27 Oct 2006
Grasshoppers Visit the Visitors
At the visitation ramada, giant grasshoppers had invaded the walls, windows, tables and fences. They remained stationary and quiet, minding their own business.
Officer Garcia, who works the visitation area, grabbed a grasshopper, displayed it to Mum and Auntie Lily, and said, “It’s tryin’ to kick me with its legs. Look at the spikes on them.”
Auntie Lily backed away, her eyes narrowing with disgust.
In the garden, on a wall built by inmates, was a sign: Every Crime Has A Victim. (The proceeds from flower sales go to victims of crime.) Behind the sign, Xena was gathering carnations, gladioli, marigolds, roses, sunflowers, tiger lilies, and zinnias, for Mum and Auntie Lily. Makeshift vases were created by cutting plastic bottles, and the bottle tops were used to hold the bouquets.
When Officer Rossini opened the gate to take the flowers from Xena, Mum started singing "Pictures of Lily" and Xena started dancing.
“I’ll dee-cide!” Frankie yelled, waving a disciplinary ticket. “Look, they gave me a major ticket for disrespectin’ staff.”
We laughed, and Mum shouted, “We’ll dee-cide,” before Frankie disappeared.
Auntie Lily waved at Weird Al (on his way to medical) with whom she had exchanged letters. “He’s handsome isn’t he? I’ve told him he can come over to England.”
“That was a very moving letter he wrote to you,” Dad said.
“I told our Sue that I’ve got an American boyfriend. They’re calling him Big Al. He’ll have to come to England to see my outdoor toilet.”
“Where am I going to live when I get out?” I asked.
“Remember when you used to do weight-training in the garage for hours?” Dad said.
“Yeah. Then I'd come out and cook myself loads of beans on toast.”
“Well, it’s not a garage anymore.”
“The garage is now an extra bedroom, with it’s own toilet and shower facilities, TV, DVD player, telephone, all mod cons. It’s decorated in a Japanese style,” Mum said.
“Auntie Lily’s going to make you an orange outfit to wear, so that you’ll feel right at home.” Dad said. “We don’t want you to get psychologically unbalanced. We’ll keep you locked in for most of the day with some rec time, and feed you through the cat flap. Your visitors will be vetted. Special visits will have to be approved, and there will be a three-month application period. We’ll give you Internet access as we’re fed up of typing all these bloody blogs. We’ll hold hearings to see if you can come out of the garage. Disciplinary tickets may be handed out for inappropriate behaviour.”
“Perfect!” I said.
I won’t see my parents again until late '07 or early '08. That’s when I am expected to be released to Immigration and then sent back to the UK. Not much longer now.
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