Over a week had passed and I still didn’t have any phone numbers added to my Pin Phone, so I had still not been able to contact anyone. I had asked without success to make a phone call to at least let someone know where I was, and had literally been told to fuck off! I was now becoming distressed, to say the least!
The only option, in desperation, I decided was to write letters, and send them out via snail mail. I couldn’t believe that in this day and age, they had still not come up with a way for inmates to communicate via internet, or at least have money sent in electronically. This had to be a deliberate extra form of punishment, because surely, if there was a system in place it would have saved the officers a lot of menial work, but no, we were stuck in the dark ages,and now I had to go on the scrounge for a pen and paper, as I’d been told to fuck off when I’d asked for those also.
Eventually Bill had come to my rescue — apparently as a remand prisoner I was allowed two stamped envelopes per week, and the prison had to provide them, by law — yet another point they had omitted to divulge! Bill also had a couple of his spare so kindly donated them to me and I spent the afternoon writing SOS letters to everyone whose address I could remember, and whom I thought might be vaguely useful in getting stuff done!
Firstly there was Tom. He and I had become quite close friends over the past few months, and he had been great support when things had started to get me down. He had always included me in his parties, and would often drop in on his way home from work for a drink or a chat. We had similar taste in clothes, and he was one of the few with whom I could sit down and have an intelligent conversation. Back in December when I had thought I was going to court almost right on Christmas eve, he had driven back from Birmingham in the middle of the night to collect my keys and formulate a plan, in case I’d been incarcerated immediately after the trial. I felt I could trust him, and of all my friends he was the most likely to be able to look after everything for me, even though he was probably the busiest.
Next Came Ed. He was bloody unreliable, sometimes immature, often a smart arse, and on occasion fucking infuriating, but I adored him. There was a vulnerability to him, and I always felt I had to look after him, and play the big brother role. For all his faults he was incredibly kind and generous to a fault, and I knew he would do whatever he could to help me. We had become good friends and spent a lot of time together and I knew that as much as I loved him, the feelings were reciprocated. He and Tom, if they worked together could absolutely sort everything out for me.
Daniel Beckman had been hanging around a lot lately as well, He had the uncanny knack of being able to sniff out a gram of crystal Meth from 100 yards, but I was under no illusion that he loved me for my drugs, under the guise of friendship. He had also been living with his father so had therefore been dependant on my place as a venue for the gang-bangs he organised far too frequently for my liking, but he owed me money, quite a lot of it, so I figured at the very least I could call in that favour!
Finally there was Hasan. He was financial lawyer who had been unemployed for the past twelve months, the details of which had been sketchy. He had always been rather unreliable socially, although recently, now one of the nouveau pouvre, he had become rather a regular fixture at my flat, obviously because I could provide him with cheap or free drugs also. He was a pretty lousy fuck, even though he had an enormous dick, but at the moment fucking was the least of my worries, and I’d reasoned that at least he had plenty of time on his hands, so I might be able to get him to chase up some of my debtors, which would help out the both of us. He could also scout around for a suitable lawyer, and chase up where all my belongings were. From where I was sitting I could almost have spit from my window into his back yard, as he lived less than a block away from the back entrance of HMP Pentonville, and although I didn’t remember his exact postcode, I did remember the street address, so I was pretty sure it would reach him.
I also took the opportunity to fire off a missive to the law firm who had represented me at the initial hearing. I was well aware that time was fleeting and I now had less than three weeks until my court date. I needed to know what would happen to the old charges which were also due to be heard on or about the same time, and at the moment I had no-one to represent me for them either. Writing these took almost the entire afternoon, but it gave me an immense sense of achievement to know that I had done something proactive, and was actually taking control of the situation.
Now I could do no more, and all that was left was to sit back and wait for one of them to reply. I had also read on a poster downstairs somewhere that there was a service called [email protected], where if you knew the inmate’s prison number and full name, you could log on to be able to email directly to them. I included the details in my letters, and hoped they would use this service, rather than relying on Royal Mail for replies. Of course I would be dependant on the post for my correspondence with them, but at least things would move a little faster in one direction at least!
Meanwhile I’d had another few slips of paper passed under the door of the cell whilst Wayne was away at his art class. It seemed I had appointments tomorrow at the Sexual Health clinic, the Dentist and the Psychologist all at the same time! When they opened the door for dinner, I took the three slips to an officer and asked them what I should do. I wondered how I could possibly attend all three at the same time. Again he looked at me as if I was mad, and in a smarmy condescending tone, told me they were all in the same place, on the same movement, so of course they were booked for the same time. That meant nothing to me, how was I supposed to have known that? I figured it would all sort itself out in the morning,and if it didn’t there wasn’t much I could do about it!
Next morning I took my slips over to the healthcare centre and presented them to the officer, who marked them off the list and told me to take a seat in the waiting room. For the next hour I sat listening to guys bragging about their cases, and comparing notes on the best ways to import cocaine from Columbia, or Venezuela which was the new fashionable supply route. They then started discussing prices, and from what they were saying, I realised that I had been paying far too much per ounce for it!
Eventually I was called in to the sexual health nurse, who was finally able to take a blood sample as my arms had settled down somewhat after 10 days drug free, and then it was back out to the waiting area to wait for another half hour before being seen by the psychologist. The guy got my back up from the start, insisting that I had been sent to him because I had learning difficulties! I wondered whether this too was meant to rile me, or whether the idiot had just been too lazy to read his case notes properly, but after talking to him for five minutes or so I realised it was the later. Some weeks later I received a letter from him telling me he thought I was suffering from anger management issues — having to deal with idiots like that it was little wonder! The dentist was very helpful, and advised me that there would be no way of having my false teeth sent in to the prison, even if Tom or the boys could find them when they finally gained access to my flat, so he took another mould for a new set, all on the NHS which was a gross waste of taxpayers money, as I already had a perfectly good set sitting on the dresser at home, however there was little I could do about it. The appointment was over in about 15 minutes and apparently the teeth would be ready in two weeks. Amazing!
Back in my cell just in time for lunch and Wayne was ecstatic. His mate hate come over and told him he would be moving to Jubilee wing that afternoon. On top of this, he was also crowing like a rooster because David Cameron had failed to get a satisfactory agreement over UK’s position in the EU, so the country was going to an in/out referendum on whether or not to stay in the European Union. He was adamant that the people would vote to leave and stick it to the establishment who had controlled everything for too long. What he had failed to take into account was the fact that the majority of those who cried injustice in this country, then usually didn’t bother to vote, so I doubted very much whether his precious referendum would have any impact at all, however as we now know, I was to be made to eat my words!
I had completed my in-cell working packs for Phoenix Futures. They had in fact been rather pedestrian in their content and I’d pretty much worked through the somewhat predictable questions in an afternoon. As I’d had no further contact with the case worker who had given them to me since our initial meeting, I approached one of the other representatives, to enquire about having them marked, as I was pretty keen to have it all completed and proof of my participation prior to attending court. Apparently my case worker was on annual leave and no-one else could assist with this until she was back, so I would just have to wait.
I also enquired about my transfer to Jubilee wing — I was damned if I was going to be trounced by Wayne, when at least I had almost had just cause to be there, but was again fobbed off with the same old story — there is a long waiting list, and I would just have to wait. Of course there was a long fucking list, when they kept transferring every Tom, Dick and Wayne in there just because they were mates with the officers!
It began to dawn on me that all of this was just a box ticking exercise. The Phoenix Futures case workers had no interest in actually helping anyone. All they were concerned with was ticking all the boxes so they got paid by the government. In actual fact if the ‘in-cell packs’ were anything to go by, the vast majority of the employees were nothing more than do-gooder social workers, with little or no knowledge of drug use or abuse at all, who were just going through the motions in order to collect their salaries at the end of the month.
Double Bubble is the third book in The Chemsex Trilogy — a series of books written by Cameron Yorke about his experience with Chemsex, addiction, and imprisonment in the UK.
We are serialising Double Bubble on Mainly Male. This is the sixth instalment in the serialisation.
We want to hear your opinion
“Why are you limping?” asked Hamish, as he met Charlie for drink after work. They met in Howl At The Moon – it was busy with the after-work crowd.
“It’s a bit embarrassing…” mumbled Charlie, taking the pint of Guinness that Hamish had bought for him.
“A fisting accident?” asked Hamish.
“Nothing like that…” dismissed Charlie. “I’ve got a new job.”
“That’s great news!” said Hamish. “Why is that embarrassing? How is this related to you limping?”
“Um… well, I’ve taken a job with Sweatbox…” explained Charlie.
“Sweatbox?” repeated Hamish. “Sweatbox in Soho? Sweatbox the sauna?”
“Yes, exactly…” nodded Charlie. “They’re renovating at the moment. They called me in for what I thought was some training before they re-opened, but it turned out that the place is still a total building site so I spent the day lugging heavy boxes up and down stairs. Obviously, I’m not really used to manual labour, so now everything hurts. Everything.”
“Back it up…” said Hamish. “What do you mean you’ve taken a job with Sweatbox? What sort of job?”
“Um, just a general kind of team-member job…” shrugged Charlie.
“What the fuck?” laughed Hamish. “Why would you take a job like that? Are you that desperate for money?”
“Pretty much…” nodded Charlie, taking a long drink from his pint of Guinness. “It’s not just that – I thought it would be good for my writing and stuff, but mostly it’s for the money.”
“You are full of surprises…” grinned Hamish. “Wait, isn’t that going to be kind of awkward if I go to Sweatbox and I see you working there?”
“Why would that be awkward?” asked Charlie.
“Because I’m going to be in a towel, about to get my rocks off, and you’re going to be swishing around with a mop and bucket!” exclaimed Hamish. “It’s going to kind of kill the vibe a bit if I know that it’s you who’s going to have to wipe up my cum.”
“When you put it like that, it is a bit awkward…” agreed Charlie. “How often do you go to Sweatbox?”
“Not that often…” shrugged Hamish. “But probably more than you might expect. When do you start?”
“Not sure, to be honest…” replied Charlie. “I think they’re hoping to have it all open by the start of February. Anyway, how was your day?”
“Not bad…” said Hamish. “I spent most of my time working on Brexit-related stuff. Then, this afternoon, I had a meeting – I guess he’s technically my client, but he feels more like my boss. Without the money I get from him, I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills.”
“He’s definitely your boss…” decided Charlie. “How did the meeting go?”
“I don’t know, it was weird…” shrugged Hamish. “He just kept saying how tired he was. How stressed he was. I’d gone in there thinking that I was pitching for more work and more money, but he just spent 30 minutes talking at me, telling me things that I already knew. After 30 minutes, he stopped, like he’d run out of things to say. So I said, is there anything else that you need from me today? And he said no. Total waste of time.”
“That’s probably how Theresa May feels…” said Charlie.
“Do not compare me to Theresa May!” declared Hamish, slapping the palm of his hand down onto the bar to emphasise the point. “Are you going to be able to get me a friends and family discount at Sweatbox?”
“I don’t know, to be honest…” shrugged Charlie. “I guess so. They give free entry if you’re under 25.”
“Are you suggesting that I could possibly pass for being younger than 25?” laughed Hamish. “You’re as delusional as Theresa May!”
This is the latest episode of the serial, Hoxton Street.
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