Wednesday, February 16, 2011
The saddest man I ever met
In a hospital cell at Dartmoor, where I was suffering a major bout of depression, I began talking to the man in the cell across the narrow corridor.
This was made simple by hatches fitted into our doors, allowing us to talk freely and quietly across the four feet that separated us. Pulling up a chair I balanced on the back of it, feet on the seat, and settled in for a long exchange.
After listening to my rather torpid tale, he shared his. He was there as being a suicide risk. His girlfriend has just been raped, they had lost their baby, and his mother was newly diagnosed with cancer.
It was such a litany of misery it almost - but not quite -sounded like a Country and Western song. He was in a terrible emotional state, incredibly and understandably fragile and all I could do was listen. And I was happy to just be there, being quite worried that without the meagre presence of another human being he may not survive the night.
Labels: prison life