Riker’s Prison is a big, grey, sad building, surrounded by curls of barbed wire and general misery. It’s a massive complex, too, and you can’t go anywhere without two policeman, each twice as big as you, holding you by each arm, and handcuffs around my wrists.
By the time I get to the hospital wing in Riker’s Prison I’m almost asleep. It’s late at night and I’m put into a cell with a bed and a sink. I’m already dressed in the stripy suit of the prison, it’s not very flattering. Neither am I used to dressing the same as everyone else. As I sit down on the lumpy mattress and try to lie down and get some sleep, I think of how I was going to inject before bed, but I can’t because the guards took all my remaining heroin off me. Paid good money for that too…they even checked my bass…
“Coo!” says a voice in the darkness. “Check it out! It’s Sid Vicious!”
I look up, but the darkness doesn’t reveal much.
“Sid who?” comes another voice.
Great. Now I’m hearing things. I’ve finally gone crazy.
“Sid Vicious, I said. From England. Bassist for the Sex Pistols…can’t play bass.”
Well, it might be true, but there’s no need to be so insensitive about it.
“Oh.” There’s some shifting around. “Hey, Sid. Are you awake?”
“Can you play bass?” asks the voice, which belongs to the prisoner in the next cell. He’s a massive shadow. That’s all I see of him.
“Play us some, then.”
“I said I couldn’t.”
“Then what do you do on the stage?”
“...Play bass, I suppose.”
“You just said you couldn’t…”
“Roach, I think he’s teasin’ you.” says the first voice, which I now realise belonged to the person in the cell opposite me. “So, son, what you in for? Bottled someone again? Hit them with your bass?”
“How come we’re talking about my bass again?” I ask.
“So that’s what he does with his bass!” laughs another prisoner.
“Joe, that’s the only thing he does with his bass.”
“Yeah,” I add casually. “I hit people with my bass from time to time…you know, when they get a bit out of hand.”
“Does it hurt?” asked Joe.
“Would you ever try hitting yourself with your own bass?” I sneered.
“Yeah, Joe. Would you?” asked Roach.
“Have you ever killed anyone?” asked Joe.
I pause for a moment. “Yeah.”
“Who did you kill?”
“Who was it? A groupie? A fan?”
“Did you do it with your bass?”
“If you don’t shut up I’ll kill you with my bass.”
“Nah, you wouldn’t.”
“I actually would. I’m this close to coming over there and whacking you with it.”
“What about the jail door?”
“My bass will knock it down. Then, I’ll knock yours down and then I’ll knock you down. Just shut up.”
“Yeah, maybe you should, Joe,” says Roach wisely. “Guy seems a bit touchy.”
There’s silence in the cells. I turn over, but the bed isn’t comfortable. When I wake up I’ll need my heroin back.
I need Nancy back.