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Updated: Jan 12, 2023

I wake up to yet another day to get up and live a life that I hate, to live a life of emptiness. I live in a world that is isolated and filled with hate and suffering. I am surrounded by people that have no love in them. They are hostile; their hostility is fueled by their insecurity and their insecurity stems from the fact that they have no one who cares about them and they have no one to care for, as most of their loved ones live in a world quite opposite to ours.

I look over to my cellmate, his eyes as hollow as a carved out pumpkin, his face remains expressionless, he has no optimism as he serves a life sentence and has nothing to do for the rest of his life apart from lament for his misdoings, he doesn’t have a second chance at life as others do. He mopes about with no purpose all day long and woefully consumes his meals, sighing throughout the day.

I take a moment and think about how I ended up in a maximum-security prison. My mind travels back in time to five years ago: I am unemployed, my wife has left me, and my teenage daughter detests me for not being able to provide for her. I am trying my best to find a job but seek none.

I snap out of those memories as they give me nothing but pain and remorse. Thinking about the crime I committed which landed me in this hellhole makes me shudder. I don’t want to tell you about what I did as you probably will judge like any other junkie criminal, but it doesn’t matter as “you” are just a figment of my imagination. I try to think about those times as little as I can but sometimes my brain has the urge to revisit those memories which I can’t control. However, I have gotten used to the fact that I have barely any control over my life. Everything in my life is decided by someone that hates me and many others like me who have committed crimes out of desperation, desperation to get out of a life that they hate

I am awoken from my rumination as the guard door bangs the cell door indicating that breakfast is being served. I glance over at my aforementioned cellmate; he mutely gets up and ambles over to the cafeteria where our bland breakfasts are being served. I aimlessly stroll towards the cafeteria, absent-mindedly humming the tune of a song, the name of which I no longer remember. After I receive my meal, I notice a gloomy atmosphere occupies the cafeteria. I keep my head down and morosely eat my meal. My time in this penitentiary has encouraged me to stay quiet and lay low. I remember what happened on the second day of my stay in this asylum of animosity. It was lunchtime, there was a skirmish between two inmates and they were creating a commotion, after some ten minutes of bickering, things got physical between them. I wanted to see what was going to happen to them. I saw a guard walk towards the prisoners and beat the living guts out of them. Later on, I heard that both of them were thrown into solitary confinement for a week. It was at that moment that I realized what kind of place I had gotten myself into for the rest of my life, a place of despair and drudgery.

A guard bangs my table loudly. He tells me that I have to finish up quickly since breakfast time is almost over. I hurriedly shove in as much of the bland food as I can into my mouth since the punishment for shooting past the scheduled meal time is solitary confinement for a day. As I walk back to my cell, I get back to my mindless thoughts. Almost all the punishments that are given out in this prison involve solitary confinement, it makes sense, the prison guards do not have the authority to dole out beatings as they would be unconstitutional and would be defined as torture which provides a bit of respite to us, prisoners, however, that also gives an incentive to the trouble makers of the prison as they know that the punishment they receive is the same. Thinking about trouble makers, I notice that the most notorious prisoner of our prison is walking in my direction, I try to avoid eye contact with him; he is walking closer to me. I keep my eyes peeled away from him but before I know it, he lands a punch on me. I feel winded. He tries to punch me again but I dodge it. I try to walk away from him but something in me snaps, a wave of bitterness comes over me and with spite, I plant a punch on his face. I try to hit him again but before I know it, I’m shocked with a cattle prod and handcuffed; I’m dragged away in humiliation by two beefy prison guards as I watch all the inmates keep their eyes fixed on me, enjoying the action.

I’m thrown into a little cell that is no larger than a big wardrobe. The cell reeks of sweat and blood, there’s complete darkness in the cell apart from a tiny window with bars that lets the sunlight pour into my cell. I sit in my damp, little cell trying to look out the window hoping for a second chance, a second chance to restart my life or go back in time and stop myself from getting in this place. I sit in my cell waiting and hoping to get liberated and get excused for all my wrongdoings but as I hope in my cell, I realize that that day of liberation is years away, and until then, I have to just wait.

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1 commento

anupama mandi
anupama mandi
10 lug 2021

That's a touching lament of a lifer, Aditya! You brilliantly bring out the angst and the anguish! Great going!

Mi piace
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