Friday, 12 December 2008

Gladiators in training at Healthcare

December 9 2008
Passed the health news on to all at the library where I work. Then I ambled off to Healthcare, braced for more grim news. One thing about prisons. There are no surprises. And there are few surprises about Healthcare.

I know I am near the good health department because I can hear that the gladiator sessions are in full swing. The noise! The aggro!

Maybe it's more grown-up than gladiators. Perhaps it's more like a football match. There are people rushing, pushing to get in, a few lucky ones trying to grope their way out. There are grunts and curses and cries and noises like flesh ripping.

You'd think they were offering free pardons in here. Elbows are going like angry swan wings. Some fellows seem to be in training as rugby locks.

The scrum is like one huge many-legged, many-headed creature straining to reach the medical staff. Wisely, the medics are keeping a second door locked between the haloed - them - and the horrible(us).

I am looking at my diet from a diabetes point of view now. What a season to be told to leave the chocolates alone. But I will be disciplined - or try to be. Prisons aren't famous for their pleasures, and eating is one. I really like chips, but I will try to restrict them to Saturdays or Sundays.

A very real pleasure for a prisoner is contact from Outside. I received a card and a letter from my niece, Colette. That was really lovely.

I wrote to Sue and Slim, and did their Christmas cards.

A less pleasurable bit of correspondence was writing an App (an application - everything is by application in prison) to Officer D Lynch, requesting a national list of prisons who do HRC. I'm looking for a positive C Category place where I can make use of this time the State is stealing from me.

Lie detector tests

I have a battle going with the people in charge here over lie detector tests. It's a bit of a strange area, but only recently I discovered that a convicted man is allowed to take these specialist tests. I am chasing after authority for it and to have it done.

Then let them ask me again if I killed my wife, and let the scientists this time decide if I am lying - as the prosecution kept insisting. (Like to see them agree to a lie detector test after their performance in my trial. The equipment would go into melt-down.)

Anyway, for the moment I am not getting any official response to my request to be allowed to take it. So today I sent a second complaint to Security asking them to answer my earlier App.

The problem with that compensation cheque is still with us. Seems I have to get the solicitor to write another one with my brother's name on it. Well, I got that letter written and made another wild assault on the Christmas cards.

It's such a chore to keep a big Christmas card list going ... and such a pleasure. So many mates from the past, and family, accept that I didn't kill Anita. Well, when you've known a fellow for a lifetime, you know whether he is likely to kill the woman he loves.

So writing cards to each of these people, thinking of them, picturing them in my mind, chatting to them in the cell as I write their names, makes a delight of the hard work. Well, a mechanic turned taxi driver isn't much of a pen-pusher. But he is enjoying this task.
- Roger Gordon

Friday 5th December:
Happily picked up my medication today. The nurse said that he wouldn't be giving me the blood test, but he didn't say why. Instead, I am to return in three months.

I might have said, 'Sorry, Nurse, I'll be in another place by then.' He might have thought I meant heaven, but it would have referred to a gentler establishment that I hope to be transferred to.

But then I thought of superstition, and felt it might bring bad luck to act as if it's certain to happen, and also would be showing rather a lot of naivete. With the experience of knowing how rapidly everything doesn't happen in here, it is more than likely that I will be in the queue for him in March.

A bright side was a call from sister Helen. That was really good. A Christmas card came from old friends Sue and Slim. I studied their handwriting for a while, dreaming of old times we shared together. Thank heavens for memories.
- Roger Gordon

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