13 Jul Day 13
Monday 13th July 2015
I am officially on my second pen just before my 30th page of writing, not bad! I haven’t written this much since school!
I’ve had a ‘fun’ day today; fun used loosely given my circumstances. During this morning’s association, I spoke with Helen, my step-mum, who is just on top of everything. I wrote her a letter of authority before I left that has come in extremely useful. She is keeping the family calm, dealing with emails and any calls I have received. She notes down the message and passes them along to me. Helen also manages to communicate with others about how to write to me. Managing all of this is just bloody amazing and a great relief. Anyone reading this who is planning on going to prison, ensure you have someone to take charge as it will save you a lot of hassle. I’m not going to blow my own trumpet but I was pretty well-prepared before I came to prison. I think it was only mum and I who had a strong feeling I’d be here. She kept this to herself until I rang her the other day. Now she has admitted it, I was quite glad that she thought I would end up in prison. Hopefully she was more mentally prepared for it and therefore able to deal with it.
While Helen has been sorting through my emails she told me that I had some encouraging ones, and there have even been a few from my friends down in London. I couldn’t feel more blessed than I do right now. One of my friends runs an organisation on behalf of a rather large company owned by a rather famous entrepreneur. I thought they would have to turn their back on me so they don’t look as though they are associated with a drug dealer. Instead they said they’re here for me. Thank God.
Dad started to tear up a bit when I spoke to him on the phone and I tried to reassure him by telling him I was fine. I think dad is both happy and sad that his son was sent to prison for selling drugs when he worked his entire life as a drugs investigator. He still shares the story of the day I was going to Leeds fest and I had the look of ‘Dad stop me from what I am about to do’ on my face. He thought something was up but couldn’t put his finger on it. He wished he had said something. Then again, what could he have said? I was stubborn and on my way down the path of self-destruction. He also told me about my 13-year-old nephew who posted an article on Facebook with the status ‘my uncle’. Ha-ha, if you can’t laugh – what can you do?
I also chatted with Gemma, my uni mate. She’s the organised one and will be helping me get addresses and dates of birth off some people who I’d want to visit. I need to add them to the approved list. I suppose it’s like having a secretary here, no one can get to me unless they’re on the list! “No one can see the great Jacob, not now, not ever”
I then had a spot of lunch. Once my chickpeas arrive next week I am going to cut out chips, potatoes and bread as I believe that they give us so much carby food that all we want to do is lie in our cell and nap until our next meal. I want to be more awake! We then put on a film called ‘haywire’ and I think Nicola, the one trying to get me the job, came by and didn’t want to wake me up as I fell in to a nap. Grrr. I just want a bloody job and I missed her. For the first time in my life I really wouldn’t have minded being woken up if it means that I don’t have to do another day of sitting around staring at these bloody four walls. But it’s not all doom and gloom! Because of Steven’s enhanced status we get an extra hour out of the cell. During this time Pamela (one of the staff if you remember) asked me to help a guy with his job application. She is also coming by tomorrow with some course material to study and a few extra A4 organisers – she knows how much I like to write. The course is ‘Information, advice and guidance level two course’ which should be completed in the classroom but I begged her to let me do it on an evening as I need the mental stimulation. Pamela obliged! It was actually incredibly easy as I only needed answer with two sentences but I can feel progress, accomplishment and praise.
Claire from the Chaplaincy has been by to see me. It looks like I will be at the service this Sunday. She’s also inviting Mark, my pastor, to see me and meet another guy who is moving to Huddersfield on his release. This guy would never have met Mark if I didn’t come to this prison and he would never have had the opportunity to receive a support network that Mark will be able to provide for him which he desperately needs. God works in mysterious ways.
I have just got in to my cell and I have received an email via ‘emailaprisoner.com’. It’s a very good system that was first set up by an ex-offender. The service enables family members to send one page emails to offenders inside for a charge of 35p per email. I like it because it’s so quick, but it’s a shame I cannot reply that quickly. Sigh. Mine is from good old Colin. It was very short but filled with nice messages and he seems okay. I’m lucky to have such a caring business partner and friend that puts up with my shit and cleans up my mess. I had another letter from my solicitors which made me laugh …. It was a feedback form haha. Well I didn’t get the outcome I wanted but they were incredibly professional and caring. I will fill that in and send it back via Helen once I receive a letter from her.
One thing Dad said on the phone was that they needed authority from me to get my jacket and notebook back from the police station. I can’t believe I will be allowed the book with hydroponics information and plans on how to grow back. I suppose it’s not illegal as individuals cannot conspire with themselves. I can’t wait to read it! It was stopped at the moment of my arrest and in there are fragments of the unrefined Jacob. I cannot wait to meet him. I imagine the old me was a scared, lonely and confused boy and I just want to look back and see how much I have grown. I know I am nowhere near the finished version of myself – I just feel a hell of a lot better than August 23rd 2014.
I received one more letter today and it was from Emily’s mum. Inside was a typed A4 note with normal stuff on. You know, like her day, how her son was… nice stuff. It’s nice to be normal. Enclosed was the best present I could receive, a picture of Emily. I remember when I got Emily’s first letter and it almost felt like I was having a conversation with her that unfortunately was over too quickly. But the best thing about letters is how I can read them over and over again, which I have with hers. Each time I read it I am discovering something new in her writing but more importantly something new about her. Staring at the picture, where Emily looks absolutely beautiful, just reminds me, I have more reasons to get out and that I have a life beyond all of this. She will go on my wall and remind me every day that I’m almost home!
It’s just about time for tea now – vegan chilli and rice is on the menu tonight.
Later that day
I do not believe it. We have just been let out of our cell for the third time in one day!!! This is obviously all thanks to Steven’s enhanced status and a lenient prison officer. Let’s hope they don’t revoke it. I rather enjoy socialising with all the lads now.
I met a homeless (well not anymore) guy during association. He was found not guilty for burning down the majestic night club in Leeds but found himself in here anyway for punching his dad who was strangling his mother. He doesn’t mind prison. He gets two warm meals a day, a bed and people to talk to whereas his life outside is in isolation as he lives and begs on the streets. This is such a strange place.
Later on, my good friend Idres gave me my sheet of Urdu translations of popular phrases back. I have lots to learn but it will be much easier thanks to him.
Oh and about helping that guy with his job application, he actually never came forward for my help today. Was he ashamed of his illiteracy which so many adults struggle with in prison? Or could he just not be arsed filling out the form?
I’m actually tired; it’s been a busy day! A bit more of my Sherlock book and a couple more letters to write then its beddy-byes!