Monday, January 25, 2010

Paranoid eyes?

This week I have something to report for a change. During the early part of the week I was given a paper informing me that on Thursday 14th I had a video-link conference scheduled for 2:15 pm with The Wallace, my probation officer. I had been informed of this much earlier, of course, by The Wallace herself, but the paper made it official.

I'd  better mention The Wallace, as I call her (the name she used in the film 'Braveheart'). I don't call her that to her face of course - she's taller than me and probably packs a healthy right hand. (I'm foolish, I never said I'm stupid.) I like The Wallace and I can easily see her in one of those period dramas dressed in plaid and saying, "0ch wee manny , eat yerrr gruel and ye'll grow up tae be a big lad like yer mammy."

Anyway, to get back to the point, I went down to the legal part of the visiting area on Thursday afternoon and they put me into a little room and there was The Wallace on the telly! I got seated and the kangaroo buggered off - these things are private apparently.

"Hello Frank," says she, but I can barely hear her and she can barely hear me. I thought we would be reduced to sign language, and I only know one sign - it's universal and everyone knows what it means but I would never use it with The Wallace because I like her and besides, I refer the reader back to my earlier statement concerning her right hand. It turned out that I had to use the phone to speak to her, so we got that sorted out and settled down for a chat with me doing my usual slagging off of psychologists - but that's another matter.

The Wallace can't understand why I am not being progressed to a less secure establishment. Neither can I. I'm not at all sure if I should be saying this, but I'll say it anyway. The Wallace says that I should be released into the community because I can be managed better there, or words to that effect. She said much the same thing at my last parole hearing and intends to say it all again at the next. It won't do any good of course - they ain't listening to anything like that. All they want are further reasons and excuses not to let me out of jail. Considering the junkie rats who are being released on a daily basis, with the system being fully aware that these people will reoffend at the very first opportunity, it gives me pause for thought.

However , I'm not here to condemn other people, leave that to those who enjoy inflicting misery on others, I'm only discussing my own position here. The question has to be, why will the Parole Board not only refuse to sanction my release but not even sanction my move to a less secure establishment? It took me twenty-three years to get downgraded to a category 'B' prisoner and that only came about because they lost a court battle!

The Wallace has no idea. She has asked but can't get any sort of answer, let alone one that makes sense.

So where does that leave me? Well, all I can do is plod along in my own inimitable way and adhere to the words of that famous poet, Roger Waters, he of Pink Floyd fame:

Button your lip and don't let the shield slip.
Take a fresh grip on your bullet-proof mask.
And if they try to break down your disguise
With their questions...
You can hide behind paranoid eyes.
I've just realised that The Wallace will read this - I'd better get more than a bullet-proof mask in that case! I've said it before - it's not easy being me.

The Voice In The Wilderness

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