When I first arrived, and for
days actually, I couldn't speak. I wasn't even that unhappy. I just
couldn't bring myself to say anything. When they made me strip and they
searched me and watched me wash myself, I felt humiliated but I couldn't
even react. There were times when forming a facial expression was
I felt like this lack of response could have
had bad consequences, but I was isolated. Even when I did see fellow
prisoners they reacted to me with a reverence that was embarrassing,
rather than with the hostility that I watch them inflict on one another.
Still now I come out from my cell, having spent hours staring at the
walls with very little going on in my head to find people watching me,
expecting something. Hardly anyone speaks to me. It is eerie.
complain of the boredom, but I'm starting to enjoy this empty time. I'm
in the swing of things. I like that we do little but eat and sleep. I
like that there are few options. Also, the sun is shining brightly these
days. Still can't find anything to say to my lawyer.
are restricted of course and constantly reminded of all the things we
are not to do. Quite a few people have softened to me and I find myself
inundated with questions. They seem to want to treat me like an agony
aunt, though most still keep a respectful distance. I have made a sort
of friend. His name is Ernest. He seems to enjoy not only listing the
practices that are forbidden to us, but also dreaming out loud about how
pleasant it would be to gamble or carry whatever he might want to or to
wander off without reporting in. I enjoy his company.
am writing this, as I've written all of my diary entries, from the
surprisingly large library that overlooks the yard. The newspapers here
are ridiculous. I've seen reports of abuse that I'm supposed to have
received. More worrying somehow are the scenarios people imagine. I will
become obese they say. I will bash my brains out against the wall.
Apparently there is a very good chance of me killing myself. Again, it
is like reading stories made up by children. If I am to be in here
through Christmas then it will be my first year off in several
centuries. I have in fact given the consequences very little thought.
The freedom not to think is one I'm enjoying immensely.
feel happy here now. At times I feel I could live here happily for
months, though that may change. I read constantly and enjoy simply
pleasures. I've become far more attentive than before.
Here is a dream that I dreamed last night:
was starving on a wintry street and went in from the cold to this
low-ceiling eating hall. Benches were ranged in rows and at every bench a
row of men were eating greedily. I yielded myself to the warmth and
music, which had an odd choral style. By a fire at the end of the room a
few men, their shirts and scarves stained with meatjuice sang "Who is
there who'll sing, the glad tides of your coming?"
the bar, too, were men. These ones were sat on high stools, with their
hats pushed back, wolfing down plates of gristle and bread. Their
fingers dripped with grease. The smell was overpowering and I couldn't
eat a thing. Somehow though, stood in the doorway with all this gorging
going on around me, I felt calm. I woke up as if spat back out into
this world. All that I could think was that as long as I can be
transported to other realities in this way then I'm as free here as I
would be anywhere.
Also, I am realising day by day how
I'm now more relaxed than I have been in about five hundred years.
Normally, even when my duties are as remote as can be I still have
thoughts of Christmas swilling round in my head. Though I can't explain
it, all of that's gone now.