Saturday, February 05, 2011

The moving finger writes

Anyone who reads this drivel on any sort of a regular basis will be fully aware of my relationship with Lady Luck - that fickle ould boiler who seems to revel in giving me periodical boots in the family jewellery and then disappearing into the mist, leaving behind only a hollow laugh as I writhe on the floor clutching the aforementioned testacularities.

They will also recall that, a short while ago, I said that there may be some evidence that she had finally forsaken me and turned her attentions elsewhere at last. I should have known better. In fact, even saying she had moved on probably tempted her to don the highly-polished, steel toe-capped, ex-miner's pit boots and prepare to take careful aim at her target. Then, when she was absolutely certain that I was looking the other way... WHAM! "There you go, Frank , have THAT for your temerity!" she cried.

I have been waiting for a date for my parole hearing and had been given to understand by the Parole Board that I would be given a date on the 7th January and that date would probably be in March. I had forgotten to factor in the miscreant and anti-social attitude of Lady Luck, of course.

I've had a letter from my solicitor telling me that my parole hearing has NOT been scheduled for March and I haven't even been given a date yet. My case will be "put forward" for a date in April. The listings for April are due to be disclosed in the week commencing February 7th 2011. Notice that I won't be given a date, my case will simply be "put forward" for a date.

I have asked the solicitor to mount some sort of challenge and to try to force a date out of them. I'm fully aware of the fact that patience is a virtue, but whoever said that hadn't been sitting in a prison cell for twenty-five solid (and at times quite difficult) years.

The whole thing was brought home forcibly to me the other day as I sat re-reading through "The Merchant of Venice". (I am doing that - re-reading - because I have once again consumed - hee hee - all of the new books I bought at christmas.) So, there was I, reading away - I like to read out loud to myself and do all of the actions and voices, it makes me laugh - and I was reading Shylock's part where he says, "If you prick us, do we not bleed?" (Act Three, Scene One). Of course, he says a lot of other stuff too, but that line is one that speaks to me. It embodies everything a prisoner has to suffer. Those making decisions do so without any sort of thought about the effects those decisions may have. They make them and go off for a nice supper and sleep like babies, totally unmindful of the prisoner lying in the dark, cuddling his very real disappointment.

Beggars and kings - none of us is immune to emotions. Some of us have to learn to hide them better, that's all, but they are still there. "If you prick me, do I not bleed?"

Now, at this point, normally I would lighten it all by telling one of my silly stories, but - and with me there always seems to be a but - I can't come up with one, not one that would seem appropriate or that I would be comfortable with, so I'm not going to tell any jokes this week. Besides, Boudica says that my jokes are all as old as the hills anyway. What does she want from me? I AM as old as the hills, I'm just not as pretty, and I don't care to be walked over by any wandering rambler working for the Parole Board.

Sandra, my eldest sister, died on the 11th of this month and Boudica lit a candle for me for her. That's what a life came down to, a candle. Sandra was only 54 years old - far too young to require people to be lighting candles of remembrance for her. Well, my candle is burning too - all of our candles are burning, and they need to be sheltered to prevent them being blown out.

So, a final message to the Parole Board:

Give me a date before my candle burns out, please.
The Voice In The Wilderness

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Frank,
Thank you for your blogs, I look forward to reading them.
They are a juxtaposition between sardonic humour and philosophical non-acceptance of why you are where you are but acceptance that you are there as a hostage of the state and have used the time to your intellectual benefit.

My sincere condolences on the loss of your sister.
I have no idea if you believe there is more to the sum of our being and existence (if there isn't, what's the bally point and what a waste of brains such as Beethoven, Einstein, etc)than this mortal coil but if you do feel there is something more, I would like to think that your sister can come and go at will as walls are no longer a barrier.

Best Regards,