Friday, February 18, 2011
A fragile life
Everything in prison is hard work. Not a single thing is simple. This means that no sooner have you got your life, your cell, your routine arranged into the least annoying shape, the simplest thing can screw it up.
So my washing line broke. This was a length of string - liberated from the workshop years ago - which stretched between two screws on opposite walls. Sounds simple, doesn't it? But where did these screws come from? How were the holes drilled into the walls? Who knows, but they don't come ready-fitted.
Without my line, my routine for washing my own clothes has taken a knock. The whole procedure has had to be re-arranged and it's still not quite right.
Creating a routine which mitigates the pains of imprisonment is a major preoccupation for prisoners. But in an institution based on deprivation, scarcity and dis-empowerment, the simplest things can blow a hole through that delusion of normality.