Letter #29 from UPIII



Recieved 15th August 2018

JVA Köln, Thursday, 2nd August 2018

Hey there dearest comrades and friends,

there’s something about prison that makes me feel a lot older than I am.

Although, having been twenty three for only a couple of months, and as far as I know only this once (for anyone who believes in reincarnation), what does twenty three feel like? Is it supposed to feel like this, or should it feel different?

Is age like Russian dolls, each year layered on the next or is it a new thing in itself? A year passed, a new year born.

For me, twenty three was born in an isolation cell, as twenty two nodded their goodbye.

This is the first time I have felt different in a new year, not just the old with a new word to say when asked, “so how old are you?”

Twenty three feels unlike me. It is me – it must be, I still look the same – but so not me.

I think if I met myself before prison, I would not, or would barely, recognise this me. So, does that mean I am still me, or am I somebody else?

Now I wonder, if thirteen year old me could meet me at twenty three, what would they say? Would they be proud, or afraid? Would they want to grow up to this, to become the person I am now?

Maybe I should think about my core, the nature of myself, instead of the much growing over it.

I am what I stand for. It is what I stand on.

In the court room, as I heard “nine months”, I say one person put their head in their hands. I wanted to rush over, to hug them, tell them it will be okay.

But then, anger, more than I have ever felt, to wish the worst upon the judge, as they say I am “the example” to hurt my friends. It felt like my heart stopped in my chest.

This worries me. It is human to feel angry, but this inhumane anger, purity and strength of it, is beyond me. I’ve been a volunteer for over a decade and suddenly I felt violence. Violent anger. Chaos and riot anger. The kind that swings a bat, and pops a bubble of gum in front of a burning building, smiling because they lit the match, and enjoy the warmth. The kind, I suppose, a loyal dog feels when someone threatens their guardian. A low growl, a rumble in the chest, teeth bared, hackles raised.

I’m trying to work out if this is me, or if this is what I have become, and if those two things are separate or the same thing.

Is it now me, because I allowed it and accepted it? Or is it not me, because I can reason that I felt it, but can tell the feeling I do not wish to allow it to consume me?

Although, I suppose, if I must think “this is not me” then it must be me, or I would not need to reason why it isn’t.

So, was this always me, or is it just me now?

And this both bothers and concerns me.

Perhaps as I get less now, I feel I have less to give. The toll of watching people come and go, of feeling like I’m always saying goodbye. Of being left behind. The lack of permanence of people. Three weeks ago I had five friends, and on Monday all five of them will have gone free. I have one “permanent” friend not in these five, but they rarely have the time to spend with me, being a house worker they barely get much of their own time.

There have been times my lungs have felt so tight, like a sponge crushed in a fist, that I could barely breath from how much I am sick of goodbyes, of being so miserably sad that a friend is gone, while also being so thrilled for them that they can go home, whatever that means to them.

I don’t mean to sound bitter or angry, I am not, I’m just so tired of finding someone to connect with, only to watch them pack and see their cell filled by an unknown face.

I shouldn’t complain, people in this house have been through this more than me. Some have been here nearly a year and a half, seventeen months.

Nine isn’t so bad. Nine should feel easy in comparison. It’s not one year, or two, or five. It’s not “sixty months” as a someone here has.

Maybe my anger is being born out of frustration. That people here hear you, but don’t really listen. That everything is very literally same shit, different day. Every conversation is the same. Silence is deafening, so everyone always feels like they have to fill it.

The worst is watching people slowly go mad, in a very real sense, watch sanity slip through their fingers like grains of sand. Sometimes I feel it too, flashes of lucidity, and then numbness.

I mean, why bother to force yourself to feel awake, when some days this just feels like a repetitive bad dream? And then, in the lucid moments, I think, “only this many days to go”.

But the suddenly it’s been another week. Maybe I’m not losing time though, maybe because there is so much nothing here my brain just stopped bothering to remember the days.

Days are long, weeks are short.

Maybe today is just an off day. I haven’t “connected” enough to other people. No Freistunde, and I don’t go to Umschluss. Today is a day of minimal contact.

This should bother me more, I think, but it doesn’t. I just think, “it is what it is, and I will handle it.”

Today I will deal with my thoughts, as best I can, and I might finish the book I’m reading. And I will do the same tomorrow, and the day after, and each day until December, when I can go free.

There are far worse things than isolation, to me at least. Far worse is the loss of generosity; of an open heart, of trust and care. If “growing up”, of becoming a “real adult” or whatever, feeling the ability to believe in the good of people starting to stand on shaky ground. A rise in suspicion, of people asking questions, and not being so sure of the answer.

One person asked me if I knew any of my visitors before prison and I said no. They were shocked and concerned, why didn’t I interrogate them? Why would they come to visit me?

This never occurred to me. I was just so happy to have visitors, people kind enough to visit some “unknown person”, and sit with me for half an hour and ask if I needed anything to make it easier to be here.

So why would I say “hey, umm, why are you visiting me?”

I’ve found out the German word for poison is “Gift”. I feel it is appropriate to say “Das Gefängnis Gift”, or “the prison poison” in English. It is poison being here, it is toxic.

But I wonder, which is more toxic? The people, or the place? I usually feel worse talking to people, staff and other prisoners, than I feel when I am alone. I like to be alone, it’s easier. I feel more like “me”.

But I’m sure I’ve said that before, so I won’t continue.

I hate writing these, I always feel like I say too much, or they are so negative you can barely stand to read them.

But then, what do I do? Not write? And then feel the wall of isolation build up further, because who would write to me if I’m not writing to them?

I’ve had one postcard in nearly two weeks. No other post. Trying to think “surely people are writing...” is starting to feel dumb. Surely someone is, or I’d like to think they are. Or maybe you guys are all so tired of these long letters about nothing that you just think “ugh”.

So maybe I won’t write for a while.

Give you guys a break from same shit, different letter.

I’m okay though, despite everything I’ve written.

Just tired at the moment really, like I need a good nap. Maybe everything will be better when I wake up.

I love you all, more than I can say.

Hugs and rage.

Stay safe, stay strong, stay BRAVE.

Keep fighting.


4 thoughts on “Letter #29 from UPIII”

  1. do the best for you
    that is what you can do.
    use your time and dont let
    them use you.
    there is a reservation of education.
    a higher humanrights cultur…
    you know..
    if you would get wounded in an accident..
    and you have to be in bed in a spital….
    it will not be easyer..it will only feel the same..
    so take your time and life….say o.k.
    i cant get out..of the cold water..or this hole…
    in my life..but i can be a ligth.. in the dark..
    not the only but one…a real ligth…of goode hoope..
    one moor cup of koffee for this road….
    and may youcan be poet…
    be poet.. said andre heller..
    is not moore i need you to be…
    because humanrightsrelvolution started and was primary well known by poets.
    carry yourselfe so good you can…this are ties to love yourself
    moore as others can do…..most people are prisoners…
    in different kind of jails…and tey never can get out of..
    do xyou think thisjudgeman can..that has bring you in prison.
    because you should be inocent to that was they said you have done.it is in dubio pro reo.and it is real in dubio….because the old policeman ……the contactloosing..
    he saw what he thought but not the reallity…if you dindt
    wanted to urt someone..you have made a lot of noise..
    noone test you to how fare you can throuw it a way….and how fare you realy did.
    dont give up.cause you know the throught…and only such
    surcher will find it out.others are not allowed to judge over
    you.even if they are judgepersonal.

  2. hi dear in prison.
    if we think what can we know,what can we do and what can we hope….we know it is a crime ,your resitance was o.k.,we can hope other peoople can read the human and groundrigths too…and will akt.that you are in jail is not kompatible.we think you are an political prisoner… because the jugdeman was voiolently jusing the rights against the human rights.
    today they say in radio… home is the light of revolutioned clearing time.. that is shining in our childhood and where we go to in ous tokoomst..futur. ernst bloch.to realise.human rigths philosophie
    is the real revolution.
    imanuel kant says.in 1785.the human ist nooneelse or a thing subordination..or slave…only his own reason…
    michael bakunin read the philosophs and after he created
    the anarchy as the political philosophie grounded in what is called philosophical aufklärung or enlightement.
    i read his biographie thi time from ricarda huch..
    he was evenso in prison a long time….only because… the human rihts revolution. or look at leonard pelltier an A.I.M. man …fighting for red indians rights. he is in inocent in prison since 40 years.
    o.k. it will not ral help i know.yes you feel older as you mighty could be…and it is realy hard to be in prison in summertime when the hole life sorround you….i know..
    we say if things go bad…hey you looks verry old..today or sincea week…..or since the last month..but you are for 9 month in prison.and i think someone kompetet should speak with you about a revision. because this is not chile,or putinland….it is a human right land and society.and they got this ethological responcability in the sphäre of responcability.
    nothing would real satisfied be proofed. 9 months are not kompatible .a kind of arbitrariness. it should be possible to get a femal human rights judgeperson for you.to say o.k. we want to start it again.we want to have much more responcability even from the judge and this jugdeman….
    because he mean you wear not enough so you have to go in prison.but what have you real done..a lot of noise..noone was hurted….so what is the real eason for the 9 month.
    use your time.. ifyou like study philosophie femalrights philosophie….i like to give you 2 point in our ground law..
    if someone can bring you one groundlaw..take the early one.
    because the newer one are not without crime ..they are different in the sence…o.k. the 2 points. ggart. 3 ist not the real humanrights meaning.it have to be a crime not to do .but there stands we will have a look for nothing moore.2 point gg-art.20…all power comes from the folks..the whole people..
    do not longer stands there and the folk is free and do his own things by choises/ free elections AND VOTES. the last..the votes didnt started since 1949.there hasnt been any votes in the whole R.F.A. yes a woman got her brd decoration…because she said we must have it on kommunal and landlevel.but w need it groundly mandatory in the whole rfa. that ist the bigest judge and staatecrime of the brd i have
    reed before the wappons has gone to this erdogandespoty..

    be shure…after all the hard work, the badtimes…the hurting, it will uprise real true and beauty…said madame curie as 2 mans wanted to steel her work… because only the true knows the trues..all others are spekulants.mostly criminals…because spekulants are mostly frauded notonly themselfes.
    hope ist the ligthhouse keepers being….and the timerobbers are many much….but not good thinking..
    have agood time on earth…and make your self a goodtime if others not do.quality is qour own decission.

  3. Please do not give up writing, dear UP III! Do you really believe that we stop to support, to visit, to be loyal with and to write to you, because you give a heartfeltly negative image of the prison life? Then you think poor of us! Would it not be rather strange, if you wrote, Hallelujah, I’m in prison, quite cool here? You loose track, because the days are just the same. But also these months shall pass and the day may come, when you want to look back on what you have felt. Then your own Open Letters will be important to you.
    Here I copy a song of Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush for you:

    Don’t Give Up
    In this proud land we grew up strong
    We were wanted all along
    I was taught to fight, taught to win
    I never thought I could fail

    No fight left, or so it seems
    I am a man whose dreams have all deserted
    I’ve changed my face, I’ve changed my name
    But no one wants you when you lose

    Don’t give up, ‚Cause you have friends
    Don’t give up, You’re not beaten yet
    Don’t give up, I know you can make it good

    Though I saw it all around
    Never thought that I could be affected
    Thought that we’d be last to go
    It is so strange the way things turn
    Drove the night toward my home
    The place that I was born, on the lakeside
    As daylight broke, I saw the earth
    The trees had burned down to the ground

    Don’t give up, You still have us
    Don’t give up, We don’t need much of anything
    Don’t give up, ‚Cause somewhere there’s a place where we belong

    Rest your head, You worry too much
    It’s gonna be all right, When times get rough
    You can fall back on us
    Don’t give up, Please don’t give up

    Got to walk out of here
    I can’t take any more
    Gonna stand on that bridge
    Keep my eyes down below
    Whatever may come
    And whatever may go
    That river’s flowing
    That river’s flowing

    Moved on to another town
    Tried hard to settle down
    For every job, so many men
    So many men no one needs

    Don’t give up, ‚Cause you have friends
    Don’t give up, You’re not the only one
    Don’t give up, No reason to be ashamed
    Don’t give up, You still have us
    Don’t give up now, We’re proud of who you are
    Don’t give up, You know it’s never been easy
    Don’t give up, ‚Cause I believe there’s a place
    There’s a place where we belong

    Don’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up

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