JVA Köln, 6th July 2018
Desk. Drawing. 30/6/18 – morning, 11:30am Note: This is the corner of my desk (closest to the door) right now. There’s three melons – water melon, honey melon and something that I’ve never seen before called “galianmelone” in German. One unripe nectarine, I had to eat the others before they went mouldy. An unripe pineapple that is starting to mould on the bottom. A bowl of nine kiwi fruits, all rock solid. A few bananas, but I have more hidden under the bed (I don’t want them to all ripen at once, and the next shopping won’t arrive until 11th July so I’m trying to save some for as long as I can). That’s about it fruit wise, I had some veggies too but had to eat them all yesterday because they were going soft and gross (tomatoes especially). It was good though, I had a colourful couscous salad. The fridges here are full of meat and smell gross so I don’t like putting things there, but it means my “fresh” fruit/veggies don’t last long because of the heat and humidity in the cell. Oh well. A couple of days of “real food” is better than nothing. I’m also learning more German, with little blue “flash cards” from the course. (It’s strange gendering objects and e/st/t/en.)
Courtyard of Haus 10 – perspective. Drawing. 30/6/18 Note: It looks small here, but I think it is one of the biggest yards in the prison – 25x55m (give or take a bit, it looks roughly what I remember, a little smaller, than a large “dressage arena”) perhaps. No trees, no cover, only shaded in one spot by a nearby building. It was incredibly hot today -high twenties I think – and we were hiding in 20cm of shade, just under the length of my foot. “Freistunde” was from 1:30 – 3:00pm today (extra time was good but it was way too hot). At least by 3pm we had almost a meter of shade, enough to sit down and huddle in. I’d rather go out in the morning or maybe late afternoon. The middle of the day is awful with next to no shade 🙁 … There’s shit missing and I “can’t talk about it”. Bu yeah, more fences.
Familiarity. Drawing. 5/7/18 Note: This is the impression of a missing bit of plaster above the desk. I see it every time I look up. To my right is another, bigger, maybe four times this size, and it looks like a horned head. To the right of the window, above the bedhead, a hole of a similar size to this, a bowl. Between the bars of the bedhead, a pick axe shape. I can even pick out my cutlery from a pile, I’ve had it for so long I recognize the discolours and dents. How sad is that though? That I recognize “my” things and don’t want to move cells because this one is “mine”?
Memories and misses. Drawing. 5/7/18 Note: I never thought I’d say it, but I miss physical affection. Hugs. Even just a pat on the shoulder. Anything. In prison I get (usually) two hugs (the only time someone touches me) per week, one to greet my visitor/s, one to say goodbye and thank them. Two hugs in seven days. That’s it. Right now I’d just really love to have a good cuddle. Soon, soon, soon, (I hope that’s not too long away).
The only difference is the side of the bars. Drawing. 5/7/18 Note: So the other day I was in the kitchen and a tour group came through the house. My friend and I watched them for a while but they made her self conscious (they saw us and started whispering and pointing). All we were doing was brewing ginger tea in a pot. It made me feel like a caged animal at a circus or zoo. Prison is nothing like what you think it is; Prisoners refer to all of us as a family. We share, we sympathize. We are human, some of us just made a mistake. (So what? Everyone has at some point.) We hope and pray for each other. Us vs. them (the guards, whatever). Very few are actually “dangerous”. I really can’t wait to be treated like a person again. This is horrible.
When I’m free, let’s party. Drawing. 5/7/18 Note: TRIGGER WARNING: ALCOHOL/DRINKING I think I’ll deal with all my general personal things (washing clothes, making calls, shower, sending messages etc) the day after I’m left out of prison I really just want to celebrate the birthday I spent in here, and that I’m free. Freedom party! I’d like to do some tequila shots (birthday tradition) and dance, lough, make up for all the mischief I’ve been deprived of. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anything more than to be free!
The windowsill. Drawing. 5/7/18 Note: This was my cell window over the weekend; the carrots, pineapple, living twig, and “melon” seeds (mixes galia and honig) are gone because they either started rotting (too hot and started “cooking” them) or shriveled up 🙁 The garlic is the happiest, new cloves start sprouting every day or so, and I like to rub my fingers on the sage or rosemary to have something to smell that isn’t dust. Also, it’s been very hot and humid for days (it feels like I live in a sauna…) so my remaining potatoes, garlic and ginger have all started sprouting green shoots (!!!). I wish I had somewhere to plant them.
Day by day. Drawing. 5/7/18 Note: Another friend has a court date today. If she goes free it’ll be my tenth (or eleventh, I think I forgot someone…) goodbye to a friend here. Within a day someone else will fill the cell, and in doing so erases that my friend was ever here. I hope she goes free, but I will miss her terribly. I hope she learns to dance like she always talked about, and sells her car so she can travel the world like she has wanted to for a while. The second goodbye to a friend from X22. It is not an easy day. Three and a half months. Almost a dozen goodbyes. Four more friends have court this month. More goodbyes. But maybe more hello’s too. (I should really learn more German.) Day, by day, by day. Soon, soon, soon.
Deutschkurs/German Course. Drawing. 5/7/18 Note: Ich heiße UPIII, nicht “Aussie” oder “meine fat Freundin” oder “Freund” (ich mag sie, nicht er). Oder ich will antworte nicht. Ich habe lebe im Gefängnis für drei Monate und es ist sheiß. Der “Haftsaum” ist klein, heiß und alt (bauen 1960’s, ich höre). Aber, bald, ich komme raus. I am called UPIII, not “Aussie” or “my fat friend” or “male friend” ( I like she, not he). Or I will not answer. I have lived in prison for three months, and it is shit. The “arrest room” is small, hot and old (built in 1960’s, I hear). But, soon, I come out. Note: “arrest room” is the German justice system’s way of saying “cell”. Ich hoffe das ist richtig! I hope that is right!
Drink station. Drawing. 6/7/18 Note: The weather has been incredibly hot lately and I’ve started noticing a bunch of little insects finding their way to my window sill to drink out of the plant pots. I’ve seen bees, bumble bees, wasps and ants so far. I enjoy watching them, especially the wasps (I recognize one in particular as they prefer to drink off the sage leaves, where their friends prefer to drink straight from the water). The wasps also mike the most noise, the bees are pretty quiet in comparison. It’s interesting watching them drink too, because their whole bodies shake and vibrate. They’re very peaceful as well; all the insects just pop by, drink, and hover off again, sometimes bumping into the bars. It’s cute, like “oops! I missed the gap!”. It always makes me smile.