Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Questions, Questions 2

Benn -
Top or bottom bunk?

In better days, when there was recognition that life sentences bring their own particular stresses, this was rarely an issue. We automatically had single cells. Even now, it is rare that I have to share.

When moving into an already occupied cell, it's a case of taking whichever bunk is free. Each has its positives and negatives. The top bunk is nearer to the light, whereas the bottom is in perpetual shadow. As a rabid reader, this is important. But the bottom bunk is convenient for moving about the cell. Clambering up and down from the top to use the loo at 2 in the morning is annoying.

The bottom line is, neither. Give me a single cell anytime.

How do you cope with loneliness? Do you feel lonely, in fact?

I'm not lonely. I am quite a self contained, even antisocial, person and I enjoy my own company.

That said, I have learned over the years that I need one person I can meaningfully talk to. Being wholly isolated for long periods is deeply unnatural.

Even so, I occasionally institute a 'yellow card’ system for those visiting my cell. They receive a card each time they say something stupid, 3 cards and I throw them out. Quite how I get away with being so irascible baffles me.


  1. In answer to your last point, because you are interesting and interested. They probably meet few people as intelligent and educated as you are, and one who not only understands them but is interested to hear what they say, even if it is to judge that particular item stupid, must be attractive.

  2. Doubting Richard is right. We come and hear what you have to say, in print. And provided we behave ourselves we don't get kicked out. Face it Ben, you are a Guru.

    The downside is your groupies inside aren't nubile and interesting in a different way.

    Do what you have to do to get out, go do your PhD and they will fall at your feet. All the girls like a bad boy, an intelligent, engaging, articulate bad boy. You'll need a stick to beat them off with.

  3. OK, so you are the Don. I second that, but how about making a living when you get out? Job prospects with a record must be limited! Ever thought of writing a book? Your memoirs perhaps?