A year ago on Wednesday, I walked out of prison and into my new life as a cynical social worker with a heart of gold just trying to keep kids off the pie-ing streets. I've been pretty successful – not one of the youths involved in my programme has gone on to pie mutli-billionaire wankstain Rupert Murdoch (in an unrelated statistic, gang related pie-ings are up 478,000%).
Prison was both the most boring and the most fascinating thing I've ever done. While I was there, I kept (not terribly) sane by writing about my experiences and trying, surreptitiously, to get those accounts published online. After around a week, I eventually succeeded, and was able to post seven days worth of what could only ironically be described as coverage from inside the big house.
Then I was released. I had originallyintended to continue straight on with the blogs, writing up notes from my time inside and getting the whole weird, ghastly business out in the open. Then time did that thing it does where it passes and, try as you might to gain purchase, your fingers slip through it like a waterfall of custard. A mixture of laziness, business, poorliness and weirdness delayed the project till I just started feeling guilty about the whole thing, delaying it further in a seemingly endless spiral of self-flagellating bullshit. “The prison blogs will continue next week!” my posts would cry with the best of intentions and the least of ability. “I'm actually working on the second half right now!” I'd confide with people in the pub, the lies slipping out awkwardly through my forced grin.
One of the more salient problems I had with picking my pen back up was that there was an honesty to theoriginal week's worth of blogs, written in the cramped confines of my cell, that could not be recaptured now I was back in thewild. I should have, wish I had, written everything up properly while I was inside, ready to type when I got out. Instead, I left prison with a carrier bag full of messy notes, half finished scribblings and barely legible missives. It's these that I've tried to transform into a second week's worth of blogs.
With some days I was lucky and I'd already begun embryonic or even foetal attempts at an account which then only needed a bit of spit and polish to complete. For other days I've had to piece together a narrative from spidery little jots that saythings like “13:32 – tuna attack at Friday prayers”.
In short, what I'm trying to say is that this second week's worth of stories, while accurate and honest, were produced under different conditions to the first seven. In some cases this is bad – I can't help but feel I've lost somevisceral truth that came from writing in the very moment – but in others I think it's an improvement - in my account of what happened on day 8, for example, which I would not have felt safe publishing all the information while I was still inside. Likewise the internet has afforded me use of a thesaurus and spellchecker, which I've used liberally and without regret.
I hope you find these blogs enjoyable and enlightening, perhaps enough so to offer me a lucrative record deal or a high-power blow job. Perhaps they will even inspire youto visit prison yourself.