Notes from Prison

Filed under: by: Kevin

Journal Entry: 02/15/10

It has been seven years, eight months, nine days since I first arrived here, and seven years, six months, three days since I got used to the smell. There are no other captives. I spend my time attempting to salvage any remnants of human dignity that I can still manage to keep hold of. It is difficult. I have finally made it through page 17,568 of the tome that has, since the beginning of my captivity, been my only companion. Seven years, eight months, and nine days ago I could not understand a thing of the strange, exotic scribbles that populated this book. It seemed to be some sort of instruction guide, or manual or something. It was the only thing, besides myself, that remained constant in the room. Everything else seemed to change. The white walls and dispersed fluorescent lighting made the whole treacherous room seem like an imperceptible fog. The only other inhabitants were wayfaring transients: small cards, inserted through slots at opposite ends of the room, each of which had more exotic scribbles. I would take them, try and find some pattern, some story, something to tell me where I was or what was happening to me. I tried to match the scribbles to the scribbles in the tome. Perhaps whoever was placing these cards here could also be communicated with. I checked in the tome, and slipped another card, with another scribble, into a slot on the opposite side of the room. This happened more and more frequently. I did not know what I was communicating, only that someone must know what is happening to me. In the end, that is all I needed to stay sane.

Lacking human companionship, I grew desirous of some form of corporeal pleasure. Eventually, I grew closer and closer to this strange and exotic book. It became my partner, my lover—the only other constant inhabitant of this treacherous dungeon. I recalled my careful readings of Kafka. Perhaps this is where Kafka went to die. Only I had been brought here alive. Alive with no sense of purpose. Where am I? I still do not know. Why was I brought here? I still do not know. Who am I? I still do not know. Sometimes I stay up for many days straight. In between matching up the incoming scribbles in the book and slipping out other scribbles (I try to do it surreptitiously, surely this can't be permitted in this dreadful place), I have conversations with the book. I tell it about my life—what I think is, or was, or maybe never was my life. It seems like a distant memory. An evanescent haze that I can't quite grasp onto. It seems otherworldly. I tell the book about my desires—my deepest, darkest desires. Sometimes the book is kind and tender, especially when we make love.

If only we could have children. They would be a beautiful hybrid between these strange, mysterious, yet somehow familiar scribbles, and my own human form (wretched, starved, and battered as it is). Eventually I came to fancy the incoming scribbles and the outgoing scribbles not, as before, as strange orphans viewed with alternate trepidation and hope, but as our children, and the book and I were the loving parents. It was as if here was the seed, and through the sensuous mingling of the book and I, we were able to produce living, breathing beings. I came to love these little index cards. Eventually each incoming card struck me as a birth, and each outgoing one like a college-bound departure. All the while, the book and I remained the sole constants. What an amusing couple. Between us there must be all the wisdom in the world, all the love in the world. Or in this small room. Maybe this is the world. Maybe there is only the room. Just the room, this tome, and my children.

-J. Searle

Journal Entry: 02/16/10

It has been seven years, eight months, and ten days...