Below is an extract from my prison notebooks. With the exception of grammar corrections and bracketed information, nothing is altered.
DAY 57 THE GREAT WRENCHING
Yesterday was the best and worst day I’ve had since arriving in Her Majesty’s Care. In the morning I woke after sleeping peacefully in my new cell on F-Wing [vulnerable prisoners wing]. Csongor [cellmate] and I had settled in, I’d bleached the floor, we had work and Jordon [who sexually/physically assaulted me] was away on C-Wing. We also just started on education, entering the ‘upper’ echelons of prison life — civilised, muted and less mercurial. I began to settle in, relax, dive into the shock. I had a 15:15 visit from Alex [my husband], where I was also receiving a number of books, clothes and this notebook. I was rushed to the visit by a Senior Officer [SO] — a woman of mid-forties with blonde hair (perhaps the same two-striped [SO] who laughed as holding Whitaker’s oxygen tank after his jump). Alexander — oh my love! My own heart, numb by prison walls, chains of the mind, still beats and burns for you! [At the visit] he looked tired, older, frustrated and awkward. He was, of course, incredibly sweet — wanting to buy me pizzas, cakes, lattes and misc. He beamed with pure love; he is pure love to me. Did I make him feel too guilty when I said (in all truthfulness) that I worried about him and wanted him to know we are both going through this (love & a dash of sadism?)? Did I — he almost cried — say it too strongly that I cared for his health whilst I am in prison? Didn’t I speak too quickly when I said they couldn’t take me anywhere, and I was settled now? And not but five minutes from then a guard came and said, “I am going to have to stop this visit [heart sinks] … you haven’t done anything wrong; you are being sent to HMP Norwich” (Or is it Norwhich? No Norwich). I replied “When? Now?” “Yes, now.” Alexander and I ten minutes together, the move from the four man cell to F-Wing, living more comfortably, having education and a job, all of this — all of the hope collapsed into a great abyss. Norwich — that one word acted as a Model of Instability. After the traumatic events with Jordan, sitting in that filthy four man cell with the rabidly racist Alf; all of them were ameliorated by the move to “my own” permanent cell — I thought I’d be there for sometime. I was rushed back to F-Wing via the workshop/rec room, where I announced: I was being transferred right now. People thought it a joke, then they didn’t. The wing rustled with movement — the first person I bolted to see was Csongor, my dear friend, who had a double dose of bad news and I wanted to help with a great palliative: being there. I love him as one loves a brother. Adam was very loving. Csongor was despondent as he just learned he was to receive an IEP (disciplinary) warning as he signed a paper to not see children but added his daughter and broth to the visit list (or his nephew?).
He also just learned his application for the Early Release Scheme [time off sentence for taking a deal to be deported; in his case: to Hungary] had been denied — meaning another six years here! Stunned/stung he just looked at me with a face of shock! Shock, shock and more shock — absurdity of it [all] … He said to the Offender Management Unit person “This place, prison, is designed to destabilise people!! Of course I am not well! ” — This — an apt response to “How are you (After I deliver the knife jab that we had prepared for you some two or three days ago?)” What a ridiculous question — “How are you?” In prison is how I am. Six years for Csongor! I’ve taken his details – he packed my things, I ran to the laundry [room] after saying goodbye to my tutor, Mr. Paul Scott, “Stretch” (Colin); I met Alex [another prisoner] who was in the process of washing my laundry — love from this group of people is the best thing I’ve ever experienced. Alex thanked me for my help — looked me in the eyes — I almost cried. I felt, I felt … Speechless… Csongor said I saved his life — how can they wrench us apart? The pain — his intense presence as an absent figure/body, his friendship, the deepest bond — followed me on that transport van … [Before I left] Jay, the former prison guard [locked up for selling supplies to prisoners], well he’d been kind to me since his return [from HMP Norwich] — he helped me pack with a devotion of a great friend. [Notorious] Nick Taylor offered various suggestions [as he was prone to do] on how I could stay (climbing on something, taking Csongor hostage, etc!); he also said they can’t interrupt my visit as I am entitled to it. I will ask Alexander to bring this up with Kesar & Co. [my prison attorneys] … All of those people are gone from my life now. From the dusty corridors of HMP Bedford’s A-Wing to that room with Csonger (Cell C-2-9), to the four man cell [four people shitting in one space!], to F-Wing to here, HMP Norwich — a bizarre place! Let me describe it…