Getting into Prison
So I find myself in a quandry.
I need to write the scene where the fellow comes out of prison. It’ll be a moving scene – he thinks he’s alone, he can’t go back, he doesn’t know how to go forward, he isn’t exactly sure where he is at the minute ( you’re not the only one, sweetheart, trust me...). It sounds easy.
It’s not. In my varied career I have been a waitress, barmaid, chambermaid, dutch bulb packer, horticultural shop assistant, teacher, catechist, public speaker and writer. I’ve been in all sorts of obscure places but never, in jail.
And for the first time in my life, that’s a pity.
To be a good writer you have to have A-U-T-H-E-N-T-I-C-I-T-Y. The only person I’ve even seen coming out of jail was Clint Eastwood and that was not at all suitable. It was dry, dusty and you could hear the crickets whirrupping. There are no crickets in Dublin, even on a good day. Hence the quandry.
Well, thank God for AA ads. You know the one: person in trouble asks if friend can help, friend says, ‘No, but I know a fellow who can…’ and next thing there’s the AA man. He can and he does. That’s what sprang to mind this morning. I scoured Google for prisons in Ireland and eventually rang one. The chap at the end of the phone said, ‘A writer, that’s a good one. And you need information…let me think now…’ and he pressed buttons. ‘Right,’ he said, ‘I know the very woman, hold on.’ The phone was silent for a minute then a woman’s voice asked what I wanted. I told her. I expected that she would be too busy, not in a position to give out such information but no, she said, ‘Have you email? Send me all the questions and I’ll get the Governor to answer them and get back to you. Will that be okay?’
Would that be okay?
The AA would be proud of her.
Surrey Life Magazine is proud of me and of my good friend, Meg Gardiner. Here’s the link