Letters from Prison #4

19/05/05

G’day M-

How are things with you? Have you gotten over the flu yet? How is T-? Give her a pat for me, will you, please. So, four weeks have gone by and I’m feeling better now. I was a little distraught the first few weeks but since P-, M-, S-, G- & S-’s son – K- came to visit last weekend I have a new lease on life.

I am onto my eighth cellmate now after I moved cells with another bloke. His name is D-. He is one of my better cellies. He has an I.Q. higher than his shoe size (which is 11). It’s good to actually talk to someone, in here, without explaining what I am talking about. Anyway, P- has probably told you (or letter you read) about my last three weeks so I won’t go into detail about any of that.

I started work at demountables on Monday. This is where the Screws take us to the back of the gaol & we build classrooms for primary schools. I was there for about half an hour, moving desks out of a shipping container, when I twisted my back and all this week I could barely move.

I went to the clinic in the main yard and they gave me some pain killers and anti-inflammatories. Once I had left the clinic I had to walk back to X-Wing. It is about 300 metres but it took nearly half an hour. The Screw that was escorting me told me to hurry up. I said I couldn’t walk any faster and he said ‘you better hurry or they’ll shoot you for escaping!’ I said ‘yeah it looks like I’m escaping too!’ He said ‘well come on dopey.’ I said ‘fuck off!’ He said ‘you can’t talk to me like that!’ I said ‘what are you going to do about it?’ He didn’t say anything but kept walking ahead of me, waiting until I caught up & then walking off again.

We did this right up to the X-Wing office where I was told to go back to my cell for lock-in. They lock you in your cell if you are sick or injured so you can’t be harrassed by other inmates. Every morning I have to go back to the clinic to get a certificate to say I can’t work & then I go back into my cell.

Well it’s Thursday now and my back is a bit better. I am going to work today. It is about 6.30am (give or take 10 minutes because we have no watch) so I thought I would write to you. Have you got someone to chop your wood? You should have made that rule about, anyone that comes to visit you, chopping up some. O.K. Well it looks like it was closer to 7am than I thought because the first muster bell just went off. I’ll write some more tonight. C-

Well, we have just been locked in. It is 7pm on Thursday night. Not much happened at demountables today. Two blokes got sacked for not working (one was actually walking around with a broom & dust-pan for two and a half hours but didn’t pick up one scrap of rubbish).

We saw a blue heeler from a farm over the river. He came up to us (about 40 blokes) and everyone was patting him & then the Screws yelled at us to keep moving or we would be tipped (put back in the main yard). When we complained the Screw said that the dog was free to do as it pleased but we weren’t.

One of my ‘mates’ has just started working in the Officers Mess so now I have plenty of milk for coffees & he even gave me two ham & salad rolls on fresh bread. It was absolutely fantastic. I’m getting a kettle on Tuesday with ‘Activities Buy-Up’. No more aluminium ‘boiler’. I think it was sending me batty. Anyway mate, I’ll write again soon & tell you what’s going on. Catch you on the flipside. C-

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