02 Jul Day 2
Thursday 2nd July 2015
Last night, we watched ‘The Wickerman (1973)’ and when it came to 10pm I fell asleep pretty quickly once my head hit my makeshift pillow. I’m on the top bunk which reminded me of the overnight cross from Hull to Zeebrugge when mum and I used to drive to Italy. It seems like a random memory but it wasn’t just the sleeping arrangements but also the sense of a long journey ahead. I lay in bed thinking of the unknown that lays ahead of me that it almost makes me believe I am starting a new adventure. I feel optimistic about my prison experience. I know I am in a completely unique situation and I should absorb as much as I can. Who knows? One day I might be able to publish a diary on it?
I have slept through till 8am when I was awoken by another person to answer a few more of the same questions about my national insurance number, where I live, whether I am suicidal and so on. I must have answered the same ones three of four times now, why don’t they have a centralised database? C’mon Gove!
We were then each given a muesli breakfast pack and two lots of 200ml cartons of UHT semi-skimmed milk. The breakfast pack also included a sachet of coffee and a few teabags. It seems tedious to remember tiny details but today was the first day that I couldn’t just get up and get on with my normal routine so what else could I focus on but my breakfast?
I was then taken to the nursing room on account I mentioned I had previously suffered with depression. Kerry/Kerrie the nurse was lovely. She asked why I was here. She was the fourth member of staff to look at me all confused and say, ’You don’t look like a drug dealer.’ I told her my story and she appeared to tear up; is that even possible? I think I am reading in to people far too much. She booked me in for a follow up appointment on the 27th July to check I am still okay. Does she know something that I don’t know? Are they all in on it? Has she received orders from the court that I will be staying beyond tomorrow? I’m hoping the judge wont keep me in here!
Since then, I went back to my cell, got my things ready and headed for my second warm, rape-free shower. I was very wary and cautious of the showers but I really did smell from sweating badly in the court room. I have seen a lot of movies about prison and what the showers would like and what would happen but it was nothing like I expected. The showers are not open like you see in the movies, instead they are demi cubicles that reach above waist height. When used, there are sachets of shampoo and bars of soap strewn across the floor that you can get from the office for free. Unlike other prisoners, I was prepared enough to bring my own Original Source lemon shampoo which is a piece of luxury that you cannot buy in here therefore it was wanted by every prisoner and so far a lot of guys have asked if they can use some. In fear of catching verrucas I wore my flip flops and chose the cubicle closest to the doors. In my mind I have consciously planned the steps in how to fight guys off if one was to come towards me. However, it isn’t like that. In both of my showers there have just been guys chatting to one another about the only thing they have to talk about which is their sentence. It was bad of me to think of those stereotypes because so far it just hasn’t been true.
Stephen and I have been watching Wimbledon and a bit of Breaking Bad which has been comfortable and relaxing. Then an officer has just come into the room and I thought it was going to be for me because so far only I have been asked by staff to do things and they are constantly checking in on me to see if I am okay. This time it was for Stephen and he has just been told to pack his stuff as he’s moving to D-wing. So what is going to happen to me? I’m afraid that I am going to get a less amicable cell mate and someone I would not enjoy or perhaps someone who would steal off me. I’m disappointed I will no longer have his DVD player and his quiet companionship. But my biggest fear was being left alone and yet I haven’t found a minute to myself until now.
Now Stephen has gone and I am alone. I feel lonely and it’s now the first chance to reflect on yesterday and begin to think about tomorrow and what the judge will sentence me to. God, I hope he lets me go as I have seen enough of Armley to know I definitely do not want to stay here.
A few hours later
Stephen has moved back in within a few hours because he was put with a smoker and refused as he doesn’t smoke. That’s not so bad. He plugged his DVD player back in and we watched five or six episodes of Breaking Bad. In my own needy way I am really glad I have him back as I feel like he is my safety net. He is the most familiar part of this place and my only real comfort. He has experience and it looks like most lads wouldn’t mess with him! I also managed to read some of ‘The Four Hour Work Week’, ‘Living in Christ’ and ‘The Gospel of John’.
I am struggling to get to sleep tonight as I keep thinking about the sentencing tomorrow. Out of my family who will be there? What will they be going through tonight? The judge will be having a meal with his family tonight, I wonder if I am on his mind? Will he have already decided what he is going to do? I hope he doesn’t sentence me to custody. If he did, I reckon I will be able to handle a three year sentence, 18 months inside. I could survive that, right? It would be a marathon not a sprint. I will have a lot of learning to do.
I really hope I’m in my own bed tomorrow night and all of this was just a bit of life experience. A warning. It’s not like I pictured in the movies however it doesn’t mean that I cannot wait to get out of this shithole.