Old, wrinkled men sit in groups smoking, chatting and smiling through their missing teeth, lazily relaxing outside of coffee shops enjoying the morning sunshine, clasping their espressos with gnarled and sundried hands from decades of working in the olive groves, their bodies perspiring a small ocean each day as the hot sun beat down upon them like an Egyptian slaver, until they earned the freedom of retirement and learnt what true living is in an epiphany of chicchi di caffè and tabacco.
Lie alone in your darkened room and dream of Italy.
The crust on my eyes reminds me of sleep and the muddle of dreams that maraude, rape, pillage and burn down the thatched roofs of my brain on a nightly basis. They refuel and regroup for the next attack. Same old dream with a different name.
My dream of escape constantly contrasts to a life that offers no means. I can sit in my cell alone with one standard sink, one standard toilet, one standard non-glass mirror, dull grey four feet concrete walls and bars that only open twice a day since the day you get in…out…in…sleep...dream.
Lie alone in your room and day dream of standing on hills where all you can see from your feet to the horizon from cornea to iris is rolling fields of brightest green and purest gold, that overlook the sea that glimmers with reflections of the clouds in the light and of the glittering stars at night. Night and day only exist as terms in your intelligent consciousness, names given for phenomenon out of our control and out of our reach. Night and day are constantly on the run, the sun and the moon are the ultimate escape artists.
In the real world you’re a husband.
More terms for our existence. For phenomenon of our own creation. We came up with the idea of family as an extension of belonging. From the pack comes family.
The figurehead of my pack has been taken away. Removed from the lives of those who need it the most, the young for whom you hunt and provide. My daughter and my wife still love me but I cannot bare for them to see me like this. So removed from my own and their own reality that if they were to see me they’d see only the hollow shell of the man they once knew.
A cell does that to a man. It numbs the senses and denies them all that evolution has strived to create. You have to become emotionless to survive. You pick the right friends to ally yourself with or you’re dead. If they don’t give you the chair they give you the extinguishment of your soul, if they don’t give you the injection they let your soul rot. All in the name of punishing your sins.
Eventually the light in your eyes goes out until the ones you love don’t recognize you anymore. If they let me go today and I returned to my home my wife would pull the chain across the door.
It is not that she will not want me. When she visits she tells me she does, through weeping eyes, between the sobs, she tells me she misses me and is trying to get me home, and I know she means it with all her heart. Her heart cannot lie but her eyes can deceive. Deception is what got me where I am today.
The worst emotion in a man is desperation. The men who come in on the first night crying their innocence at the top of their lungs. These are the men who leave the building. These are the men who are unsafe. The men who come in alone and staying that way and saying nothing and doing nothing, thinking nothing. You see them hunched over tables in the yard or up against walls, fingers running over and over and over, with a wild look in their eyes, darting across and around, scanning you up and down like a dog, until the one day they’ll jump you with a blade they’ve fashioned from the piece of fractured fence, these are the men who are dangerous.
Revenge is on the minds of many and freedom is on the minds of all even those who have done the dirtiest of deeds. Death row isn’t good enough for some of the men in here, their souls dark as mud and their mindset just as clear. Men like Dan McCredie. Men who ended the lives of many and will pay with the life of one.