So, (have you noticed how many sentences begin with the word ‘so’ these days?) how yawl doin’?
I’m doing time – even though I am innocent. On the positive side, I am so lucky to be doing my captivity by working on a prison farm. Truth is that I love it here so much that if the gates flew open in the morning, I wouldn’t flee.
Lock-down doesn’t feel like lock-down at all here right now. My cell-mate is a wonderful cook and I cannot fathom how she comes up with such a varied menu every day. I tell you … I’ve had much worse days on the outside.
One thing I miss is that visitors are not allowed here. This is in contrast to a prisoner on death-row in America, who is allowed three visitors per week. But this place more than compensates for lack of human contact. I can spend all day out there under God’s blue sky in the company of the cows and calves. The birds are singing a sweeter tune than ever before, the butter-cups are pure gold and we are surrounded by glorious silence.
We internees are blessed to have modern technology at our finger tips. I get to see and talk to my scattering of grand-children every day. I don’t take them for granted anymore and it’s funny how I hang onto every smile and word long after they’ve gone.
My cell-mate was a teacher in another life and she is putting her skills to great use these days. (Ah stop it, lads, I know anything I need to learn.) Mrs Youcantbeserious does an art class for my grandchildren every morning on something called ‘Zoom.’
There is no restrictions on the number of phone calls I can receive or make here. I find myself chatting with friends I didn’t seem to have time to talk to before the verdict. My cell-mate and I watch more TV together than ever before. This may have something to do with the fact that there is no live sport. Mind you, the signature tune for ‘Coronation Street’ still has the same effect on me as a fire alarm.
We watch a movie every night over a glass of wine and a gallon of coffee. (The coffee is my drug of choice.) After my cell-mate beds down I engage myself in a form of self-flagellation by watching Donald Trump until I eventually bed down in a temper.
WhatsApp is both a means of free and easy communication and now, a source of mirth and entertainment. Most of the video clips doing the rounds are hilariously funny. Isn’t it amazing how mankind adapts and takes the most from whatever situation we find ourselves in? ‘Political Correctness’ has gone by the wayside during this captivity, with both male and female inmates from other institutions sharing the most outrageous messages.
Everyone knows that we didn’t pen what we are forwarding – so anything goes in that regard. Black humour is to the fore – and strange as it may seem, this has always been the safety valve for people who find themselves in a life and death situation. Some of the most famous one-liners have been ‘gallows humour.’
I have hung our national flag outside the bars of my gate next the road. This is to show solidarity with the nurses, gardai and all front line workers who pass by on their way to keeping my country as safe as possible.
I am very aware of how blessed I am to have my own fields to move in and my cell-mate has done more gardening in the past month than Adam and Eve did in a lifetime. Seriously for a moment: My heart goes out to all of those who are confined in an apartment block. That is a ‘lock-up’, whilst I only have to contend with a ‘lock-down.’
Our internment period is as of yet undetermined. We need to keep the faith and as “all good things must come to an end”, it is just as true to say that “all bad things must come to an end” too. I hope that very soon we shall all receive some sort of ‘temporary release’. The one thing that all of us inmates need to know, is that our key to early freedom will be based on ‘good behaviour’. Please remember that …!
A Christian should live so that instead of being part of the world’s problems, he will be part of the answer.