Saturday, March 13, 2010

A stoic leper coping with stress

Anyone who is familiar with the ramblings of my diseased mind, and who reads this blog every week, will be aware that I am to go before the Parole Board (yet again) in June of this year. That was made clear to me in a letter sent by the Parole Board to both myself and my solicitor some time around the end of last year. I was assured in writing in that self-same letter that I would be supplied with a copy of my parole dossier by February 27th 2010 at the very latest. Not only would I get a copy, so would my solicitor.

Well, knowing how the prison service works, in all their hubris, it will come as no surprise whatever that the promised dossier failed to materialise! A few days ago I happened to come into contact with my new Personal Officer, so I took the opportunity to bring up the subject.

"Have you written the report for the Parole Board yet?" says I.

"Eh?" says he, clearly a man with a great future ahead of him as an after-dinner speaker.

"Parole report," says I. "For the Parole Board. It is in June and I haven't had a copy of it yet."

Says he, "I don't know anything about it! All I've been asked to do was one for the Sentence Planning and X [my previous personal warder, Miss Concerned] did it. I will be away until April starting next week."

So, they haven't even had the bloody reports done yet. No wonder I haven't had a copy of the dossier - it quite simply doesn't exist yet!

"Should I phone them up?" he asked.

"No," said I, "let them alone. They can explain it to higher authority when the time comes."

Now - and pay attention, I might say something amusing - now, where does that leave me?

  • I am sure (almost) that The Wallace has done a report because she told me so on a video link last month, or it may have been the month before.
  • There is no medical report because I refused to allow the medical gossips to tell anyone anything personal.
  • No psychology report because they haven't been anywhere near me since I came to this prison last March!
  • The security report will say that there are no security concerns - if they say anything at all!
It doesn't leave much, does it?

Once again, I have become the invisible man, the leper, the man nobody wants to admit is even here! I think I'll get a bell to hang around my neck to warn folk when I am in the vicinity, just to give them the opportunity to run away.

Some people say that it must all be very frustrating for me - and at times it is - but I have to live with it. No choice in the matter really. They also say that it would drive them mad... However, the rules dictate that, no matter how much there is to get stressed about, I am not allowed to suffer from stress.

Fortunately I seem to have become quite pragmatic about it all as I grow progressively older, and I can sort of look on from a distance with a certain amount of equanimity - some might even call it stoicism.

Ah! But what is going on inside my heart, you may ask How do I manage to keep it all so strong? "You are old Father William," the young man said, etc. etc. Yes, old I may be, but my mind is active - which is more than can be said for my body - and prison is no place for active minds. At the minute I am keeping it active with the assistance of a PlayStation, a very wise purchase on my part two or three years ago. I have run out of books to read temporarily. I've read all I have, several of them several times in fact. However, I'll put that right soon enough, with a bit of good fortune.

So, I shall continue to answer each and every letter which crosses my threshold, read everything I can get my grubby little mitts on and play games on my PlayStation, even though I only ever play on my own. Still, I've heard that playing with yourself is often good for easing stress...

The Voice In The Wilderness

No comments: