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A view from my cell

Updated: Apr 24, 2021

I don’t remember where I was before I was here. I don’t know what I did to get here. All I know is how lonely my cell is. With its cold, dark, damp, and dank musty odor it provides no comfort. It has a pad somebody must have considered a mattress, it has one blanket and a sad excuse for a pillow. Even laying atop this dark olive colored and bloodstained pad I can feel the cold of the cinder blocks coming through. While one wall is cold steel stained with rust from a constant sweat, the other two are cinder blocks like the floor. It resembles a room even a dungeon would consider depressing. The fourth wall was a set of iron bars keeping me in the prison cell. I don’t know why the bars were there. With no windows or lights on at anytime, I couldn’t peer more than a few feet out of my penitentiary. I had tried to plan an escape before, but it was almost worthless. No way to break the steel, cut the iron, and most obscene, there was no lock to pick. It seemed I had this cell of endless torture built around me since birth. I had been here for many years. How long, I couldn’t tell you. With no sunset to see the days passed as fast as they could, but slowly it seemed. The food I ate was a constant white mush that showed up on a plate with a glass of water every time I awoke. I had never seen the guard or man that had put me in here. I had never known why I was entrapped. I must admit it had not taken me long to supply suicide as my only way to end this strangulation. However, there was nowhere for me to hang myself. Nothing I could open my veins with and spill some color into this cold grey room. Even attempts at running into a wall just allowed me to be awoke, bandaged, and begging for an explanation. Every time I drew on the wall with my fingernails, blood, or chipped pieces of the cinder block it had been cleaned without my knowledge. Depression was an understatement for my case. Insane would have put me in a realistic scope of sanity when I was too far out to be counted. Too far out until that day.

That day… That day I had finally seen something. As I awoke nothing seemed any different. As my time awake continued and I tried again the bend the iron bars I was blinded. It seemed as if my concentration had counteracted in a way that I had never experienced. Outside of my small wall of iron bars a light slowly started to rise and brighten whatever may be outside my cell. As hard as it was to finally see the light appear I focused on what I may see. Anything and everything I expected to see was put far out of reach when the picture came into play. My eyes slowly constructed what I found harder to believe than my own position. It was another man in a cell. His cell was much smaller. It had no cinder block or steel walls. It was a small construction of iron bars angled at ninety degrees to form a cage of sorts. As I was always clothed in old white rags that had faded to a repulsive and vile yellowish brown. He was contemporarily clothed in modern white bottoms reflecting the little light we had. His upper body was covered in a dashiki that was mostly white, but the few hints of orange and blue brought forth the only color the cells had seen in some time, maybe ever. Like me with no socks or shoes to cover the feet he would not be using it was hard to imagine why his eyes were covered. They were covered by a wrapped white rag around his head. As I tried to yell my age-old and unused vocal chords seemed to snap like ancient guitar strings. My harsh haggard voice limped over to what I saw. His head snapped in my general direction but it was slightly off skewer. My hands had never held the iron so tight. I tried to communicate as he slowly seemed to find the direction I was talking from. I had never been so excited to see somebody in such a dark place. While I was to never wish this torture upon anybody, I was glad to know I wasn’t the only one here. The small weathered and beaten young man in a pristine white founded outfit only could respond to a few of my dozens of quickly asked questions before I was put back into my own torture. I asked how long he had been here, how he got here, where he was before, who kept us here, his name, and many more. His only response was a jaggedly stated three lines.

“It seems you keep yourself here. While there may be no way out, I can now understand your pain.”

Just then out of the darkness I saw a hand of only the second person I had ever seen. It was connected to nobody as I could not glare that deep into the darkness. It was holding a black revolver with a pearled handle I could catch a glimpse of under the woman's hand. As the red painted thumbnail on the un-pigmented hand drew the hammer back the prisoner in the cages head turned to the sound. He staggered to stand as he slipped another line out into our imprisonment.

“Thank you for your help”

As the shot rang out into my cell I focused on the bright red fading into crimson as it stained his color bleached clothes. I was hoping the hand would do the same to me. I had never held such high expectations for escaping my cell. I had never wanted to look down the barrel of that god damned gun so bad. Unfortunately, I never had the chance. The hand slowly faded back into the darkness and the lights dimmed back down. As I lost sight of the blood bathed body I gained some inwardness. For having somebody describe, understand, or stand in your mind is a different kind of intimacy.

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