13 Nov 07
Release (2) letters to parents
Today has been a day of conflicting emotions. Thanks for putting in the calls necessary to get the wheels of bureaucracy turning. I am insanely happy that my release was finally confirmed this afternoon, and I have been scheduled to be picked up by Immigration this Friday. This morning C03 H. told me, “Your release is confirmed,” at which point my heart leaped, and he then added, “but you’re not actually down as being scheduled for release,” at which point my heart sank again. Getting released isn’t easy.
The prisoners who knew I wasn’t scheduled for release (because word came back from the prisoner clerks privy to these things) have been placing bets on whether or not my release would go through and what day they expected me to get out or whether I’d be stuck here until my next release date. Some still doubt I’ll get out on Friday. Others have been shaking my hand offering congratulations and asking for my mailing address in England. A few people who have barely ever talked to me before, have come to my cell, struck up a conversation, and then at the end of it have asked me something like, “By the way, have you decided who you are going to give your sunglasses to when you leave?”
Departing prisoners shower their friends and neighbours with gifts in the form of personal property before they leave. Everything from my orange sportswear down to my pencil sharpener must go. People started asking me months ago. The first was Too Tall after my tumbler and lid, an item that has served me well for smuggling meals out of the chow hall (when I’ve had to postpone eating due to my work-outs with Iron Man). Then came Red after my chess set, and numerous people after my dictionaries.
Part of me, although my soul is full of joy, still doesn’t believe I am about to leave this prison. That part of me will not be satisfied until the guards in the control room tell me to roll up. Upon hearing those winged words and having that last bit of doubt dismissed, I’m sure my excitement will ratchet up several levels above how I’m feeling right now.
I’m going to miss my friends on Yard 1. Weird Al’s sarcasm. Working out with Iron Man – a truly strong man who’s added some new dimensions to my life. I’ll miss Xena, who is in the hole and out of reach of the parting kiss some of the blog readers were hoping for. Kat came by yesterday and while shaving my back suggested we go one further than what had been proposed with Xena. Don’t worry, I didn’t, as Xena likes to say, "pitch a trouser tent." Almost six years in now and I’ve not (like Frankie predicted I would at the five year mark) gone with any cheetos.
Weird Al just came in and said CO3 H wants to see me.
“I’ve got good news and bad news, which do you want first?” CO3 H said.
“The bad,” I said, my heart sinking again.
“You are not getting out on the 16th.”
“What?” Panic setting in now.
“The good news is that you’re getting out on the 20th. Immigration needed seven days notice, the 16th only allowed for four.”
“Well, at least I am getting out. I guess I can hang out for another four days.”
Do you see how things change by the minute around here? It’s madness. Anyway, it’ll give me a little longer with my friends here, and the 20th will arrive in no time at all. It’ll also give me a chance to finish the book I just started: Mario Puzo’s The Godfather Returns.
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Copyright © 2006-2007 Shaun P. Attwood