23rd Sept 04


Hoping my neighbours would increase their knowledge, I encouraged the young Chicanos to order some nonfiction books from the prison library. Diego received Twentieth Century – The History of the World and Scooby received Plato’s Republic. Last night, in the midst of their early morning mumbo jumbo, they began to discuss politics. Scooby’s cellmate, Manny, who only reads the Bible, tried to scupper the discussion. The following is a sample from last night’s dialogue:

“I’m telling ya homey, what Plato wrote about is exactly what’s happenin’ today,” Scooby said.
“Izzat right, ese? Diego said.
“The politicians give yer all kinds of bullshit to get elected,” Scooby said, “an’ then they just take care of their homies, you know, special interests.”
Homey here’s sounding all political 'cause he read that goddam Pluto [Plato] book!” Manny said.
“I ain’t political, ese!” Scooby said.
“Take no notice of Manny, ese!” Diego said. “He ain’t nuttin’ but a cheeto anyway.”
Orale, homey!” Scooby said.
“Arnold’s tryin’ to run for president, but they won’t let him because he wasn’t born in the US and his dad was a Nazi,” Diego said.
“Was Arnold ever in the military, ese?” Scooby asked.
“In da movies he fuckin’ was!” Manny said.
“Sssshhhhhh!” came a voice from the bottom run.
“Who said sssshhhhhh?” Manny said in a threatening way.
“Dunno, ese” Diego said.
“To whoever said sssshhhhh,” Manny yelled, “fuck all you old-timers down stairs!”
“Nah, he wasn’t in the military, ese, but he married a Kennedy,” Diego said.
“I thought dat ruca was a Shriver,” Scooby said.
“She is, but she’s also a Kennedy, homey, some Kennedy niece or some shit like dat. She’s nuttin nice, homey, she’s wearing the pants in that relationship,” Diego said.
“Izzat right, ese?” Scooby said.
“Scooby, why don’t you run for governor?” Manny said.
“It’s not in my future, ese,” Scooby said.
“”What about president of Mexico then?” Manny said.
“Fuck you, ese!” Scooby said.
“I think dat Bush is gunna get fucked at the election 'cause of the medical prescription bill,” Diego said. “Vatos can go to Mexico and buy the same pills so much cheaper, ese.
“I dunno,” Scooby said. “His dad is real powerful.”
“Yeah, cause he’s a CIA vato, homey,” Diego said.
“I’m surprised dat no ones tried to smoke Bush’s ass,” Scooby said.
Orale!” Diego said.
“Don’t presidents get shot all of the time, ese?" Scooby said.
“Those gabachos, Lincoln and Kennedy, got shot in the head, ese,” Diego said , “and two women tried to smoke Ford’s ass.”
“Wuzn’t it 'cause of Vietnam that they took Kennedy out?” Scooby asked.
“Yeah, those CIA vatos took him out, and they told the military vatos, ‘You can have your war now!’ Then they smoked Kennedy’s bro as well," Diego said.
“This country is no joke, ese!” Scooby said.
Orale, homey!” Diego said.

For Chicano prison slang translations see the blog two entries ago "Chicano Chat".

I am deeply moved by the avalanche of emails and comments that my parents have received from all over the world since the Guardian article. Thank you for taking the time to write. Your kind words have alleviated my suffering. Once upon a time, my dad could comfortably print out all of my emails and snail-mail them here to me in the States. I do not have access to a computer. I would then snail mail my responses back to my dad and he would email them to the original senders. Because of the recent huge response the system is presently kaput, so I am going to start addressing the questions you have put to me in emails via the blog. I would still like you to email writeinside@hotmail.com as my parents like to post your comments into the blog.

Jon’ is obviously a pseudonym, which needs to be used in the blog for continuity.

Thank you once again for the continued offers of gifts. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to receive gifts at the prison. I can receive letters, photographs and photocopies. I can receive magazine subscriptions directly from the magazine publishers and soft backed books directly from the publishers. Scott, your kind offer would be greatly appreciated. I am more interested in building relationships with people rather than receiving material items. The mail delivery is the highlight of the day for us inmates. I’m looking forward to hearing from more good people.
Appreciatively yours,
16th Sept 04

Frankie & Mark - updates from the Madison Street Jail.

This week, I received two letters from the Madison Street jail. One was from my former cellmate, Mark, the other was from Frankie. Mark reported that las cucarachas are, “stronger, faster and more aggressive than ever.” He is disappointed that his "chess muscle" is shrinking in my absence. Mark is seeing his judge this month and he is hoping to be released on probation.

Frankie wrote that his yo-yoing prosecutor had pulled his plea bargain and that he is, “back to facing two life sentences,” for his murder charges. He related that a new female guard, “some dumb bitch D.O. [Detention Officer] who looks like Olive Oyl,” dropped her handcuff keys, and an inmate found them and promptly keystered them.

As a result, all the cells were "shook down" and the inmates were forced to sit in a metal chair that “beeps if you have something in your ass!” The keys were eventually found in the culprit’s cell and the pod was locked down for an entire week. The responsible individual received additional charges for the theft, and a UA test, which showed he was on drugs. Frankie ended by stating that he is missing my, “sexy hairy booty.” I am certainly not missing Joe Arpaio’s hospitality!
12th Sept 04

Chicano Chat

A minority of my neighbours, around four out of twenty, talk until two or three in the morning. From behind the safety of their locked doors theses cell warriors keep the rest of us awake. Listening to their nonsense for hours on end is tantamount to Chinese water torture. Here is a small dose from last night’s session.

Some prison slang translations:

ESE/HOMEY/HOMES/HOMEBOY: a buddy/pal, especially a fellow gang member
GABACHO: pejorative term for a white man, equivalent to gringo
ORALE: okay, it’s all good, hell yeah, right on eg) orale, homes. Pass the J, ese
PINCHE: fucking eg) pinche gabacho
VATO: male individual, man, dude eg) yo soy un vato loco
RUCA: woman, girlfriend, true love

“Any vato can have a fully-automatic weapon, homey,” Diego said extra loudly, so that his voice would carry to Manny’s cell, situated further down the run.
“Listen, homes, those pinche vatos – the ATF – will kick yer fuckin’ door down if they find out,” said Manny equally loudly.
“You listen, ese, if you have a Class 2 weapons licence, you can have one,” Diego said.
“That’s bullshit, dawg!” Manny said.
“Those fuckin’ militia groups have 'em,” Diego said.
“What’s a fuckin’ militia group, ese?”
“Those left wing vatos, homes. Like that gabacho, David Koresh.”
“Izzat right, ese?”
“If yer not NATO certified you can’t have a fully-automatic weapon!” interjected Tommy - a gabacho – in a booming New York accent.
“What about those militia vatos?” Diego asked.
“Dey fuckin’ steal 'em,” Tommy said with an air of authority.
“Homeboy here is sayin’ that no one can get 'em,” Diego said.
“Dey gotta be NATO certified,” Tommy said.
“It’s legal, dawg, if you go through the right bullshit,” Diego said.
“It’s not legal under the Brady Bill,” Tommy said.
“Is that the bill that they are introducing this November to stop fully-automatic-weapon sales?” Manny asked.
“No, ese. The Brady Bill is from when the president – Reagan – and his homeboy got shot by some crazy fool, and then they stopped fully-automatic-weapon sales unless you have the Class 2 licence,” Diego said triumphantly.
“Nah, listen up,” Tommy said, “Reagan and Brady got shot and then they changed the law so that you have to fill out an application and wait for ten days to get yer gun.”
“I don’t give a fuck, dawg,” Diego said, his voice becoming louder and more insistent. “I learnt all of my gun shit from a comic book called The Punisher."
“Izzat right, ese? Orale!” Manny said.
“Orale!” Diego said.

On and on the conversation went, dying out and coming back to life again, like a fire on the wane that some wind hits every ten minutes rekindling the flames.
9th Sept 04

Latest on Sheriff Joe

Yesterday, Sheriff Joe Arpaio won in the primary. So now we have to concentrate on defeating him in the general election in November. His opponent is a Democrat, which will make things difficult, as most registered voters in Arizona are Republicans. Arpaio has a lock on the votes of the senior citizens of Arizona, and there are thousands of them in Sun City and Greater Phoenix. They won’t hear a bad word said about Joe. The fact that crime stats show that Phoenix has a higher than the national average rate for practically all offences (Phoenix Crime Statistics and Crime Data (Phoenix, AZ) cuts no ice with the gated community dwellers and all those folks who are too far removed from life to care.

Dan Saban did give him a good run for his money, though, with a much stronger showing than any other candidate against Arpaio so far. He will try again, he says, in two years.

Not quite fine dining

Since the veggie diet started coming the prison keeps serving me delicious rice and bean dishes that I’ve never seen before. The veggie chili reminds me of Indian food. After starvation under Sheriff Joe’s regime, I feel so full now, all day long. It’s not quite fine dining, but, bloody hell, this is prison. I imagine I’ll be back to 170 lbs in no time. I hope I don’t get fat. Also, I am now officially Hindu.
2nd Sept 04

The Passion of The Christ

Fifty-seven-year old Blue, a member of the original Aryan Brotherhood in Arizona, was released from SMU earlier this year, after spending half of his life in prison. Towards the end of his sentence he had become a born-again Christian. One of his goals for when he got out was to go and see the movie, The Passion of The Christ. Blue realised that goal during the first week of his release.

The Jesus movie affected Blue profoundly. He wept as he watched it, and his violent past weighed heavily on his mind. Whilst watching the movie, Blue made a decision that would change the rest of his life.

After viewing The Passion, Blue turned himself in to the authorities and confessed to a crime he had committed in 1979. Whilst incarcerated at Central Unit, Blue had struck another inmate 15 times in the head with a hammer. The bludgeoning had killed the victim. Blue was recently convicted of this murder upon the evidence of his own testimony. For his atonement he was given a 25-year-to-life sentence , but at least he was spared the death penalty. Blue is now back home at SMU.
30th Aug 04

Who are the people in your neighbourhood?

The quietest inmate in our housing area is my next-door neighbour, Daniel. He does not speak to anyone except for his old-timer cellmate, Timmy the Wood. I sometimes overhear Daniel talking in a soft and timid voice.

When inmates pass our cell on the way to the shower, they usually give a friendly nod or a greeting, but not Daniel. Sometimes I smile and look expectantly at him as he walks by, but his eyes are always looking either straight ahead or down at the floor. After observing his eyes a few times, I began to feel that something was amiss. A permanent haunted look resides in those eyes. They bulge unnaturally: too much eyeball seems to be exposed. There's chaos in those eyes. I’ve seen plenty of inmates looking agitated and anguished due to the conditions; however, Daniel’s eyes express a state of constant trauma. If eyes are windows to the soul, it appears as if he has a tempest lurking within him.

Apart from Daniel’s eyes, there is nothing unusual about his appearance. He is short and stout and looks to be around thirty-years old. His thin, reddish hair is neatly cut; a boyish fringe covers his forehead. He is the mildest-mannered inmate in the pod.

When Daniel went to the Medical Unit yesterday, my other neighbour, Barbarian, questioned Timmy the Wood about Daniel’s past. Timmy revealed that Daniel’s prison score was a 5-5, which is the highest level of classification; that he was sentenced to 350 years, and he would be eligible for parole in 175 years. Apparently, his lengthy sentence was proportionate to the number of his victims. Timmy told us that Daniel is a serial killer.

Despite Daniel’s seemingly gentle disposition, he is probably the most dangerous inmate I have been housed with thus far.
26th Aug 04

Vegetarian Diet

I started to receive the vegetarian diet today. The veggie burger tonight was delicious. It came with potatoes, garbanzo beans, kidney beans and green beans. In order to receive the diet I had to change my religion to Hindu on the Diet Request Form. This a natural progression after studying yoga for several years. I am now keen to learn more about the Hindu religion. My favourite cuisine has always been Indian.

Thanks for your kind offers of veggie-food parcels. Unfortunately I can not receive food in the mail.
15th Sept 04

Open letter to the Guardian from Jon

Thank you for having the courage to highlight the plight of the downtrodden inmates in Joe Arpaio's jail. Before the publication of the blog in your newspaper, I felt as if I were a lonely stone, sunk at the bottom of a muddy pond. The Guardian readership has raised that stone to a bright surface. Hopefully, the increased scrutiny will cause an improvement in the conditions. What is occurring in that jail is disgraceful. Plato wrote that democracy is the path to tyranny. It is up to the press and the public to expose and suppress tyranny when and where it occurs. Thank you tremendously for championing a worthy cause. I am overcome with joy because you published my scrawl. Appreciatively and humbly yours, Jon.

20th Aug 04


I’m temporarily at a super-maximum facility. The most dangerous criminals in Arizona are housed in neighbouring "runs" (corridors) and lots of them are "lifers" (serving natural life sentences, or hundreds of years).

Our run consists of ten two-man cells, five upstairs and five down. There is a sixth cell on each floor containing a shower. I am not allowed out of my cell except to shower, or go to the Medical Unit.

7.00am: The guards open the trap on the cell door. Waking up, I raise myself from the bottom bunk and grab a breakfast tray. Breakfasts have included hash browns, French toast, oatmeal, eggs, pancakes, waffles and meat. A great improvement on Sheriff Joe’s green bologna!

7.15am: I am back on my bunk.

7.30am: The guards open the trap and demand the return of the plastic breakfast trays.

8.00am: I return to slumber.

9.00am: The guard offers us showers (three days per week). “Shower! Shower!” he yells. I awake, get dressed and grab my bar of soap and a towel. I am handcuffed through the trap. The door is opened and I walk to a cell containing a shower. On entering the shower I am unhandcuffed through the trap. Showering takes ten minutes but I am left waiting for up to an hour before I am handcuffed and escorted back to my cell.

10.00am: Lunch sacks are served through the trap. They contain four pieces of wheat bread, two pieces of cheese, bright-orange crackers, sandwich meat (still no veggie diet) and sometimes peanut butter.

10.30am: I commence reading, writing and studying.

2.00pm: A guard offers to dispose of my trash through the trap.

3.00pm: I am offered cleaning supplies. These consist of liquid soap, a toilet scrubber and a broom on a shortened handle; after usage, I return these supplies through the trap.

4.00pm: Dinner trays are served through the trap. Dinner is usually meat, mashed potatoes, wheat bread and a vegetable.

5.00pm: The trays are collected through the trap.

6.00pm: Mail is delivered. This is the highlight of the day for most inmates. Some inmates boast about how many items of mail they have received, and they taunt the inmates who have received none.

7.00pm: "Kites" are offered. Kites are forms we can use to communicate with the various staff members. Issues concerning classification, operations, inmate grievances, inmate store, laundry/linen, legal, library, programs, accounts, property, religion, security, warehouse and visitation may be addressed using kites. Staff response times vary from one day to up to thirty days.

10.00pm: Lights out. I place my outgoing mail and kites in the trap. The graveyard shift collects inmate correspondence. I commence a lengthy yoga session. Three or four inmates known as "cell warriors" yell obscenities at each other until 1.00am or 2.00am, preventing the less vocal inmates from sleeping.

2.00am: When the hurly-burly ceases, I quit yoga. Using pieces of wet toilet roll as earplugs (a precaution in case the banter resumes) I curl my blanket around me and attempt to go to sleep, which sometimes takes a long time.

11th Sept 04 Good lookin’ out dawgs!

After Jon’s arrest in May 02, we (Jon’s parents) were allowed a 10 minute phone call each week via the British Embassy in Los Angeles. The calls were stopped by the jail last year on a technicality. Last night we picked up the phone and it was Jon’s excited voice. The Embassy had magically reinstated his calls. The timing could not have been better.

He was in receipt of a letter from his sister saying that an article about the blog may be going in The Guardian this week, and he was anxious to know if it went ahead. He was quite amazed and deeply touched when we told him the reaction his journal had caused. We have printed off and posted to him all your emails and comments.

Jon said, “It’s tremendous! I can’t believe this is happening! Hope I don’t get writer’s block! Thank you people everywhere. I’m doing fine. There are 3 more blogs in the post right now, and I will write a response to the New Times article immediately.”

Good lookin’ out dawgs!
8th Sept 04 Jon’s parents wrote

Thank you to everybody at The Guardian for the brilliant article in the G2 today highlighting Jon’s blog and enabling people from across the globe to visit this site. It was very well done and we’re sure when Jon sees it he’ll be delighted that someone has given him a conduit for his writings. (It takes about a week for mail to get to him) Non-Guardian readers, the link for this article is below:

Since the article, we have received hundreds of emails and comments in support of Jon. People have reached out to him for all sorts of reasons and we are deeply humbled by the numbers of people across the globe who have felt the need to respond.

As you are aware, he has no access to computers, and he writes the blogs with a short pencil (a long pencil could be considered a weapon) until his hand aches too much to continue. We will send copies of all your comments and emails to Jon, who we know will be overcome by your responses. He will reply but it may take a few weeks due to the volume of support. Jon has said that the highlight of the day is receiving mail. Thank you supporters keep the correspondence coming.

If you want your comments to be seen in the blog, click on ‘comments’ at the end of each blog, then ‘post comments’ link. If you don’t want the world to see your comment email Jon on writeinside@hotmail.com Below are a few extracts from the many emails we have received:

"... ...I am a crime journalist working for BBC News Online in London, with a long-time interest in US jails . I just read the article about you in today's Guardian and I sympathise with your predicament, particularly the barbaric conditions I have read about on your weblog."

"... ...I am very interested about how an ordinary white-collar Brit ends up in such a place. It must be quite a tale."

"... ...Keep your chin up Jon (is that a yoga position?) I hope you're sent to Arizona (better still that your sentence is cut - maybe GW will pull a few strings). Your diary is in the Guardian so you'll be getting a lot of support from Guardian readers. Anyway, best wishes from Hebden Bridge."

"I read your story Jon in this evenings Liverpool Echo ... ..."

"... ...I wish you all the very best, if there is anything I can do to help, even if its just adding my voice, don't hesitate to get in touch ... ..."

"All the very best mate : HeF"

"I just read the extracts of your blog published in The Guardian today. I imagine you get a lot of people saying 'I don't know what to say', so I'm sorry to add to their number. No sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing that your writing made me laugh, despite the loathing generated by your descriptions of the conditions. But it did. Don't let the bastards get you down, pet." Anna

"... ...Hi Jon,
Are conditions any better in the penitentiary? I certainly hope so as your Jail diary was a nauseating account of the dark side of Americans who appear to be able to go to church and sing of heaven while actively encouraging hell on earth."
John Williams

"... ...More power to you. You really made me laugh/cry today when I read your weblog in the Guardian and then went to look at the whole thing on the net. It's fabulous. I once got arrested in the States and I am now eternally grateful that I didn't end up where you are. I always wondered what vegetarians do in prison (being one) although from what myfriends in the military have said the vegetarian food there is pretty much the same. Cockroaches don't like tea tree oil, but I reckon your mates back in the jail have v little chance of getting any of that delivered. No doubt it would be classed as a weapon.
So, just wanted to say hi, tell you persons around the world are reading you and to say nice one."
"Take care"
Lorna, Kuala Lumpur

"Your diary in today's Guardian is the best thing I've read in ages. And now I'm reading your web-site. I'm curious to know if you're going to be inundated by your fellow Brits all offering their support and commiserations at your plight. The Guardian must have countless worthy types, willing to have a good hand-wring with you about the barabarism of the US penal system??

I however, am evil and right-wing and have merely had a day off from the Daily Mail. [nah - just have to read all the papers every day for my job. But not the Sport. Or the Star. There is not much knowledge to be gleaned from t*ts and a photo of Jordan's g-string disappearing completely up her backside... ..."

"... ...I have a phobia of cockroaches so you can imagine.... One of the little critters crawled over me in a really smart London restaurant, and l damn near screamed the place down. The other diners thought it was a terrorist attack until I careered, in true comedy fashion, into the desert trolley."

"What the f*ck did you do to get nine years inside??? something financial I know, but nine years??? Jesus Christ, you poor bastard."

"... ...anyway, The Guardian gave its readers a happy ending (lest it put them off their morning muesli and soya milk) saying that you've moved somewhere better. Even I, Daily Mail reader, really hope that's the case. If I can send any toothpaste to any of your mates left in that hellhole, let me know."

"... ...great diary anyway."

"Take care"
Katie x

12th August 04 Thinner and thinner

The decision over my final destination (which state penitentiary I’ll be permanently housed at) has still not been taken. I was told I could be sent out of Arizona because of the media attention to my case including the Phoenix New Times article that linked me and my codefendants to the Gravano crew. This would be a disaster. Half of my family and friends live in Arizona (and the other half live in England). I’d get no visitors at all!

My request for a veggie diet was rejected because I wrote "yoga" in the religious-preference box on the request form. I’ll have to convert to Hinduism! I’m rapidly losing weight, and I'm living on peanut butter and crackers bought from the store. The peanut butter limit is silly. I could eat five times as much as I’m allowed to buy. I feel oddly vulnerable at 154 pounds.

I’m doing two to three hours of yoga every night. There’s no point in trying to sleep early. My noisy neighbours make it impossible. I’m doing four different warrior-type lunge postures and five different headstands. The muscles in my thighs ripple, but that's probably because they're becoming skinnier. I’ve tried to turn the night-noise situation into a positive. I’m ready to move onto more advanced yoga postures (if Dad will send a book). The guards see me contorted and are bewildered:
"What’s he doin'?"
"What the fuck!"
"He’s lost his mind!" - are just some of their comments.
5th August 04 David and the Grim Reaper

David's fluoxetine prescription commenced on Tuesday. David divulged some things about his life that may have contributed to his mental instability.

When David was thirteen one of his friends put a bullet into a drinking straw and threw it into the air. When it landed it exploded. David watched his friend die as the bullet entered his chin and exited through the back of his head.

At age 17 David woke up to find his fiancée of four years dead. He was arrested and interrogated about her murder for two weeks. An autopsy revealed that she had died from toxic shock syndrome caused by a tampon.

David’s father was murdered – shot dead by a biker gang in Sunnyslope – when David was in his mid-twenties. Last year, his wife, the mother of his five children suffered a rollover car accident. Her spinal chord snapped and she died. His thirty-four-year-old brother is looking after his five children, while David serves a two-year sentence after being caught with a ten-dollar bag of speed.

This week David received a disciplinary ticket, which may cause his stay at SMU2 to be extended. The cover of his decrepit mattress was peeling, so, for comfort purposes, David removed the rest of it. Our cell floor became littered with pieces of what looked like blue confetti. The mess attracted a young Chicano guard. A cell search followed.

The guard instructed me to strip naked and to show him my hands, teeth, armpits and feet. I was ordered to raise my scrotum. Finally, I had to bend over, spread my cheeks and cough. David was instructed to do the same. We were handcuffed through the trap in the door, and moved from the cell in our boxer shorts to a small recreation pen where we played handball.

Upon our return, David was ticketed for destroying state property. He may be charged up to $150 restitution to replace the mattress. Several tickets can jeopardize an inmate’s eligibility for early release. David has pleaded not guilty and he has a hearing next week.

An inmate directly above us tried to commit suicide. The method was not disclosed. He was escorted to a suicide watch room, where, according to David, he will be bound by leather handcuffs and have his legs chained down. One arm will be unbound during meals so that he can scoop the food into his mouth. David has been to suicide watch rooms on two occasions. He once tried to kill himself at the county jail by drinking bleach.

I received the peanut butter I ordered. I’m only allowed twelve ounces per week. The Diet Request Form finally arrived so my vegetarian diet should be up and running soon. David got so hungry that he traded his library allowance (one book per two weeks) to me, for half of a twelve-ounce bag of Granny Goose Dip Chips (more commonly known in England as "plain crisps").

I have many insect bites on my head, legs and arms but they are not too uncomfortable – only mild suffering. I’m not sure if the black earwig that I found in my bedding caused them. The variety of insects here is far more enjoyable to look at than the cockroaches at the jail. Some of the louder inmates have moved on so things have quietened down a little at nighttimes. I expect that I’ll be here for at least two more months.
29th July 04 Super Maximum Unit

A group of us were moved to a super-maximum unit (SMU2) in Florence, Arizona. The journey from Alhambra to SMU2 took approximately one hour, during which I admired the desert and mountain landscapes. Arizona's most dangerous prisoners are housed at SMU1 and SMU2. These include some of the leaders of the Aryan Brotherhood and the Mexican Mafia. The guards here all wear shank-proof vests and protective glasses. Wearing such garb has earned them the name "ninja turtles". All inmates are strip-searched and handcuffed before leaving their cells.

My first cellmate was a satanic priest called Lucifer who had a pentagram tattooed on his forehead. But within one hour of my arrival he was rolled up back to the county jail to face additional charges. Lucifer generously gave me a 335-page Leonardo da Vinci biography. As I was completely bookless, the gesture was appreciated. His institutional score was the highest, 5-5, and my neighbours explained he was in for murder, part of a cult that was drinking blood and eating human body parts.

After Lucifer departed, David, the suicidal inmate from Alhambra, appeared smiling at my cell door. He is now my cellmate. Because of his depression, he sleeps for approximately 20 hours each day, so our cell is quiet. Unfortunately, the neighbours create all kinds of noise into the small hours, which has made getting to sleep have its difficulties. They heckle, joke and converse about bizarre things. Last night they had a debate about who had the biggest "booty size" out of Catherine-Zeta Jones, J-Lo and Selina.

The only insect houseguests thus far have been a cricket, a beetle (an unusual-looking specimen) and a few tiny white flies that look like specs of dust. The beetle was bulbous and chestnut coloured. It crawled around slowly on six furry legs. I watched with great interest as it patrolled the room.

My request for a vegetarian diet has not yet been approved. I am dizzy with hunger. David is the lucky beneficiary of double meat rations. I’ve ordered twelve ounces of peanut butter from the store list, which I’m hoping to receive next week.

I’ve adjusted my yoga routine to nighttimes so that I’m doing something constructive when my neighbours are causing the most noise. I'm finding that standing on my head has a soothing effect on my brain. I read and write in the daytime. Fortunately, Lonely left behind a blank Library Book Request Form, which I submitted immediately. I received Plato 1 the next day. Plato 1 is a 478-page book from the Oxford Readings in Philosophy series. It is as if by providence that I am supplied an educational book just when I need it the most.