Tales from the Past: Wretchedness and a Gun
|There is such healing mercy in underserved love.|
- Account of a Curse
- Wretchedness and a Gun
- Those Times my Psychosis Nearly Killed Me
- Fragments of a Once Broken Mind
WretchednessWhilst in the deepest throws of madness I happened to find myself in Bedford prison. Not for any criminal malfeasance, of which there was much but none in this tale, but for a civil infraction which meant that I had landed there without ever seeing the inside of a courthouse.
It was whilst there that I performed the most desperate and wretched acts of my existence this far. Although on preparing to recount the tale I have reason to be grateful that this is the worst, for there exists far worse.
I'd long, well perhaps a year or less, survived on the streets. Prior to that, in the grip of impending madness, I had been afraid to claim any benefits so although I was housed I had no money. Smoking was easy however, the nearby coach station yielded a wealth of discarded cigarettes barely smoked. I was often not the only person there of an evening gleaning and sometimes we would even acknowledge each other with a nod.
Pickings in prison are slimmer. I was put on "education", which paid if I recall correctly the princely sum of £2.30 a week. This was enough for a small pouch of pipe tobacco which if guarded jealously could last the best part of a week. But not the whole week. So for each week of the six weeks I was there, there were a few days where I was back to gleaning. But the short stubs of prison smoked roll-ups, pressed into the ground by passing feet and probably consisting of tobacco gathered the same way, does not make for good tobacco. And it made me quite ill.
Those I think were the most wretched acts of my existence so far.