Recieved 2nd August 2018
JVA Köln, Saturday, 14th July 2018
Hey there friends, comrades, my (not so) little worldwide family! I finally got a pen again (I’ve been asking for weeks…) and I’ve just woken up from a nap so I thought I’d write you a little something which will (hopefully) be one of my last letters from prison. I’m doing better today than I have been, but I’ve also been quite sick lately which hasn’t helped (flu, headaches, body aches, you get the idea). It feels bizarre that I’m so close to my court date now, when I remember counting down from forty one days (ten to go!). It barely feels real. The people here say the first week is the hardest, and then after that the first three months. I have to disagree, I think that last week (and, I suppose, the week to come) will be the hardest for me/ have been. I had a close friend go free yesterday, bringing the count of friends I’ve watched come and go here up to (depending on the definition of “friend”) at least eleven. The people I sat with, talked to, cooked with, hung out with. All free. And, by Monday my friends old shoebox cell will be filled again. She was here for two months. I have another friend who (hopefully) will leave after her court date, the day after my first one. I wonder who else will go before I do? How many more goodbye’s do I have to say? I feel like I lost my head and myself for a while in here, and I’m only just starting to come back. I’m finally starting to feel like I live in the world again, instead of on it. Which is both good and bad. Living “on the world” is easier in prison, because you stop feeling the days pass. Living mentally consciously is horrible here, realising, like dunking you head in cold water, that you are utterly, inescapably stuck. I feel the days now, every minute of every hour. Like waking up after hibernation. Maybe that’s why it’s harder now. It’s also very strange how exhausting everything in prison is. I’m tired just from writing this. Holding a conversation longer than five minutes is mentally draining, as most of my conversations these days aren’t much longer than a few minutes. How crazy is that? To everyone who has written to me – I cannot thank you enough. I’m going to write back (I promise!) as I can. Apologies (very very much so) if it takes me a little while, I definitely haven’t forgotten any of you!! To every person who wrote wondering if I remember them, believe me I do. And I think about you, and my time in the forest daily. I miss you with all my heart. And to everyone who I’ve met, who I haven’t, who has written, who hasn’t, I love you all. Your support and solidarity has constantly overwhelmed me. I reread the letters I have all the time. All of you are on my mind and in my heart. Thank you, for everything. I see you, I hear you, I believe in you. Stay BRⒶVE. <3 UPIII
Soft, warm, yellow glow. Drawing. 13/7/18 Note: There’s so many negative emotions here, not necessarily mine but it feels like even the walls are soaked with them, like tea stains on a mug. Years and years of build up, prison filth and pain. Have you ever walked through a graveyard/cemetery and felt a chill even on a warm day? That’s what it is like here. A constant chill. A heavy, horrid, pressing feeling. And then day, after day, after day the same – everyone is lethargic, sore, upset and in carious states of despair. I’m not religious and don’t believe in “God” - but I do believe in myself, because whatever I’ve been through I have been the one to be there for me 24/7 through it, but I also like to believe that “something” watches out for me, like the daemons in “The Golden Compass/Northern Lights” book. For me I usually think of a small cat or lion, always yellow, who chases away negativity. I’m sure some of you feel this is childish, but it helps. I love cats, and grew up with them and remember them sleeping next to me when I was young and scared. So a little yellow glowing lion is a bit of comfort to imagine here, batting away negative thoughts and “ghosts”. I guess an “overactive imagination” (as said once by a relative) isn’t such a bad thing...
Garlic sprouts. Drawing. 13/7/18 Note: Don’t really have much to say, I just wanted you all to know my garlic is growing well. (Though the visiting wasps don’t seem impressed, they try and fly as far away from them as possible.) All my love, UPIII.