Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Little Things

It isn't the big things that strike me as odd or cause me difficulties. This is a poke in the eye to penologists but of scant interest to me and the Editor. It is the small, unpredictable, things which have the potential to sow the seeds of discord.

This was brought home to me yesterday. A two hour drive back from the seaside (yes, I am sunburned, doh!) made the Editor feel uneasy. The problem? That I had sat there in utter silence as a passenger.

Given that my usual methods of transportation for 32 years have been prison cars and sweatboxes, I had unconsciously exported a bad habit to the home front. When wedged in a car between two screws the conversation is usually sparse to non-existent. We sit for hours in complete silence. That is normal.

Well, "prison normal". But not normal for the free world, where chatter is the order for driver and passengers. Anything else is plain weird.

This realisation caught me unawares. Yet another illustration of what I have always claimed - that it is the unforeseen and unpredictable events which cause difficulties in this transition to freedom.


  1. Perhaps after all these years of being locked up in your own cell for night after night, you have learned to live with your own company and you just need your own space and quiet time every now and again. You probably need time when you can be a little intoverted to recharge your batteries.

  2. Isn't this precisely an aspect of "institutionalization" that release is designed to explore. And is two hours' of silence after a day at the beach a small thing? Just asking.

  3. I don't think this is related to "institutionalisation" (why doesn't anybody define that term?) but rather habit - "prisonization". And it is rather antisocial!