31 Mar 08

Shaun YouTubes Arpaio's Jail Conditions

Shaun Attwood discusses the conditions at Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Madison Street jail (Phoenix, Arizona) during an excerpt from an interview with the BBC's Eddie Mair. You can rate this video at YouTube and AOL.


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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
30 Mar 08

From Frankie (Letter 3)

Frankie - A Mexican Mafia hitman and leader of prison "booty bandits" who has been proposing our gay marriage ever since he saw me apply antifungal ointment to the bedsores on my buttocks at the Madison Street jail, where he was held on murder charges.


Englandman, What’s up my friend?

Hope all is good for you and Posh Bird. I think we should change her name to Lady Posh or Ladybird. What do you think? Anyway, she’s very beautiful, but what’s the deal with you wearing more lipstick than her? Also, by the way you took that picture I can tell you were throwing me the kiss. You don’t have to fake the funk. I’m sure Ladybird can tell that you enjoy a petercillin shot here and there especially coming from Mr. Frankie. I still own you, and I’ll dee-cide!!! Tell Ladybird not to be shy, and to put on a bathing suit and show more skin. I also can tell you can’t handle her. Them eyes and smile tells me a lot.

Englandman, I went to reclass on 3-11-08 which means I’ll be going back to an open yard in Buckeye after being locked down 24-7 for a year and a half. I’ll get a little freedom once again.

As for the comments at my last blog, I was thinking about coming down hard on JL for disrespecting me. But then I sat and thought about what type of person it could be, and JL sounds like a woman or an undercover cheeto that was molested when she was young. JL, what’s with all that anger? It’s not my fault you had a rough life, and another thing, low income people can’t afford a computer where I come from. What you need is a hug. Someone out there give JL a hug.

Noelle is my favorite because she’s from Phoenix, Arizona. Go Suns! As for her question, I didn’t take the 4 to 12 years cause I’m not guilty. The heroin was to go to another inmate through the laundry and ended up in my boxer shorts. The inmate has accepted full responsibility and has written an affidavit and is willing to testify on my behalf. Hopefully, if God’s willing, that will clear me up.
But you’re wrong baby about the goose.

As for Jose from San Diego, good looking out. I can tell you’ve been around. Much amor y respectos coming your way from Mr. Frankie. One more thing, is your last name Cruz by any chance?

Englandman my friend, I’m a little disappointed in you for letting that chickenhead JL say those things to me. I hate swaggering trashtalking vatos. I took that as a racist remark using vatos for Mexicans. I was thinking of getting into it with her [JL] but I will not lower my standards to JL’s levels. Like I said, the chickenhead needs a hug. You know what a chickenhead is don’t you? You know how a chicken moves its head back and forth, that’s what we call someone with a dick in his mouth all the time, or better yet a blow job giver.

This is for Chris. The only bad taste in your mouth is your bad breath. Brush your teeth and you won’t have that taste. One thing about Frankie, he’s straightforward and don’t beat around. If you knew me, you would blow me. I stand in what I believe in. I’m against child molesters, rapers, and women beaters. I don’t like snitches either. Mr. Frankie is not a hard person to get along with. I’m loyal and easy to please. I give respect where respect is due.

Englandman, I’m at the point of retiring from cheetos. If I get blessed I’m done with everything. I’m going to serve God first of all. I want to find me an older woman and settle down. I love heavyset women.

My trial date was postponed, so now I’m looking at June or July.

Much Love

Mr. Frankie

P/S Give my L & Rs to your mom, dad & sister

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
28 Mar 08

Zucchini (Part 3)

This series came about because many of you requested I divulge what prisoners get up to sexually. If you take offense to sexual content you may not want to read on.

Part two left off with Cindy the transsexual offering to fellate Max and Log at the same time.

“When Cindy offered this,” Max said, “I decided it’s one thing to get a blow job, but another to get a blow job with your thing rubbin’ against another man’s thing. I say, ‘No. I’m cool. I’ve gotta get back to the kitchen.’ This whole time, Cindy’s sittin’ on the toilet, holdin’ Log’s thing in his hand. Suddenly Cindy raises his backside off the toilet, but stays eye level with Log’s thing. With his other hand, he yanks down his pants, and points his ass toward me. And guess what I seen?”
“Oh no! Not the shampoo bottle again?”
“That’s great.”
“Gee thanks. All I could see was the blue top of the shampoo bottle?”
“The rest being embedded?”
“Yes. But let’s go back to the size of the shampoo bottle for a sec. Consider the ratios: it’s almost as long as Cindy’s thigh bone with the girth of a tennis ball. Cindy points at the bottle top and guess what he says?”
“He says, ‘Can you pull it out for me, Max? And while you’re pullin’ it out, I’d like you to work it.”
“To work it!”
“Yes. To work it.”
“Wow! What did you do? Surely you ran for the hills at this point?”

Did Max run or is he the work-it type?

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
26 Mar 08

From Two Tonys (Letter 2)

Two Tonys - A whacker of men and Mafia associate serving multiple life sentences. A Tarantino character whose acerbic wit may upset the politically correct.


Greetings & Salutations,

Forgive me for taking so long to answer your letter dated 2-10-08. What can I say? “I’ve been busy” or more like “I’ve been lazy.” It’s like this, Did Michelangelo just pick up a brush on demand and start turning out masterpieces? Hell no!

I’m trying to slow down on my cursing and foul language. I can’t explain why. I guess the only thing I can say is that it’s the right thing to do. I mean I don’t have the best vocabulary on the planet but I know a few words. I mean it’s not like I’m a George Bush – a real giant of English verse. But I like to think that if fate should ever move its huge hand and you ever throw a cocktail party that I was invited to, I would not be an embarrassment to you with all your English friends. Do you know any dukes or earls? How about a baron or two? But I’d really prefer a countess or maybe a baroness. How’s this sound “I say there my lady may I get you another spot of tea or a glass of sherry?” I mean I wouldn’t want to appear thuggish to your friends, if that situation should ever arise, which it won’t. But I can dream can’t I?

Hey, bro, time to get serious. I’ve got some sad news for you. Your friend Xena cut off his nuts Friday afternoon. Yeah, I said cut off his nuts like in testicles. Poor guy. I can’t help but feel bad for him. They choppered him out and he’s in hospital as I write this. I’d seen him the day before and he seemed in good spirit. But you never know what currents run through a person’s mind. Anyway, whatever, he dealt with it as the poets say “in his own fashion.” But wow, I always thought I was a tough old bloke, but imagine cutting your own nuts off. Uh, no thanks. I’ll pass on that one. Now I can see myself cutting off another guy’s nuts, sort of as a payback for a personal affront. You know what I mean. But my own! Uh, I’ll wait for the next bus, you go ahead, enjoy yourself. I don’t mean to be cold but I feel bad for him. I hope Xena’s alright and he finds what he’s looking for, which I gather is a vagina.

Ogre finally left. He got picked up by California. They had some kind of beef on him. Probably smelling bike seats in front of the YMCA or some shit like that. Now he can go to those Calif yards and tell all those guys how he was a big man in AZ, “Running those yards.” Yeah, right. I’ll never forget the time I put him on his fat ass in front of the whole yard. I just got lucky, but sometimes even a blind hog will find a truffle. Hey, bro, I’m going to miss him. Yeah, right, like a dose of the clap. I’ll always remember him walking around wiping his runny nose with the back of his hand then wanting to shake hands later or reach into your chip bag for a chip, catching attitude when told to fuck off. We never spoke for the last year. We just glared at each other. Those Calif guys will show him how the cow ate the cabbage once they figure out he’s a fraud. OK, time out hating. You know me. I’ve really got a lot of love in my heart, just not for frauds.

Hey bro, how’s the folks? Give them my love. Has your being back wore off yet? Do you have a job? A car? A girlfriend? These are things I want to know. “Why?” you ask. Because I have an inquiring mind. I’m sort of living vicariously through you. In fact as I pay my penance for past sins and a wayward life and I am scrubbing down the showers, I often stop and as I’m getting all the pubic hair out of the drains I’ll ask myself I wonder what old bloody Shaun is up too now, and I’ll picture you out in your English garden enjoying your tea and scones or a nice kidney pie as the hounds run by chasing the fox down.

OK bro, keep in touch, and be pulling for Obama in the race. He’s crooked as hell but they all are. He’s one of those southside Chicago blacks, they ain’t nothing nice, God bless em. Let those young blacks get an issue. We all know McCain and Hillary got theirs. It’s Obama’s turn to stick it to the masses, the great unwashed. His turn to piss on their heads and tell them it’s raining. I’m sorry. Do I sound bitter? I’m really not. You know me, I’m just venting about how stupid the public is. I saw one of those so called men of God the other night on the TV. He was selling handkerchiefs annointed by God. And I thought of all the poor folks getting fleeced. Then I thought fuck em, if he don’t get them then the plumber will or the insurance man or the doctor or the lawyer. Bottom line is this: there will always be an England and there will always be suckers.

Write me, ye bloody bloke, ye prince of the misty isles, you ex con from AZ.

Your pal,

Two Tonys

PS) Read Kite Runner, really good, a 8 ½ to 9 out of 10. Khaled Hosseini wrote it. I’m reading Oil by Upton Sinclair next, also a book called Martha Peake by Patrick McGrath, a Londoner. It’s different. I’m enjoying it. You might like it. I just reread Sol’s Ivan Denisovich. It makes me keep a grip on conditions. Silly, I know, but it works. If old Ivan did it in those Siberian conditions with all those Slavs, I can do it here in Sunny AZ with French toast and pancakes. No fish eye soup for me.
Once again sorry about your friend Xena. I know he is a friend of yours. I’ll try to keep you posted on updates.
Long Island is done, put a fork in him.
You remain strong out there. No silly shit in your path. You got writing skills. Hone them me lad, hone them.
Hey! Kudos to Bonnie Prince Harry. I like that kid. In fact he’s my favorite royal. And he’s got a good eye for the lassies. Yes, he does. Maybe he should be king. I guess I’m just a Britphile at heart. It’s me Irish blood, I guess, me lad. Cheerio!

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
23 Mar 08

Month 3

The last time my parents went on holiday and left me in charge of the house (twenty years ago) I crashed Mum’s car. So it was no surprise that they hid their car keys before recently flying to Tenerife. Leaving me after our three-month reunion, Mum departed teary eyed – but only out of concern for the safety of her house plants. She wouldn’t have abandoned her plants if Posh Bird hadn’t promised to cater to their watery needs. As of today the plants are fine. I’ve watered them as per Mum’s written instructions. I also followed her instructions for the washing machine.

In Arizona’s state prisons, a laundry service is provided twice a week. Entering prison you are given a net laundry bag that you must immediately write your cell number on or else you won’t get your laundry back. Problem is, if you write it with a pen it just washes off – bon voyage laundry. So you have two choices. The first is to pull the top off a pen and to blow into the refill and write your cell number with the thick stream of ink that flows out of the other end. It may take a day to dry, but it’ll survive many washes before it fades and it’s time to give it a top up. The second is to use a marker. But markers are contraband. So you have to locate the local holder of a stolen marker, and have something like a soup to bribe him with. It’s best to go see him laundry bag in hand, because he’s usually disinclined to let his stolen marker out of sight, and if you lose it you’ll owe any amount he decides upon pain of being smashed.
You put your laundry bag in a cart. The laundry porters collect the carts the next morning. It comes back later in the day. If you take a clean item of laundry and put it in a sink of water, the water turns filthy. Which is why hand-washing services run by prisoners thrive.
Sometimes whole batches of laundry go missing. Forms must be filled out, and it can take months for replacement laundry to be issued. When that happens, you’ll see inmates going door to door begging for old socks, boxers, and T-shirts.

And laundry’s not all I’ve done. I’ve cooked – over and above cheese on toast. There’s nothing like hunger to motivate you to cook things. I even cooked Posh Bird an Indian curry thanks to Dad’s instructions. She ate it, survived, and actually praised the meal. Knowing she wouldn’t believe I cooked it, I made evidence: I videotaped myself in the kitchen converting a lowly pan of fried onions into a vegetarian rogan josh.
Also, I’ve hand washed dishes, cutlery, pots, pans – because my parents banned me from using the dishwasher out of fear I’d break it somehow or other, which I probably would as it’s old and fragile. I’ve vacuumed – well, just today, because they get back tonight. The only thing I didn't do was open the curtains, but I did put the plants in the kitchen for sunlight purposes.

Last Tuesday, Posh Bird put our relationship on hold again. She claimed to be under too much exam stress to be dealing with a relationship, but I suspect it is because I chose two bad DVDs for us to watch in a row. It seems movies directed by Tarantino aren’t what they used to be before I was imprisoned. Posh Bird put our relationship on hold just days after I had bought her an Easter chocolate champagne bottle, which I couldn’t regift to anyone else because the lady at Thornton’s embossed Posh Bird’s name on it. It was a close call between eating it and giving it to her, but I did the latter. It must have somewhat compensated for the lousy DVD picks, because Posh Bird has asked me to spend this evening with her spooning on the couch watching a DVD. A DVD picked by her of course. A chick flick. More penance. However, we have agreed to postpone preliminary discussions about taking our relationship off hold until after her exams.

This month I finished a draft of the first part of my second book. Part one is tentatively titled “Illegal-Alien Stockbroker.” It’s 17 chapters, 21,291 words. It’s a series of anecdotes leading up to my immersion in Arizona’s rave scene.
To a certain extent I am reliving my life vicariously as I write about it. In order to get details and dialogue right, I’ve used the Internet to find many people from my past and arranged telephonic interviews with them. These include my old boss. I am grateful to those people for taking the time to help me. And it’s interesting to find out how their lives have progressed since I knew them. Sadly, I also discovered that a former right-hand man of mine, the head of my security team, Cody “The Admiral” Bates, hung himself. He left a message saying our times spent together were the best of his life, and he hopes we’ll raise a beer and think of him. Cody was one of my soberest friends, but his life spiralled out of control after our arrests.
Tomorrow I’ll start part two of the book – I’m bracing myself to relive that madness. It’ll probably take all summer to write. I’m expecting it to be well over 50,000 words. Then part three will cover my time in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s jail system prior to the blog.

I’ll end this blog with an excerpt from Chapter 13, which is about Chupa, a small weekly rave held in downtown Phoenix around 1994-95. Deejays such as Eddie Amador, Gary Menichello, Pete Salaz, Emile, RC Lair, Inertia, Rob Saint, Sachmo, Mike Gomez, Chris Flores, David Alvarado, Marques Wyatt, and Jeno spun there.

Outside Chupa, homeless people milled about like zombies or clustered around industrial-drum fires. Gangbangers cruised the streets in lowriders thumping gangsta rap. The ghetto didn’t lack gunfire. For the safety of the RX7, I parked at the curb by Chupa’s entrance.
Red lights guided us down a hallway, past a flooded toilet, into Chupa. The strobe, like the Hindu goddess Durga emerging from a blinding light, beckoned us into the darkness with its many open arms. We disappeared into a smoke-machine cloud and joined the throng of regulars – drag queens, club kids, ravers – grooving to house, tribal and trance. Hypnotic beats. Lyricless, except for the repetition of phrases spoken in bizarre voices. Robotic voices. Androgynous voices. The voices of divas. Voices and tunes that played in my mind long after the music had stopped.

High levels of club drugs enable some people to dance with unnatural fluidity, and the stocky Sioux Indian, Acid Joey, was one of them. In the middle of the dance floor, Acid Joey would mimic loading up a shotgun. Then, still moving perfectly to the beat, he’d shoot the people dancing around him.

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
21 Mar 08

Hammy (Part 2)

Hammy - Best friend I grew up with in my hometown. Fond of alcohol, especially Stella Artois.

“First off, what do you think of all the comments that came in on Hammy (Part 1)?” I said.
“I’m quite surprised by the nature of some of the comments,” Hammy said (after drinking not much for him: ten pints of beer and a bottle of red wine), “but it’s just like water off a duck’s back to me, and some of it’s quite amusing. I honestly think it’s a culture difference. I can understand their concerns, but I think most of these people need to have a drink – there’s something uptight about them. And if they won’t have a drink, I’ll have one for them. Everyone’s saying I’m an alcoholic when I class myself as a bit of a binge drinker and that’s it – along with half the population of England and Northern Europe.”
“One person commented: hammy is a dick head. He will end up a sad old man pissing in his pants, if he doesn't already.”
“Although peeing in the pants hasn’t happened in years, it has happened on a few occasions in the past, and I’ve woke up with a map of Australia underneath my arse and a rainbow above the bedroom. Most people get a pot of gold at the end of their rainbow. I get a pot of piss. One time when me and a mate were inventing a new cocktail, we basically pissed the bed five nights in a row – the bed, the couch, the floor, etcetera. The cocktail took a week to perfect. I’ll hold my hands up to one of my mates pants-pissing occasions because when he took the knock I placed one of his hands in a glass of lukewarm water, which makes you piss your pants.” With the pirate voice coming in a bit, Hammy said, “Arrr, the perils of a pisspot. It was funny watching him do the walk of shame home the next morning with a tidemark of piss around his thighs.”
“What was this new cocktail you invented?”
“We were too drunk to remember any of the ingredients. We were sat there like mad pissheads in one house for a week. We did put a patent on it at the time, and NASA were interested in it for their latest rocket system.”
“One commenter invited you for a drink in Shetland.”
“To the guy in Shetland: thanks for the invitation. I may take you up on it some day, but wasn’t The Wicker Man filmed near there? If you can fix it for Brigitte Bardot in her prime to be getting bulbed in a pub nearby, I’ll be up there in a heartbeat. And whatever you guys do with them Shetland ponies is your business and none of mine.”
“It’s common knowledge in the Ring O’ Bells that you’re going to be stepping your drinking up this summer?”
“I just recently got my ticket into Spain, where we’re off on a stag do. The numbers are up 250 people who are all poets and pisspots. I’m actually flying out earlier, four days earlier, with three others – two cousins and a mate – to go into training, get acclimatized, and get match fit for the big occasion.”
“Which involves what?”
“It involves an English fry up for breakfast. We’re setting the clock for 5:30 in the morning. We’ll have bacon, sausage, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, fried bread, baked beans, and a glass of vodka and lime. We’ll sit near the pool till midday drinking mainly beers. Because only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun, it’s down to the bar in the local village for more beers and, er, sangria, and local cocktails. We’ll go into the city of Valencia in the early evening, and see where that takes us, drinking whatevers on offer. We normally end up by finishing the night with me pouring everyone one of my invented cocktails, and everyone who tries it suddenly develops a face like a cow sucking piss off a thistle.”
“What about going to bed?”
“I don’t know. We just collapse around the pool and stuff, and wake up with ants trying to crawl into our mouths.”
“And this is just the warm up for the stag do?”
“Yes. On the last day of the warm up, we refrain from all alcoholic drinks, and, er, maybe we have one or two beers, but that’s it, because we’re off for a hike up the mountains and into this village. The next day – day one of the stag do – we get a train down the Spanish coast to meet up in the town with the 250 pisspots and let the frivolity commence.”
“We don’t know until we’re there. Mainly drinking, singing, and sex, hopefully.”
“Possibly. It’s not a priority.Maybe the occasional tapas. After the four days of drinking with our Bacchus brethren, it’s back up to Valencia where we’re either going to chill out or we’re contemplating getting a ferry over to Ibiza where the club season’s just starting, and we’ll take it from there.”

Hammy called the next day, the pirate voice in full swing.
“Arrr, arrr. I threw a kebab at a Turkish man’s head.”
“It was his fault. I was just talking to some lad about football, and the Turk called me scum – or at least I thought he did.”
“How much have you drunk?”
“Arrr. No fucking clue. Arrr. The last thing I just drank was a bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream I was saving to pour on birds’ nipples. I’ve been drinking all night. Vodka. I may of dozed off. I went through one bottle of that Absolut vodka shite.”
“What else?”
“There’s two empty bottles of red wine near where I’m sitting. I’m off to get some more now. Like you’ve got the taste for blood, I’ve got the taste for wine.”
“You must have drank some beer?”
“I don’t know. I was at yours at six, then I went to the Ring O’ Bells, where I averaged four pints every forty-five minutes.”
“So you haven’t had any deep sleep?”
“I hope so. I don’t know. Arrr, I’m off to the pub. No, I’ll make a tit of myself. I’ll drink indoors. I’ve been thinking.”
“Thinking what?”
“Not much actually. I can’t listen to my music on my DVD. I’m absolutely gutted. Arrr, I made up a song in the middle of the night and guess what?”
“I forgot it. One sniff of the barmaid's apron and I'm doomed.”

And it’s not even the holiday weekend yet. What do you think of Hammy classifying himself as “a bit of a binge drinker?” He's also recommending I get out and drink more as a necessary part of my return and readjustment to English society.

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
10 Mar 08

Greetings from the Abyss by Jack (Part 2)

Before leaving Tucson prison, I asked Jack, a 49-year-old lifer, if he would be willing to write for Jon’s Jail Journal on a regular basis, so we can keep abreast of developments there. Jack agreed and here is his second blog.

Recently we have experienced an outbreak of debilitating illness that has left us all weak and aching after the whole unit was locked down for a week while we were quarantined. Whether we were afflicted with the plague, stage three halitosis, or the flu is still a mystery.

The rocket scientist in charge of this asylum tried to pass it off as a case of mishandled and undercooked food. Interesting concept except for a few minor flaws. To begin with, as a vegetarian my food is prepared separately from the food fed to the general population and I was just as sick as everyone else. Secondly, the food we prepare is also distributed to another unit and they didn’t get sick.

My personal belief is that we contracted a nasty strain of the flu and the Department of Corrections didn’t want to report to the CDC that they had 400 confirmed cases of it. Now you might ask how I could make such a diagnosis without any formal medical training. Well you see, during the illness and one of my less lucid moments, I remember asking my tour guide, Charon, where we were going on our boat ride. He pointed to the far shore of the Styx and said, “The land of pestilence.” That’s it folks, all the confirmation I needed to solidify my diagnosis of the flu. Why, given a few more of these fever-induced hallucinations I might discover a cure for terminal toe fungus. Then again, maybe I wasn’t hallucinating, maybe I actually took a boat ride with Charon, wouldn’t that be a hoot?

Here are some excerpts from Jack’s latest letter to me:


I received your letter. It was great to read you are moving beyond the initial shock of your release and beginning to enjoy your new found freedom. I was also pleased to see that you are writing on a steady basis again. I wish I could make the same claim, but unfortunately I can not. As usual I’ve got a small blizzard of ideas vying for attention, but none of them can seem to find their way out. I liken my mind to that of a compost pit, relatively good ideas go in and get stirred about, but after a while they all settle to the bottom and rot.

I must say I was pleasantly surprised at the responses to the first blog I penned. Although I’m not sure if it was the actual piece or my letter that people responded to, it’s nice to know that my writing received a favorable review. Maybe they find my acerbic humor interesting. I’ll leave it to you to chop out the dross and excess.

I must apologize for this letter being so short but I’m still recovering from the plague, or flu, or whatever it was that knocked me on my butt. I hope you are well and that everything is continuing to move forward in a positive manner for you. Take care of yourself my friend,



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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
19 Mar 08

The Royo Romance (Part 21)

Numerous of you have asked I post what is going on with Royo Girl. This entry will not put unnecessary strain on my relationship with Posh Bird because the relationship is off again. Here is Royo Girl's email followed by her response to the comments it caused the first time I posted it.
Click here for Part 20.

From Royo Girl:

07 March 2008

Dear Shaun,

Although we spoke on Valentine's Day, it feels like ages since you called. I am not sure if you received my voicemail, but I did try calling you the other day. Why haven't you called back? Sniff, sniff. Honestly, I do know that you are busy with all your writing, family stuff, pub outings, and dating Posh Bird, but I have missed your company lately. It would be nice to see you, but you are so damn far away and can't come visit me.

I recently went to Phoenix, which reminded me a little bit of you. I have to admit that Phoenix isn't as bad as I always think it is. Maybe I will move there to do my masters and maybe not. We will see. I know that I could just read your blog, but you tell me things that you would not include in it, so tell me what you have been up to? I look forward to hearing back from you!!!

Royo Girl

PS) Regardless of me having a few men that may like me, I am a little jealous that you have found someone other than me. All the men I know are stupid and I don't want much of anything from them other than a little attention here and there. I would much rather be spending some quality time with you. You are an ass for not being here. Do you feel the same about me?

From Royo Girl to the readers of Jon's Jail Journal:

Dear Readers,

Writing to you directly and first has thus far been unprecedented in Shaun's blog. I am unsure of where to start as there are many topics that were brought up that I want to immediately respond to and perhaps a few things that need to be said to Shaun.

I would like to begin by stating that I have NEVER played mind games with Shaun. He and I are very good friends that share a level of honesty that most people don't have with the opposite sex. I hate playing games and tell him everything that I am thinking, which maybe I sometimes shouldn't. However, I appreciate his honesty and that we are open enough for me to return it with an equal level of honesty.

Shaun and I are first and foremost friends. Anything else that develops is secondary. I have always told Shaun that I don't foresee us having a future together as he lives in England. I believe that there are past blogs that have stated the above reason, plus additional reasons as to why I don't think we would work in the long-term, if any avid readers care to look back and reread those blogs.

I have never been anything but supportive of Shaun and will continue to do so. Although I may not like Shaun dating other people, I believe it is the right choice for him. I think he should date Posh Bird. However, I have never made Shaun choose between myself and another woman.

Shaun and I live in completely different countries and at the end of the day, we are just really good friends. At the moment, I have no intention of moving back to England. I love living in the States and being near my family and friends, which I sorely missed for years when I was in London. This is not to say that I would never come back if I have good enough reason to.

As for the readers who made a few flippant comments about me, I am curious as to your motivation for making them. I was born and raised in Tucson, which is a rival city to Phoenix and grew up with that kind of mentality. I was merely referencing that in my email to Shaun. As for calling him Jon, I am not even sure I did. It was most likely changed when published for the blog. Regardless, why does it matter? Jon is the alias he used previously and Shaun is his name. Did it confuse you?

Shaun, I never intended my email to cause so much controversy, nor did I mean to cause issues with Posh Bird. Sounds like you have some decisions to make. If you decide that we cannot be friends, then so be it. I love you as a friend and you need to do what is right for you. I would never want to be a negative influence or component in your life. I am glad that all of you enjoy reading Shaun's blog so much and that he has a good support system out there. I suppose that is really all I have to say. This may be my exit from the blog depending on Shaun's response so I will tenatively say goodbye.

Royo Girl

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
18 Mar 08

Xena Hospitalised

Xena removed his testes. A helicopter took him from Buckeye prison to a hospital. The status of Xena's medical condition is unavailable at this time.

Anyone wishing to send a message or well wishes to Xena please post it as a comment to this blog and I will forward them all. Thanks!

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
17 Mar 08

Shaun Attwood on life in an American prison

by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo

Welcome to hell

Widnes stockbroker Shaun Attwood was jailed for five years in the US for drugs offences. From prison he started a blog about the terrible conditions inmates endured. Now back in the north west, he tells Greg O’Keeffe how his life has turned around.

OF ALL the nightmarish sights, smells and sounds Shaun Attwood experienced in Maricopa County jail, one will never leave him. It was the sound of fellow prisoners’ heads being smashed against metal toilets during a routine jail-gang beating.Usually the thuds were followed by a bloody pulp being stretchered off the wing, a sight Shaun says became nauseatingly familiar.

Now, almost three months after he finally arrived home in England as a free man, those sights and sounds still haunt him. Shaun, 39, is reflecting and recovering at his family home in Widnes, where he is back living with parents, Derick and Barbara.

The covert blog he started from behind bars to expose inhumane conditions inside the U.S. jail system has led him to write a book which he hopes will be published this year. The book will focus on his time at Maricopa county jail – a strange and unforgiving environment for a middle-class Widnes boy who graduated from Liverpool University with a top-class economics degree.

Shaun had moved to the US, where his two aunts lived, in 1991 and became a successful stockbroker living the American Dream. Before his imprisonment he was earning $1m and living in a plush, gated community in Arizona, with his wife.

“I thought that lifestyle was going to go on forever,” says Shaun matter-of-factly. “Then I got involved in throwing raves and drugs and by 2002 they had arrested us.” Police had been carrying out an extensive undercover investigation into the burgeoning rave scene and sale of ecstasy tablets, which Shaun had become mired in.“I’d got into raves back in the north west going to places like The State and Quadrant Park in Liverpool,” he says. “It was like a religion and I was addicted. I had become bored with life as a stockbroker and I tried to transfer that rave scene to Arizona. “We organised one of the biggest raves ever held in Arizona, and I was putting up most of the money for it. We would throw after-parties in five-star hotels which would go on for days with huge piles of ecstasy and ketamine in the rooms.“I was hedonistic, materialistic and emotionally immature, back then. I needed to grow up.”

Shaun’s party lifestyle came to an abrupt end when machine gun-toting SWAT police smashed down the door of his home in May 2002. It was part of the major crackdown by police which saw 100 people arrested, with Shaun labelled the ‘Mr Big’. “These policemen were pointing their guns at me and my fiancee in bed and yelling at us not to move,” he says. “Some of them looked young and nervous so I was panicking in case they got trigger happy. The irony was that my involvement in the rave scene had tapered off by then and I had gone back to dealing stocks. “I was off the drugs and was trying to live a quiet life with my fiancee. But the police had been following me for ages and bugging my phone calls. They’d even sat by us listening in while we went for dinner.

“The bond for my bail was eventually set at $1.5m, which I didn’t have a hope of paying, so I was on remand in the jail system.” Shaun then spent two years awaiting sentence in Maricopa County jail, a cockroach-infested hellhole run by the notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio, where inmates endured starvation and frequently attempted suicide. During this time his fiancee broke off their engagement and, horrified by his surroundings, he started the blog – titled Jon’s Jail Journal to protect his identity. Shaun wrote his notes using a tiny, blunt pencil stub and paper, which was usually soaked in sweat because of the intense 100f heat. He then sent it to his aunt and father who published the notes on his website.

Meanwhile his parents liquidated their pension and re-mortgaged their home to pay for a top US attorney, who eventually negotiated a plea bargain sentence of nine-and-a-half years. The online diary tells a disturbing story of life in the Maricopa penal system, before Shaun was moved to a less severe jail. Sheriff Arpaio forces inmates to wear pink underpants, puts women on chain gangs and brags that it costs more to feed the guard dogs than his prisoners. He thrives on the reputation as ‘America’s toughest sheriff’ but his hardline tactics have infuriated human rights campaigners.

“I was thinking I’m a first time offender on drug offences and thought I could get probation. But I soon realised I was going to be in jail for a while,” says Shaun. “I spent many a night lying awake worrying. On my first day at Maricopa I had barely eaten for a couple of days before and had started to hallucinate. “The first thing when I walked in, these thugs called Torpedoes rolled up to me asking what my crime was. “Each race inside has their own gang. There were whites, Chicanos, blacks and Paisas, who are Mexican nationals. I was just a skinny, nerdy fella and I told them I was in for drugs. “Drugs were an everyday part of life inside so that didn’t merit a beating, but the sex offenders got it worst. “I was put in a one-man cell with three people in it. If I raised my head from my bunk it hit the ceiling. It was squalid with violence happening all the time.“The majority of people inside use heroin or crystal meth and it makes them paranoid. While I was there I saw loads of race riots and things could kick off at any second.

“Because I was from England people thought I was a novelty. I told them I was from a town near Liverpool where Sporty Spice was from and they liked that.“I was only attacked once by this biker who got at me a couple of hours before a visit from my parents. Beforehand I had this maniac cell-mate who was a burglar and torturer. He would ramble all night about how he tortured people, and I didn’t get along with him. It turned out he knew the guy who attacked me. I couldn’t tell the guards because then everyone turns against you. My lifeline was my family. They came and visited me every year and held my hand through the whole thing. It was a shame about my fiancee but she needed to get on with her own life. There was a lot of time for introspection. I was completely irresponsible before jail. I’d done so much drugs I was lucky to be alive. But I learned Spanish in prison and read all the great philosophers.”

Meanwhile, Shaun’s blog started to raise eyebrows, as his accounts of the pitiful food served to inmates spread around the world. “There were two meals. One was mouldy bread, which you’d just scrape the mould off and eat with raw meat baloney. The other was called Red Death – a stew the colour of blood with potato peel. Two of the lads found rats in their stew. It turned me into a vegetarian. I’m 6ft and I ended up weighing 10 stone – my parents said I looked like a skeleton.”

Shaun, who upon release was banned for life from returning to the US made many colourful friends in the prison system. “Bizarre doesn’t do justice to some of the things that happened,” he says. “A lot of the men in there would have sex with the she-males. Frankie was a Mexican Mafia hit-man who looked like Joe Pesci and had been proposing our gay marriage ever since he saw me. He was in on murder charges. I was only around hairy men for five years but I never went for a she-male. There was one who carved out his own testicles and another one performed his own breast reduction with a knife.”

In December Shaun was freed early from his sentence and returned to the UK on notorious Con Air, subject of the Hollywood blockbuster.Now he is re-adjusting to life at home, and for the time being, on the dole. “I drafted five books in prison. Most of my friends in there were murderers and I’ve done books about their lives,” he says. “I class myself as a struggling writer now. It was hard when I first got back after the initial euphoria wore off - not just for me but my family too. But things are starting to look up. After all this I’m actually going out with the girl next door and I’m still writing the blog (jonsjailjournal. blogspot. com). I’m loving freedom. I missed some things like going for Indian food massively. I’m taking nothing for granted now. All my friends from the prison still write to me and I post their stories on the blog.”

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
September 07

Midnight v Outcast

Midnight - A car-crash sufferer whose consequent addiction to pain killers, crack, and crystal meth lost him his home and family. He is dying from cancer and has been bleeding from the rectum.

“Hey, Midnight,” short and muscular Outcast said, standing at the workout station shaking his fist, “I’ve got twelve days left before I hit the gate. Why don’t ya grow some balls and come and see me and let me show you what I can do before I leave?”
“Fuck you, Outcast,” Midnight said. “If you wanna fucking throw down with me then come to my house. If not, shutthafuck up.”
“Tough guy, eh?”
“Whatever.” Midnight returned to his cell.
“Hey, Outcast,” an Aryan Brother said. “Midnight just called you out, and you ain’t doing nothing about it.”
“We’ll see.”

An hour later, Midnight was sitting at a picnic table playing spades with three woods when Outcast came up behind him and said, “So you’re ready to give it a try? You want some of this?” and shook his fist.
“Yeah,” Midnight said. “You either come to my house or shutthafuck up.”
“OK. It’s on.” Holding his tobacco out, Outcast said, “Hound, mind this.”
The two of them headed to Midnight’s cell. Swaggering after Midnight, Outcast embodied the threat Agamemnon issued to Achilles in Homer’s Iliad: I myself going to your shelter, that you may learn well how much greater I am than you, and another man may shrink back from likening himself to me and contending against me.
Midnight, tall and emaciated, entered the cell, walked to the back wall, turned around, and assumed a boxer’s stance.
They squared off. Midnight jabbed Outcast above the eye. Outcast bullrushed and grabbed Midnight, and they spun around and shuffled back to the doorway.
Pushed up against the door, Midnight pressed a thumb into Outcast’s eye, and yelled, “I’ll pop this fucker out.”
Outcast slammed Midnight’s head into the door five times. Midnight tried to dig his thumb in deeper. An uppercut from Outcast ended the gouge and knocked one of Midnight’s front teeth out. Blood ran from Midnight’s mouth and Outcast’s eye, and hand, which was cut to the bone. Panting and inspecting their wounds, they stopped fighting.
Hound and a wood rushed in. The wood extracted Outlaw.
“I’m gonna clean this blood up before a guard walks,” Hound said.
Midnight disassembled his cane, and said, “I’m gonna go beat up Outcast with this.”
“You’ve only got four months left to go,” Hound said. “If you hit him with the cane you’ll get five to ten years.”
Some woods came in and calmed Midnight down.
Midnight shoved his front tooth back in, and said, “Maybe the roots’ll take, and it’ll hold.” He touched it, and it almost fell out. “Fuck!” he said.
The wood who had extracted Outcast came in and said, “Hey, Midnight, is this a dead issue now?”
“Yeah, for now.”
“Well, just so you know, Outcast’s hand’s tore up. I had to sow it up for him. He said if a guard sees it or someone drops a kite and you’re sent to SSU, you’re both gonna deny fighting.”
“Of course. I’m a convict not an inmate!”

Later on, Outcast showed Midnight the stitches in his hand sown with orange thread taken from prison clothes, and said, “Look, Midnight, it shouldn’t have went as far as it did. It’s over, and if we end up going to the hole, let’s deny fighting one another.”
“That goes without saying. I know what time it is.”

The next day Midnight visited my cell: “Outcast’s got a black eye. He’s gonna hafta wear sunglasses for a while. His hand’s swelled up – there’s a crescent-shaped scar. I don’t think he’ll wanna try me again.”
“No one can say you didn’t stand up for yourself,” I said.
“’Cause Outcast works out all day long and he’s gotta nice ice chest, he thinks he’s got balls. But when it comes down to throwing the dukes, he’s not all that. He got one lucky punch. He ain’t got nothing coming. I probably shoulda took his eye out, but I felt bad. I’m trying to go home in January. I need to stay outta trouble, but I can’t have an inmate disrespecting me. I ain’t gonna start no trouble, but I’m not gonna allow someone to disrespect me as he did. He thought ’cause I’m older he could take me.”

Later on, Outcast ran into my cell, showed me the stitches, yelled, “They call me the punisher!” and ran out again.

To read my story in this week's Liverpool Echo click on: http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2008/03/17/shaun-attwood-on-life-in-an-american-prison-100252-20634741/

To read decriptions of most of the prisoners I write about click on: http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=126288687&blogID=212516343&Mytoken=0FF0F89E-4912-4CBC-B601F033F6AA90B241980570/

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood

Xena On Prison Rape (Part 2)

Xena wrote the following (note, like many prisoners Xena uses “she” and “her” to describe male prison transsexuals):

One of my friends “Amber” came out of the closet in prison and she was beaten so bad that she had to be hospitalized. They found seven different DNA types inside her and on her skin. Her cheek bone was broken and her jaw. Her teeth were knocked out. They pulled her hair out (all of it!) then they broke a mop handle in half and used the broken end to stick in her ass. It was shoved in so far she ended up with splinters in her stomach. They did all this because her workout partner and lover was a gang member who warned her not to come out of the closet. Expain why!

Another friend “V” had been beaten also before she was gang raped and stabbed and left for dead. Yet she lived and snitched on the ones who did this to her. But the inmates beat the charges because DOC (the prison) mysteriously lost all the IR (paperwork) pertaining to her case, and all the prosecuter had to go on was V’s word against their’s. She had no family, no one to back her up. Besides we homosexuals in prison are expendable!

I have been set up by DOC to be murdered so DOC could keep their claws on someone they did not want to get out. Homosexuals are great targets for DOC to use. Reason, put me in a cell with an Aryan Brother who has served his time and is waiting to get out, use staff to put a jacket on me like snitch punk and this man has no choice but to murder me. And it always looks better to the prosecution if the victim was raped first.

“Angie” was beaten and the person DOC tried to keep in prison got another 20 years just one year before his release. Angie sued and was awarded a $15,000 settlement. $15,000 for being raped, ribs, jaw, and nose broken, and was kicked so much in her crotch that her testicles and prostate ruptured, and all had to be removed! Before this she was put into a cell with a known gang member who shoved a toothbrush with a razor blade attached in her ass (her muscle did not work any longer). She was known as “20 Shot Wonder Jaw” because all she was good for was sucking dicks. Ten years ago she had had enough and hung herself in her cell. She was never a child molester or a snitch yet these were the names given to her by the administration so she could be used to keep the short timers in the institution.

To read Xena On Prison Rape (Part 1) in which Xena describes being raped and then violated with a broomstick click on: http://jonsjailjournal.blogspot.com/2005/07/20-july-05-xena-on-being-raped-what.html

She-Ra is one of my prison friends in my new book, Prison Time.

Click here to read about the prisoners at this blog who range from Mafia hit men to giant transsexuals.  

Shaun Attwood

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
19 June 07

Xena’s Prostate

Xena - A transsexual giant and Wiccan priest. The charismatic leader of Cult Of Xena (COX). Tattoos include a wasp on his penis and ant trails running up his legs.

“I might have cancer,” Xena said.
“How soon will you find out?” I asked.
“As soon as I see the specialist. Maybe he’ll do me a favour and invert my penis, so the wasp will be inside my new vagina. Or maybe not. Maybe I’ll have a tube stuffed up my ass and my prostate scratched. Hopefully he’ll remove my balls. Then I’ll be able to have estrogen treatment and these things,” Xena said, grabbing his chest, turning to speak to a female guard, “will be bigger than yours.”
“Xena, are you talking crazy again?” the guard said.
Displaying long legs in cut-off shorts, Xena said, “Hey look, I shave my legs too.”
The guard yelled at some inmates lurking in the softball dugout: “Nobody is allowed in the dugout unless they have equipment.”
“I thought,” Xena said, “all the guys have equipment. I’ve got equipment and I’m not even a guy. This thing between my legs is a foreign object.”
Emerging from the dugout, an inmate yelled, “Xena, don’t you have a poon yet?”
“Yeah, I have a poon. And my poon is bigger than your poon. Actually, I might have a poon soon, as soon as I see the specialist. And when I get my vaginoplasty, y’all can bring cameras on poles to see my wasp.”
“Xena,” I said, “do you know what surgeons tell the parents of hermaphrodites when they want to surgically alter them into females?”
“It’s easier to make a hole than build a pole.”
“Speaking of holes and poles, you goddam Limey pondskipper,” Slope said. “How wouldja like some of the ol’ prison trumpet in your crumpet?”
“We love our crumpets!” Xena said. “We rub our crumpets!”
“The rest of you out of the dugout!” the guard yelled. “C’mon, you’ve got no equipment.”
“It takes a woman,” Xena said, “ to tell all the guys they don’t have any equipment.”

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
08 Mar 08

Update on Long Island

Long Island - Promising young cellmate I taught to trade the financial markets. Released and rearrested for forgery and running over a policeman.

From the Arizona Republic:

Man accused of hitting officer with his car is arrested

A man who was wanted for aggravated assault on a Phoenix police officer and forgery charges has been arrested, police said. He was taken into custody after police say he struck an officer with his vehicle. Officers Charles Hilyard and David Walter were near a trailer park at 17217 N. 17th Ave. when they saw him.

The officers attempted to arrest him on the forgery charges but he refused and began backing away in his 2004 Chevrolet sedan. He then accelerated forward and hit Hilyard, police said. The officer was not injured and he fired two rounds from his gun at the Chevy's front right tire, flattening it. Police said the officers gave chase but lost sight of him soon after. He was booked into the 4th Avenue Jail on suspicion of forgery and aggravated assault.

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
07 Mar 08

From T-Bone (Letter 2)

T-Bone - A deeply-spiritual and massively-built African-American fighting machine. He has more stab wounds than Julius Caesar. A good man to have on your side.


Hello Jon,

How are things across the pond in merry old England? You are strong because you sat down with your father + mother and had an open mature conversation as a man!!

The comments of the people who read your blog are quite interesting to say the least. A lot of people care for you and that alone is giving you an advantage. You don’t need to waste your time at university because it sounds good. You have an education, an English education, and also a street education including the school of hard knocks Prison!
But most importantly never discard the value of the personal experiences you’ve had along the way and the value of your parents experience in life! Which means hard work and love.
That also means do not deviate from your objective which is to become another Dickens, you are ready, just sit down and do it and focus. You are strong and extremely intelligent, you have an extraordinary ability to lead and believe me when I say you are a lady’s man, but what I don’t understand is where you get your confidence!? Because most guys with small penises don’t have any confidence. Ha! Ha! Haaa! Got ya! But seriously you have a lot of confidence my friend and you are ready to start writing, all you have to do is do it now.

I am sorry to hear that you have been drinking and that you are on the dole. Don’t get into going places and having a Guinness, it will lead to you being vulnerable and all kinds of things can happen! Go for the food and the conversation of the pretty ladies, and making business contacts. Remember SECURITY FIRST! If something happens to you I will kick your you know what! I care about you man, just be careful and keep your head on straight (no drugs) or drinking (unless at home) and keep your head up (your head clear) and no threesomes, you’re too young!

I will be over there one day and we can have a small beer and eat some fish and chips!
Don’t put me on the backburner. Write me my friend, and I will write back. Say hello to your parents. You stay strong my friend, and may the sun always shine on you and yours! Remember me as you go about your doings!

God Bless

Peace in the
Middle East

Yours My Friend



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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
Summer of 2006


Two Tonys - A whacker of men and Mafia associate serving over one-hundred years for various murders and violent crimes. A Tarantino character whose philosophy and social criticism may upset the politically correct.

“I’m excited about this book,” Two Tonys said, waving a book I’d asked him to look at, The Great Thoughts by George Seldes.
“What are you learning from it?” I asked.
Two Tonys flipped to the introduction, and said, “It’s right here, Blaise Pascal: ‘Man’s greatness lies in the power of thought.’ And Marcus Aurelius Antonius: ‘Our life is what our thoughts make it.’”
“Marcus Aurelius was the philosopher emperor who wrote Meditations – a good book for prisoners to read to help them strengthen their minds and deal with any situation.”
“And here’s Emerson: ‘Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world.’”
“Are these quotes helping you here in prison?”
“They’re makin’ me realize, I’m wastin’ my thoughts hatin’ on people. For me to lay up and hate is like havin’ a goiter on my neck. Sometimes I just lay on my bunk, lookin’ at the wall and ceilin’, thinkin’ about motherfuckers I hate. It’s a goiter on my fuckin’ neck that keeps growin’ and growin’, and I’ve gotta cut it off. I’d like to get it surgically removed, but there ain’t no surgeon in the world with a scalpel sharp enough to cut this fucker off.”
“So how are you going to fix it?”
“Aurelius is gonna be my surgeon! Pascal is gonna be my surgeon! Emerson is gonna be my surgeon! Life is nothin’ but thought, is it? I could go to a restaurant and order a rack of lamb with mint jelly, rice pilaf, French bread, a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, and for desert, kahlua parfait, and yeah, I’d enjoy it at the time, but I’d also enjoy thinkin’ about it afterwards as well. Just like I can lay on my bunk and instead of hatin’ on motherfuckers and thinkin’ of ways to whack them, I can enjoy picturin’ when I was on the lam in Waikiki and Maui, livin’ in a house on the slopes of Mount Halakala, and how beautiful it was. It’s all about the thoughts. This is an epiphany for me. Look, my goiters shrinkin’. When I feel hate invadin my space, I’m gonna combat it by readin’ this book or whatever else I can get my hands on.”

What else should Two Tonys read that might shrink his goiter? If you want to help Two Tonys with his goiter by sending him a book at Buckeye prison then contact me at the email address below.

Email comments to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below

Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood
2 March 08

Mother’s Day

“What are you going to eat tonight at the Indian restaurant for your Mother’s Day meal?" I asked Mum.
“I’ll start with poppadums, and then garlic mushroom puri. For my main course I’ll probably have vegetable pathia. Hot and sweet. The thought of it's making my mouth water.”
“Did you enjoy helping me with the radio interview on Friday?”
“I didn’t expect to be asked anything. We thought it was just you they would be interviewing, but I didn’t mind.”
“You gave it the family touch.”
“Well, people are interested in a mother’s viewpoint. You have to experience it to really know how it feels.”
“How does it feel now in relation to how you felt when I was in prison?”
“Have you got three hours to spare?”
“Can’t you just summarise your feelings?”
Mum sighed heavily, and said, “I don’t know where to start.”
“You’re avoiding the question.”
“Now at this very moment, I feel happy about the outcome and that you are home and we are a family again, and you’re here for the first Mother’s Day in seventeen years. I love us all eating together round the table and chatting or watching movies. But I’ve had a lot of ups and downs since you got home, which you may not have realised.”
“Did hitting me on the head with the frying pan help?”
“Yes, Definitely. My counsellor said that I’ve got unexpressed anger towards you.”
“Don’t express it too much.”
“Not with the Frying pan anyway.”
"Now that I’m free, how come you’re still having ups and downs?”
“Me and your dad spent the last six years working towards your release. A release that we were never sure would happen. The stress was immense. At times I dealt with it better than at others. I was often close to a breakdown.”
“But I’m here now.”
“Yes, and when you arrived, greeting you at the airport, hugging you and kissing you as a free person back with us was one of my happiest moments. We were all euphoric the weekend we spent in London after picking you up. And when we took you home that euphoria lasted for weeks. I’d look at you sometimes and think I was dreaming and that you weren’t really here.”
“Why are you feeling down?”
“It was the anti-climax. After the initial few weeks, my mood plummeted and the realisation of all that had happened to us came back to me. I felt as bad as when you were first arrested. I felt back to square one. I wanted it all to go away. I wanted it all to have never happened, and your presence in the house reminded me of everything we had been through. I wanted to escape from the house.To be away from you.”
“Aren’t these Buddhist texts you are studying helping train your mind to let go of things in the past that may depress you.”
“Yes. Over the years of your incarceration I worked hard on my meditation and tried to be positive. And for a lot of the time it worked. I know all the theory but sometimes the depression was so bad I couldn’t put it into practise. Obviously my meditation wasn’t strong enough and I need to keep working at it.”
“People are always asking how I’m adjusting, well, how are you and Dad adjusting to having me in the house?”
“Apart from eating us out of house and home, it’s not too bad. The only row we’ve had is over your female following.”
“So I’ve been well behaved?”
“Yes, you are very well behaved and very polite.”
“More polite than when I left?”
"You were always polite. That’s the way we brought you up. But when you first came back you would do everything I told you to do. You were institutionalised. You had difficulty making decisions and would ask me what you should do every time you had to choose. The doing everything I told you was nice, but unfortunately that didn’t last long.”
“It’s got to be a bit weird having me in your house as an adult after all these years, even if I am stuck away in the garage or on the computer upstairs?”
“It was strange having you back, and dependent on us. It was like having a thirty-nine-year old child in the house. You appeared very vulnerable. You made me feel as though I wanted to protect you. I feared that people may not accept you or that you would have difficulty being around people, and the pressure of these worries made me feel down. The thoughts of you having to start your life over again troubled me. I tried to be cheerful with you. I hope I never made you feel as though you were a burden to us?”
“No. I’ve not.”
“So, did you never realise that I felt down?”
“You can see it in your face. It’s unpreventable. It’s like my friend Jack when he’s depressed. He can’t hide it.”
“Getting you off the computer was one of my main worries as you sat for hours white faced and bleary eyed oblivious to everything going on around you.”
“I still do. To succeed as a writer I’ve got to put the hours in.”
“Yes, it’s fine now, but when you arrived you weren't well. You were tired and you hadn’t recovered from the horrors of your transportation and the journey home. We were very concerned about your mental and physical health. Now you are having a social life as well as working on the computer. You are more adjusted to the outside now, and my worries about you are lessening.”
“So, do you approve of my wild nights out with Hammy and Posh Bird? Is that part of my rehabilitation?”
“It certainly is. Posh Bird! Bet you can’t believe your luck! She's lovely. And I think the way your old friends rallied round and took you out was heart warming. Hammy dropping in with a bottle of champagne to celebrate your release and Aza taking you Christmas shopping in Liverpool. They have been great. When you have nothing material to give in return and people still want to be with you that is when you know you have genuine friends. I do worry about Hammy though, and wish he didn't drink so much. As for the wild goings on in the Bells, I’d like to come and see this for myself if you’d let me.”
Aza loves reading your blog. I think you need to get on the computer and start blogging again. Why did you stop and when are you going to continue?”
“You want the truth?”
“Of course.”
“I stopped blogging because I felt so depressed. I didn’t want to write about my sadness because I felt guilty about feeling down, when I should have felt so happy and grateful for your safe return. I didn’t want my readers to think I was going crazy. I couldn’t explain or understand my feelings at that time, so I couldn’t make up happy blogs because they would have been a lie.”
“When will you blog again?”
“I’d like to start blogging again, but I’ve got out of the habit.”
“Are you going to use that as an excuse?”
“No. I like writing. I think writing the blog during last year helped me to cope with all that was going on, even though we couldn’t blog everything for fear of causing problems with your release. It was good reading the comments and they helped me as well. We have both met some lovely people through our blogs. I will start blogging again, perhaps when I come back off holiday after Easter.”
“If there’s a piece of advice you could give to the parents of someone who’s just gone into jail or prison what would it be?”
“To tell people. First of all tell those close to you and your friends. When you were first incarcerated I didn’t tell anyone. I was in a state of shock. I couldn’t deal with it. I made your dad and sister promise not to tell anyone. I went into work every day and pretended it hadn’t happened. I’m a psychology tutor and should have known better, but I didn’t, and keeping this locked inside of me caused me to break down. I thought people would turn against me, that I would lose my job and that people would throw bricks through our windows and daub ‘drug dealers’ on the walls. It was only when I started to tell my relations, friends and then colleagues at work that I realised how wonderful and supportive people could be. That support helped me through the trauma of the following years. I’d always advise anyone in that situation to share their worries and concerns. It eases the pain. I was lucky to have an amazing husband and daughter, but people shouldn’t be afraid of telling the world.
They shouldn’t blame themselves. Although it’s a thing parents always do when things go wrong. Guilt and shame are negative emotions that dragged me down, until I accepted the situation. They need to accept what has happened and do whatever they can to help their child. But they can only do this if they forgive. No matter what their child has done, it’s happened and nothing can change that. You’ve often said that without our support you wouldn’t have got through it so well. Your Dad and I felt we had no choice. You were our son and we had to stand by you.”
“I appreciate everything you and Dad did other than you hitting me over the head with the frying pan.”
“I’ll do it again if I have to.”

For Mother’s Day, I gave Mum an orchid.

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