So I’m in Romania now with Tio and his family :). I had to leave Spain (again) because by law, I can’t stay there for more than 3 months at a time. It’s funny because I didn’t break any laws or hurt anybody, I haven’t done anything wrong, but because I don’t have a piece of paper that “proves” that I am an “official member” of the “European” tribe, I have to leave. If I try to stay longer than my allowed time, I would have no rights to work, no healthcare, and even if I never do anything “illegal,” I could be “caught” living in this tribe without “permission” and I could be deported.
Welcome to Prison Earth. If you’re a very well-behaved inmate, you might not even realize that you’re locked up. If you never try to step outside, if you never question the guards or the other prisoners, and you do as they all do- work, work, work- slave your life away, and take “vacations” only when they let you, for as long as they let you- you might never even question the prison. You might be numb to it, quietly existing, working in the system, perhaps drinking or taking pills to cope with the lack of meaning in your imprisoned life.
I hope you’re not like that. I hope you question, and take a step outside, at least with your own mind.
I’d like to tell you a story, but this one won’t have an ending because it’s still unfolding:
I’ve spent my whole life in Prison Earth. I was born in jail cell R, but immigrated to jail cell U in 1997.
It wasn’t easy to make the move between the two prison cells because all the cells in the prison have very strict rules about who can enter and exit each cell and for how long. The walls between each prison cell are strictly patrolled by guards and it’s almost impossible to leave your own cell without granted permission. To be granted permission to leave your cell, you first need to get a small booklet that has your details written on it: your name, date of birth, inmate number, which prison cell you come from, where you were born, etc. Most prisoners can leave their cells by showing this booklet to the guards, but some cells have rules that don’t let their inmates out without special permission. Before 1992, my birth cell would not allow us to go in and out of the cell without special permission, but now they do.
For most prisoners, getting out of their own jail cell is the easy part, the harder part is entering into a new cell. You see, there is no “free” or “common-area” in the prison. The entire prison is strictly divided into jail cells, and each cell has it’s own rules that you have to follow. The booklet that I told you about dictates which cells you can enter and for how long.
Some cells are pretty nice and even provide healthcare and education for their inmates, some are really bad, where people suffer, slave in awful conditions, and barely earn enough to eat. If you’re born in a good jail cell, like the ones in Area E, you’re quite lucky not only because you’ll have access to healthcare and some good services, but also because you can leave your jail cell and temporarily enter many other cells just by showing your booklet to the guards. Of course, if the guard doesn’t like you for whatever reason, he can refuse you entry even if you come from a “good” cell. That’s happened to me.
If you’re born in one of the bad prison cells, you’re unlucky because it will be very difficult for you to leave or to improve that cell. Most likely, you’ll be very poor and the prison guards won’t let you into the good cells without special permission. To get special permission, it can be very difficult. Not only do you need to show them the booklet, but you also need to show the guards a special stamp called a “visa” that you can only get from the “authorities.” To get this stamp, you either have to have a lot of money, you have to sign into a contract to be a devoted slave for a company in the good jail cell (that will only happen if you’re very skilled), or perhaps if you perform a ritual called “marriage” with someone from that jail cell. Performing this ritual can be difficult as well, due to the complications of getting in and out of the cells, and due to all of the documents required for the ritual to be considered “official” by the authorities. Once you have the documents and the stamp, the guards can still refuse you entry into their cell if they feel like it.
Back in 1997, jail cell R was a bit rough, it wasn’t the worst cell in the prison, but it wasn’t exactly safe either. Cell U was considered to be much better, so my father entered into a slave-contract in that cell so that my mother, brother and I could move there. Later, my mother also had to become a full time slave so that we could stay in cell U permanently. After many years of living in prison cell U, I was able to obtain a new booklet from them. This was great because the jail cell U booklet is one of the best that you can get from the prison- not only does it allow you to live in cell U, where you can slave for a pretty high wage, but it also gives you a great amount of freedom to go from prison cell to prison cell. That’s because many of the other prison cells “respect” (or fear) cell U and allow its inmates to temporarily enter their cells without that pesky stamp.
So once I got this booklet, I used it a lot, I’ve been to about 35 prison cells in the last 10 years. I followed all the laws of each prison cell, entering only when I was allowed in, and exiting when my time was up. Every prison cell has its own rules about how long you can stay, some only let me stay for one month or less, some for three months, and a very few let me stay a whole 6 months. Sometimes you can stay for your allowed time, then leave and come back straight away, sometimes you have to leave for three months or longer before you can re-enter. The guards only watch over their own prison cells, so they don’t care which jail cell you go to next, so long as you leave their cell before your time is up.
I kept on moving from one cell to another, to another, without consistently coming back to cell U for slavery, but most prisoners spend their entire lives slaving in their designated jail cell and only visit other prison cells for short “vacations” or “business trips.” The prison has more than enough food and necessities to feed, clothe and house all of its prisoners, but since this is a prison, everyone, including the guards, are forced to slave for their needs and wants. If you don’t slave, then you won’t eat. Maybe you’ll beg for food or money, or you’ll starve to death, even in the “good” cells.
I’m forced to slave sometimes, so I can feed myself, but I try to keep that slavery to a minimum. I slave for as short a time as possible, only when I really have to, then I leave to explore the prison cells that I have access to. Sometimes I try to tell the other prisoners what’s going on, and that none of this makes sense, but most don’t get it. They’ve been trapped in this prison for so long that they think that that’s the best way to organize people- to lock each other up, treat each other unequally- by their assigned booklet, and to force each other to slave. Millions of inmates starve to death every year, yet the prison throws away almost half of the food that it produces. There are 100 million inmates sleeping on the ground, yet the prison has over 100 million empty beds. Many things are trashed and wasted.
After years of traveling from one cell to another, I ended up in jail cell E-S, where I met a group of people that understood this dilemma. I had a fantastic time with these people- we explored the cell, bonded and shared many ideas. We were excited and passionate about understanding the prison, the world outside of the prison, and our own existence in relation to the prison and the world. We felt that we were humans, and that we shouldn’t be imprisoned by our own selves.
Unfortunately, my friends and I are powerless against the guards and the other inmates, and according to the rules of jail cell E-S, I have to leave that cell for 90 days out of each 180 days. I’ve done that twice so far and am afraid that if I keep on going in and out of jail cell E-S, the prison guards might get suspicious and deny me entry (that happened to me once already with cell A). It’s also a pain in the ass to have to leave the place you want to live in and person you want to be with for a whole three months, every three months, and to have no working rights or healthcare. So this week, I came to jail cell E-R to try to settle this problem. Let’s see if it works.