Letter #7 from UPIII



Recieved 19th June 2018

Letter/envelope 7/7, yay!!! Thursday, 31st May 2018

“General thoughts” 

Today I feel a bit more put out than usual. I keep thinking of the previous letters I’ve sent, I hope they make it. I’ve stopped showing people my drawings, “someone” keeps taking them, or is super reluntant to give them back. Ugh. I hope they get through post control, heya post control human! Nice of you to be here with us. 

On a happy note, I’m surrounded by bananas and chocolate. I’m also not so steadily putting on weight. I had my second shower of the week this morning, the next one is on Monday. I’m still not used to trying to shave in front of seven or more other naked people. Got told off again this morning for nothing in particular, and tomorrow is Friday so I’m probably going to feel sick. 

I’m usually sick on Friday and then well on Monday when I can go and see a doctor. Maybe it’s the thought of questionable oily vegetable soup on Saturday. 

Shopping arrived yesterday, I’m taking full advantage of the food I now have. I also had a visit, so I’m now munching on a bowl of paprika chips. Yum. 

A lot of people have tell me that they don’t eat much and are so afraid of putting on weight. This bothered me too a lot at first, eating and doing nothing, but then it’s already bad enough here without bringing old habits of calorie counting. 

I expect I will resemble a baby whale when you next see me. I wonder if I’ll still be able to fit through the tower trap door? Future problems. I’m super bloated too – the food here is really salty and my main staple food is bread. I’m swapping bread for my bananas though I should have a couple less bloated days. It feels so good to eat fruit!! 

What else? I’m loving the socks my visitor brought, they feel so soft!! And no holes!! Thank you so much!!! 

I would have drawn some of the things I’ve talked about but haven’t had the energy today. I want to talk about one I wanted to do though; I think they are called Russian dolls, they’re little wooden people who sit one inside the other.

I remember very clearly having some when I was younger and liked to sit the smallest, the size of a thumb nail, inside the largest, about the size of a standard mug. Then I’d assemble them and skip some. I think there were five or so of them that unscrewed like a jar, then the smallest which was solid. I’d put the small in the middle size, then inside the largest and mix them around. I think these dolls are a good representation of ageing, one year inside the next. Each new year a new layer. Sometimes previous layers are visible, like a younger version of you coming out. 

Five year old me was terrified by loud thunderstorms, and I still am. So, sometimes my five year old layer shows. Each layer has made me stronger though, (debateably wiser, twelve year old me still appears when someone says “bet you wouldn’t” to which they respond “watch me!”) and braver. If ten year old me can run in front of a charging horse and yell “stop!” with arms wide (a big horse too, half a ton of muscle) and not be afraid, why would I be scared now?

Prison is comparably safer. No chance of being flattered by a panicked wild animal. So Russian doll or onion or whatever, this is set to be my bravest year yet. Onwards and upwards. 

I love you all, I hope you’re enjoying all this sunshine!!! 

Soon, soon, soon. 

<3 UP III 

Thursday, 31st May 2018

“State of mind”

There’s a strangeness that seems to settle on everyone here, a few weeks after arriving. A fear. A genuine anxiety of freedom. What is on the outside of these walls? Will it accept me when I reenter it? 

I can’t describe it. I want so badly to be free, to go back to my pre prison life, but I am frightened too. What if I am not accepted? I have known nothing but four off white peeling walls for over two months, what will happen when I’m no longer trapped by them? 

I think the first few days will be hard, an adjustment. Will I adjust? I’m not the same person now. 

There’s the disassociation too. The “zombie” like feeling. My short term memory doesn’t work, are those my hands? I keep looking around. Am I dreaming? Why do I feel like I’m sleepwalking? Why can’t I focus? Why is holding a conversation for more than two minutes so exhausting? 

I’ve said less than fifty words to other people today, propably closer to twenty, most of them simply “okay, dankeschön” or “yes, dankeschön” or “no, dankeschön”. That’s it. Twenty words. 

I haven’t heard my name in two and a half months. Some days I don’t even remember me, so how could I expect you to? I’ll look at my reflection in the window, is that me? I’ll raise my hand, and they do too, yes it’s me, but I barely recognise them. The person who walked in here is not the same one who will be walking out. 

I wonder, will I say I’m okay? Will I lie? Am I lying? I’m not sure how I feel. A blankness maybe, like a piece of paper. Colourless. Not bad, not great, blank. 

I’ve sat and thought of my friends several of their birthdays have passed now, with more in the next few weeks, including my best and oldest friends. The realisation I will likely still be here was, I can’t think of the word. I wasn’t shocked, or taken aback or anything. I accepted it. Another month more, another birthday missed, another apology to make. 

The days pass. Sun rise, one hour, two, five, eight, ten, sunset. It’s nearly Friday again? Almost week twelve already? I find I swear more despite this state of disassociation, fuck this, fuck you, fuck off. I am not broken, I will not break. I refuse to. I will not be bullied into submission. 

My name is all I have left. It is mine.

I don’t even think it, call me Tinker, for I like to build, to do things with my hands, invent, create.

Call me Sprout, I grow from the ashes of the fearful human who first set foot here, I am stronger, better, kinder, more passionate, more determined, I will grow and grow, a tree to shelter my friends from the storms of the state.

Call me Vox, I have no voice, I will not speak, I will hold my friends secrets and carry them with me.

Call me what you wish, I will answer to it. I am nameless, faceless, I am unknown person, given the number three. Genderless, I could be anyone. Am I you, or are you me? 

Repress me, yell at me, undress me, cuff me, push me. Do you think I’m scared? I will rise again. Shoulders back, head held high. This is not over, I am not done. 

Evictions, riots, no compromises. We can do this, one day at a time. For the forest, for the future. 

Do not be discouraged. I’m doing fine. And when my fate is decided, I’ll see you all on the outside. 

I love every single one of you. Stay strong, Stay brave, stay wild. Not long now. 

<3 UP III 
It feels like my Brain is exhausted. Drawing. 28/5/18


A conversation longer than five minutes is tiring, I can’t stay focused, I forget things easily. Someone asks me a question, and I start to answer and can’t remember what the question was, what I was going to say. 

I feel like I’m sleep walking. Even as I write these I feel muddled. Like my brain is being cooked. I forget words, I can’t spell, and English, the study of the language, has always been my best subject. 

What is going on? I wonder if this is how people with disorders that take their minds apart fell, like alzeimehs, I know that isn’t spelt right. Alzeime...? I don’t know,. I want my mind back, my memories, the things that make me, well, me. 

Maybe it’s the food, I feel so run down, like an abandoned house, missing tiles and overgrown ivy. I need vegetables and a nap. 
Racehorse are in Prison too. Drawing. 28/5/18



23 hours a day in a box, usually (or at least, “legally”) 4m x 4m. The average racehorse has a body length, chest to tail, of 1.95 m (6’4” in a rug). 1 hour “training”, on the track, at a chosen speed. Fed twice a day; after morning training, before bad. Or if the trainer chooses to exercise late, before training. 

Everything is controlled. Food, shoes, rugs, gear, contact with others (horse and human). Pre vegan I worked with racehorses. This control causes many to develop “ticks” or “vices” (I hate that word). Biting. Foot stamping. Head nodding. Many others. A way of passing time, getting out of their head. 

I notice it here too. Unconscious or/and conscious actions. Hair plaiting/praiding, undone, redone. Tapping. And the expressions. Glassy, far away. Like no one is home in some. It reminds me of thoses horses, too many to count. Waiting. Passing time. No hope. Groundhog day. 

I don’t want to be a prison horse. 
No Air Conditioning? Improvise. Drawing. 28/5/18


From what I remember of building science (which, admitting, is not a lot) when water evaporates, it cools the air around it. Evaporative air conditioning. 

Today was very warm (it’s 7:20ish now) so I washed my clothes and hung them over the window, hoping to catch a breeze. No breeze sadly (ventilation and cross ventilation is another issue) but it definitely made a difference. 

It’s a shame I’m allergic to pollen and cut grass (I know it as “hay fever”) or I’d leave the window open ore lately. But it’s either live in still, stale, hot air and be able to breathe or have slightly less stale air and no toilet paper because I have to blow my nose. 

I have one toilet paper role left to last three days. You can’t “drip dry” some things, so I guess stale air and toilet paper it is! 
“New Addition to the Window Sill. Drawing. 28/5/18


I talked (and drew) my little carrot friend in another note, who is thriving for all those wondering about them, and mentioned my toilet paper pot friend too but here is a drawing with them in it. 

Today I received a carrot during lunch with – hooray! – an end still attached. So now my carrot has a friend! The newbie doesn’t have as much leaves as the original but I’m hopeful with all the warm weather they will start sprouting in a few days. 

I got a tomato too today, maybe I will make another toilet paper pot (when I have toilet paper to spare!`) for them. 

I might take some grass from outside too, then I can have a much bigger window garden. There are eight gaps in the bars, what else can I grow? 


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