inmates are full of nepotism and corruption. Just like Dr. Phillip Zimbardo’s prison studies shows; put a man a place of authority, he abuses it. We elected fellow inmates to run us, now they seems to be abusing it, they are running all the illegal businesses here, and favouring their own. Such is human 😉 

 

Spent the evening with the two new African brothers who were arrested same day but hauled in differently; taking them through our norms and ways of life in the pavilion. The leeches will want to cling on them for whatever they can squeeze out from them, but they should be careful with whom they talk as they are seen as fresh and probably loaded. Being streetwise they definitely know how to go about life. But their witnessing of today’s bloody fight must have shaken some blackness out of them 😉 bienvenido en la jungla 🙂 

 

Signal was a bit ok, enough to do what I needed to do. 

 

Left for my cell as I needed some good sleep, for tomorrow is our weekly headcount, which comes very early in the morning. 

My British mate hooked me again to their wifi network, password was changed. Was able to get online in the comfort of my bed as the router is directly above the iron bars outside of my cell. 

 

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Struggled through the early hours to sleep, was still up by 2am, finally get to close my eyes, but having a good position with my aching back was another pain in the ass. Managed to closed my eyes when the cell’s light came on; checked my phone for time, friggin 6am, doubt if I had slept for 2 hours before the little toothless fruitcake lad who gave the young lad a blow job after a night of binged-drinking switched the light on to do another’s mate cleaning. The mate has paid him, but not so friggin early and with light on, most of us can do our cleanings with the cell’s light off, and only with the toilet’s light. But since yesterday, the toilet bulb died out, and nobody is ready to replaced it; it cost me good prison $25 to run the line and get that bulb fixed and I have been the only one replacing it when it burns out. Without the light, my mates will be urinating on the floor at night and my bunk is just right beside the shit corner. 

 

Couldn’t sleep, lay awake till the cops came around 7am and the PA came to life, stash our phones, armed with a cup of #EarlGrey tea; just opened the pack schat sent, already given more than half out, hard to eat alone, except you want to be that greedy and tight-fisted lad. 

 

The headcount went swiftly, and I rushed in as I want to catch up with my sleep. Sitting outside my cell, while waiting for my grocer-mate who has the key to cell (we always lock the cell when going out for headcount; den of thieves), then I heard the commotion outside, guess it’s a fight and it must be the lad that almost lose an eye yesterday. When all came in, I went out to find out. It was the lad who almost lose an eye, and one the lads that fought him. When we all went out for the headcount, one his attackers had gone out with a knife stashed in his pants, as he knew what awaits him whenever he loses guard. 

 

Rewind to the day of the fight; when the fight was over the lad who was attacked had his mates to his attackers cell, the held them up all evening, the lads had to sleep with their cell firmly under locks. 

 

When I got to the gym hall, it was all muddy as water they spilled was all over everywhere, one of my compatriots was unlucky as his mattress was soaked, and the lads were walking with muddy flipflops and trainers, some were trying to dry up the place. What had happened, didn’t take a second for the havoc and harm to be done, as one of the attackers walked in, the lad who almost lost an eye launched at him with a dumbbell, cracking his lips, wouldn’t know how many teeth is missing. But it was bad, that the cops had to take him out, but by the time cops came around, his knife had disappeared and his attacker who was out for a revenge was gone; saw him running in with dumbbell in his hand. Cleaned it and gave it to the Mexican who owned it and who was about to begin his early workout. 

 

After all said and done, peace was restored, meeting held, some in favour of throwing the lads out, and others against; the house seems divided! ‘things fall apart, and the center cannot hold’. At the end, the lads are still walking around, probably armed to their teeth, knowing fully well what will happen to them if they loose guard. 

 

Took an agonising nap as I was still in pain, what can I do. My training mates came to see how I’m doing, they sort of give me strength; one asked if there’s anything I need. Nice fellas. 

 

Our water crisis seems to be getting out of hand, when there’s no water, our drainage and sewage system builds up with dirt and it began to stink badly and this is the fly season, they are friggin everywhere, even at night, friggin annoying. A Brit inmate had his embassy bought him some of those fly sticky tapes, damn, they are hundreds or thousands stuck on the tapes, I should get something like that. 

 

“Expecting is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow, it loses today.” – Seneca

 

Earlier this morning, my compatriot who has been waiting for this day since last year december, was taken away for repatriation, lucky chap, for them going to the islands, it’s much easier than for us going to mainland Europe. But as I later found out, he is probably the last fool around here, knowing fully well that he will be striped and search before leaving the complex, he foolishly left with his old banger blackberry. His buddy and my other compatriot begged him to leave the phone with him, he refused. Well, the cops upon searching him, found the phone and seized it. Doubt if the cops will use it, they will recycle it by sending it back to the population to be sold; maybe for 50 or a 100 bucks. That’s what happens here, cops come in, search, and seized stuffs, then got them recycled by sending it back to us to buy. My cell mate once had his router taken during a search, which almost gave him heart attack; we bought it together and was supposed to use it together. But he was always busy downloading high quality (MP4) porn video clips and always on #Tango or #Skype video chat with his numerous sidekicks of girlfriends……. hahahahahaha, remind of an incident my pharmacist-cellmate told me that happened with this old mate of ours. 

 

They along with other foreigners with permanent residence in panama (both are married to local women) were on a program to take out 2 months off their time. On the last day of the program, the old banger approached one of the young beautiful teachers and requested for her phone number. The young lady gav him what he wanted; ran him down, that the old lad felt the earth should split in two and suck him off like a vortex. 

 

Back to my joint venture on router same mate of mine, I finally got him to pay me my part and keep it for himself, while I stay up late or wake up very early to get online. When the router was taken, he almost died…..lmao! But to our surpise, he picked up the signal of same router/wifi days after the search in the pavilion with the name I used; #BehindBars! The lads finally came to him to ask him for the password, which he refused, until they pay him. Whatever happen thereafter I don’t know. But as far as I know, my mate is in his middle fifties but can’t take his eyes off anything that has tits; even our shemales, he always call them in and offer them a can of his products and for free. 

 

One thing I have found out about prison; it makes people become more redundant and lazy, not fit for any purpose. Locked up, locked away from society and reality, away in a time vacuum, left to rot, sedentary lifestyles takes over, the mind is closed to anything new or to any change that should be taking place. When time is done and finally out, ex-cons are like alien maing the first contact with humans, full of curiosities. And also like a sleeping and dormant volcano with anger on the inside ready to explode. 

 

The other things I have learned in prison; it turns men who were probably cool guys to aggressive debaters, always making strong arguments on lousy subjects, sometimes I did suggest we having a proper debat…..hahahhahahahaha! some thought me to be way out of my mind. Our debate can start as early as 7am and could last all morning as no one wants to be defeated; a news headline on television can trigger it, even a picture of a naked women or a porn video clip. Just about anything could trigger our heated talks that sometimes could draw lines of enmity; as in my case with a lousy two-timer. Done five years before and back again; I read and study about fitness and health and then wake up every day to hit the gym, but he wakes up everyday and set a pot of rice and beans on fire and walks to my cell to gossip. I told him to make it a bit later as some days, it’s too early. Then he brought my workout into the talk, Ssssshed him and asked him to leave my cell, though his partner is in my cell, but the lad rarely talk to him. Since that day, we don’t talk to each other. And I love it that way, the less people I talk to, the better for the state of my mind. 

 

The other thing about prison, it turns a crook automatically into a professional or an expert; with my aching back and knowing what’s wrong with me, I’m careful to ask anyone to massage my back, but lad who use to trained with me volunteered to help, sang praises of himself how good he was as a masseur on the street. Set towels and laid down, gave him diclofenac gel and a hot ointment, he said he has his, went and brought olive oil. The first thing he asked me, ‘creó en Dios’…..do you believe in God? At the point, I believe in anything that should relieved me of this agonising pain, well, he didn’t pray as I thought he was going to. But he started with the massage. I have two books; dynamic yoga, and Massage, aromatherapy and yoga (practical handbook). Been reading this books and I know I can do much much better than what he was doing to me. He doesn’t know the flow and he was pounding my back. Had to tell him to stop and thank him. I asked for it, and I got more pains.

 

After he left, I sat with the book and did some yoga movements to help with my back. Popped some diclofenac and decided to take a nap. 

 

Slept for a while, with pillow under my back for a bit of relieve. The lads were cooking in the cell and heat and flies were building up in the cell. Had to leave for upstairs, nowhere else to go. Everyone has got one mate or two they hang out with, mine is an African who prefers being alone. Much better in a place like this. 

 

Friday, 23 May 2014

My body clock is tuned to wake me around 4am-5am, but since I’m down with the aches, I ignored my body clock and continue with my sleep. Finally got up with the others. 

 

Feeling much better now, but still got a long way to go. The diclofenac seems to be helping me, had a mate massaged my back, but told him what to and to be careful with the inflamed area, too bad, as I don’t know how serious is my injury; both legs are affected by the sciatica nerves. If he mistakenly touch my vertebrate, I feel a shock waves running through my butt to my legs and could be numbing to my right foot. 

 

Managed to pull myself through the day, did what need be done. Yesterday, I did washed my towels and some Tee shirts, but today, can’t do any washing, will leave them till when I’m much better. 

 

Made fish fillets with permasan cheese, which we ate with patacones; fried green plantains, wasn’t bad, been a long while I ate patacones. 

 

One of my cellmates has been drinking since dawn with his mates, glad they’re not doing it in my cell. Despite the booze and whatever is going, it’s relatively calm in the pavilion, well, the lads involved in the fight are the only ones tensed at this moment and will be living with their backs on the wall. I finally saw the lad who was punched in the eye; he looked really fucked up, wondering if he will ever see daylight again. His left eye is swollen and black, guess that’s lesson from #FightClass101 from prison, when you launched at someone unexpectedly, you should also expect same. He and his mate pounced the lad, got his eye bloodied, but the lad had the final laugh when he got one of them unaware after the headcount; despite the knife the lad had on him, he gave him a good one that has gotten his eye sealed for good. 

 

The lads are also preparing for monday’s visit. Furthermore, our sex drive is taking many of the lads into the pursuit for the ultimate glory in the bed. Finally, it has come to me. Two of my cellmates have finally had their dicks pierced and the stone done in them. Actually saw a picture of one which he sent to his cyber girlfriend or maybe more girls. At least for them to see what they will be getting when they finally get to try their toys. 

It’s beyond belief why they are so eager to do this, when most are not sure when they will be going out of this place. Some who were getting tattoos done by a local inmate who comes in everyday to scribble whatever they want on their bodies, are now left with unfinished prison artworks; the lad was on one of them right in my presence when a message came from upstairs that he’s freed. Got me laughing very loud, as the lad who was getting tattooed look dumbfounded ;-). The tattoo artiist being a local has to leave at that moment and promised the lad that he will tell a friend to come and complete the job. Ya right! 

 

While the younger lads are busy getting polished dominoe piece inserted in the mojo, some older inmates are also in the line for what they believe will transform their sex lives. And one of them is my old banger grocer in my cell, he’s like my cats, full of curiosity, he’s bent on getting his tiny weiner done also. Well, came in one piece, will be glad if leave here same as when I walked in. 

 

Saturday, 24 Mei 2004

Since the last search that search on pavilion 5, we’ve raised our alert level, most routers are taken down every night to be put up again the next day. Have gotten my tiny bits into their stashes; earphones, unused chargers and usb cables. Whenever they come, we are ready. 

 

Up for the day, still in pain, but bit better than previous days. Our general cleaning day, got my stuffs from the floor as others did same. Left with my cup of earl Grey tea, out of green tea. Upstairs was busy with inmates trying to reach their loved ones or business associates. At least to place orders for monday’s visit. 

 

Didn’t get breakfast today, on my way back to my cell, the breakfast cart came, took a cup of warm chocolate drink, enough for me. 

 

The lads cooked rice, which I later had as brunch with the boiled eggs that came for breakfast. Not a bad combo, better than nothing. 

 

My mate and his mates are still drinking, he shared what happened last night; a young lad was drunk and out, while sleeping, a loco mexicano who does all the dirty jobs here took out his balls and dropped it on the sleeping lad’s hand, the others took photo of it, which sooner or later will appear on one of the social media. Prison is not the right place to get drunk. So much has happened here in the past after inmates had little too much of our potent distill. A Dominican got a young Guatemalan pissed and got him laid in his bed, that was after his first gay experience with the Jamaican guy who is on his way for a sex reassignment. The Ex-president of the pavilion who is in here with his brother in-law, but as our gossip goes, his wife has left him for another. So he took comfort in the arms of the young Guatemalan, offered him the choicest of bunk, well sealed from prying eyes; always got the lad pissed before doing what his body craves. Last Christmas, he asked me to snap both of them, the young lad didn’t want it, but when he finally agreed, and came closer, the old cow pulled him over and planted a warm-alcohol fuelled french-kiss on the lad’s lips; well, had to snap them. So much has happened under the influence of controlled or rather uncontrolled substances as nothing controls anything here. Another lad has had his eyebrows shaven more than three times and his face covered in full makeup after bouts of drinking sessions with his mates. In my cell, one had vomitted, another taken to the clinic and another had a one-week hangover. So much to write about our little but el grande mundo; so much goes on behind these concrete walls. 

 

It’s weekend, and what else do we do best at this moment? #LaFiesta , music from different parts of the building as inmates drown in our distil or high from whatever is giving them a good high tonight. Many can’t sleep without these stuffs. 

 

At least, they are having good fun and well behaved, hope the peace and tranquility is kept this way tonight. 

 

The other habitants in the pavilion; our feline friends are busy making babies, three cats now have altogether eleven kittens, sooner or later we will be competing for living space with them. Hope they help reduce the rats population. 

 

Talking about pest, the one in season now are the flies, they are everywhere, gigantic, dwarf, assorted colours, and they tend to be active all day. Also mosquitoes, these ones are scary as dengue is spreading in the city, yet to hear of any incident here; maybe there is, but our bodies are just keeping everything till it can’t take them no more. Then it collapses! Hope it’s doesn’t end that way. 

 

I’ve got my back and sciatica pain to worry about, hope I will be well enough to resume light training on Monday. Friggin missing my workouts, though I’m using the time to read and do some writing and also play candy crush saga; friggin addictive. Recently, read an article, that it’s not video games itself that makes gamers aggressive, but the angers comes from failures to pass through certain stages in the game or losing at the game; that’s true! As I can be friggin mad when I can’t get through some levels 😉 

 

Ok, gotta round up and get this thing up asap! Doubt if I will proofread it before publishing, any open window on the signal grid, should be getting it uploaded. 

 

Our lives, our fate and destiny shouldn’t be dictated by a temporary derailment, or failure, but by what have learned and how we make out of this temporary setbacks.

 

“There is great and lasting lesson in every reverse, and in every defeat; it is a lesson that could be learned in no other way than through defeat” – Napoleon Hill 

 

“What is to give light must endure burning.” – Victor E. Frankl  

 

“You do the crime, you do the time, and you ought to be able to move on.” – Fred Patrick

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