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01 April 2007 @ 03:53 pm
first the bad news...  
The cell is maybe 7'x9'x'11', taller than it is long, rather like the offices in Brazil. Two vents close to the ceiling, one higher than the other, emit a constant, hard to describe noise - at first I think it is the plumbing, but later I decide it is more likely distant fans, ill-lubricated and echoing through a system of ducts. The acoustics here are extraordinary, but I am all sung out.

It is quite obvious that the cell is not designed for three, and the third mattress only fits with one corner up against the solid metal, flushless toilet in the corner. Everything about the cell is designed with suicide prevention in mind - no bars for a start, nothing that you could tie anything from to hang yourself. The pencils they provide are only around three inches long, perhaps so that they are not long enough to pierce through to your brain. These precautions mostly just make us think of ways we could still kill ourselves, if we put our minds to it.

The cell doesn't seem to have been cleaned for some time; we try not to think too much about all the marks on the walls. In the middle of the door's top pane of glass is something white, a couple of inches across, which I can only assume was once spittle. Above that someone has relieved their boredom by tearing up one of the A4 posters informing inmates of their rights, and writing his name using little strips of it.

I ask for water as soon as I arrive, and eventually three tiny polystyrene cups of it arrive along with some tooth-meltingly sweet builder's tea, and supper in little trays. The vegetarian option is a curry. It's not bad, apart from the terribly dry rice that comes with it, but certainly nobody could ever claim that it is good either, and it seems odd that they have made it about as spicy as I like my curries, which is far too hot for many.

There is a button marked 'Call for Assistance', and they tell us to give them a call if we want to use private toilet facilities, but warn us not to wait until we're desperate because they are busy. So I press it when I'm just starting to need a piss, but mainly to get water because I can feel a dehydration headache coming on. After a couple of minutes I press it again, for longer. Again, repeatedly. Again, for a minute or so. My headache builds while Jesse realises he needs to go too. He has no more success than me with the button so we start banging on the door, hitting it and hitting it. Lying on the floor, I kick it rhythmically.

In the cell opposite, someone responds with a little drumming of his own and an eye appears at the small round hole in his door. We are in an observation cell, for no particular reason, so they can see us but all we can see is an eye. It keeps on returning, and Jesse gets freaked out, but he really needs to go so he stays there banging away. I can't guess if the other guy is freaking him out deliberately, if he's trying to communicate, or if he's just terribly bored and watching us through our plate-glass door is the closest thing he's got to entertainment in there. We only realise later that there are three guys in there, each one looking out at us curiously in turn.

Half an hour or more after I first ring the bell, an officer appears; there seems to be no causal connection between these events, and we suggest the bell might not be working. 'Oh,' he says off-handedly. 'Someone must have switched it off.'

In another ten minutes or so he finally returns with enough water; in another fifteen after that he comes back with writing materials, and I pass some time writing all of this down.
ecilaecila_etc on April 1st, 2007 03:38 pm (UTC)
bloody hell
0olong: newspaper0olong on April 1st, 2007 07:17 pm (UTC)
ach, it's not so bad.

mostly just boring.
Katecangetmad on April 1st, 2007 03:55 pm (UTC)
Ah, I'm actually oddly jealous - it's a couple of years since I was last banged up post-Faslane! The chewed up plastic spoons in Clydebank police station where they take the female arrestees...
0olong: curious0olong on April 1st, 2007 07:19 pm (UTC)
Heh! Our plastic spoons were pretty fresh over at Dumbarton. :)

Is it pretty consistent that the women end up at Clydebank then? Nobody seemed to have any clue in advance where we would end up...
Katecangetmad on April 1st, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
I think it was Clydebank both times. Now you're making me doubt myself!

Seriously, though, the spoons! Teethmarks in them. And the nice polis thrusting my lasagne at me with a firm "It's vegetarian and halal."
Siobhansiobhan1 on April 1st, 2007 07:03 pm (UTC)
Er, I hope you're ok? I'm a bit freaked to read you're in a police cell? Are you in jail? What happened? *confused and worried*
0olong: curious0olong on April 1st, 2007 07:19 pm (UTC)
Aw, don't worry. It was only a peaceful protest. More posts will follow making it all clear.
FilthyMacNastymomentsmusicaux on April 1st, 2007 07:20 pm (UTC)
Took me a while to figure it out too.
But I doubted that your cell had wifi, so you were obviously out.