<br><br>.. Maybe you shou've read this first ...<br><br><br><blockquote>Jungle <br>Wilbert Rideau 1976<br><br>In prison, every day ends the same way - with a key being turned in a door, locking me in for the night. Then we're counted, like things. And a little later the lights are cut off and we're sent to bed, like children.<br><br>As the night creeps slowly by, it gets quieter and quieter. Apprehension hangs heavily in the air, inmates dreading the minutes or hours of solitude before the peace of sleep. This is the hardest time of the day. This is when the walls seem to be closing in on you. During the day, there's work, intrigues, and a thousand little things that keep you moving, stirring, your mind occupied. But at night, there's nothing but the silence . . . and your thoughts.<br><br>I lay there in my bunk a long time, the cold, frightening silence closing in until a death-like stillness descends upon the entire dormitory. I'm not the only one awake. There are always others like myself on any given night, lying there watching the smoke from their cigarettes drift slowly up to the ceiling, trying to ignore or hide the voice crying within them . . . but if you listen closely, you can hear it, the voice of loneliness, the sounds of despair, of heartbreak-muffled sobs, tears, the half-stifled scream of a man slowly going insane as a result of the torment of emotional deprivation. Can even hear the sounds of lovemaking between some of the men, men trying desperately to hang on to the normality of life in an ocean of abnormality.<br><br>I watch the smoke of my cigarette, which so adequately symbolizes my life, as it drifts toward the ceiling, vanishing into nothingness. Questions assail me. About life, my purpose in it, my goals. Then the cold realities: frustration, pain, misery, guards, concrete walls and guns. A silent cry tears through my veins, stealing the strength from my soul, as the haunting notion that I am destined to live and die here assumes a realness that threatens to engulf my being. Yesterday is lost to me forever and tomorrow seems too far away to be seen as anything other than a false dream.<br><br>I try to cling to the dreams that have kept me going all these years, but it's harder now. I can feel them slipping away like a tired woman and a creeping sense of hopelessness, of impending death, threatening entry. I've been locked up too long. Few men here have been locked up as long as I and I feel old with the knowledge of this.<br><br>I'm tired. I long to quit this ultramasculine jungle, this barbaric dog-eat-dog world where men are deprived of every human need save hunger and thirst, this place where ruthlessness is the rule and mercy, the exception, this vacuum totally devoid of love, charity, brotherhood, beauty, and all of the other things that others take for granted but which are so important to us starved for them. I want to end this madness, to live again, but experience tells me that when hate and indifference control your destiny, to expect mercy or fairness is madness in itself.<br><br>It is becoming increasingly clear to me that being the much heralded "model" prisoner is not the key to freedom. Fourteen years of it hasn't gotten me anything. Now, I face the question of what to do. Where is the incentive in continuing the struggle when your efforts are ignored and your pleas fall upon deaf ears? Where is the sense in suffering for the sheer sake of suffering? This is a question which haunts each day of my existence, a question I've continuously refused to answer because I recognize the danger in it. I fear the answer.<br><br>Shoving the questions away, I lie there, my mood growing cold and lonely, for love, longing for freedom. I smoke cigarette after cigarette, waiting for sleep to come and blanket me with its coverlet of relief, but it eludes me tonight. I get to watch the sun fight its way over the horizon, warming this graveyard of the living dead, reaching into another day of nothing.</blockquote><br><br>link<br><br>****************<br>[color:red]Fat people are harder to kidnap</font color=red>
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