Friday, May 23, 2008

The Clerk

today was mad
i woke up with a sore throat
all morning swallowing
testing my throat
still sore
swallow swallow
i went to the ladies prison in ashford to see this client
swayleside its called
they keep rose west there
no one is allowed to talk to her
you get in trouble if you do
she waddles around eating chocolate and you're not allowed to even make eye-contact with her if you're new
she's the fat child-killing madonna
v.i.p bitches!
anyway this client was totally bananas
an alcoholic
who had an argument with her boyfriend over a bottle of cider
so she took a bread knife to him
sliced him up
that's the basic facts
she says it was self-defence
it's the solicitors job to try and make that look feasible
it was revenge is what it was
no one should have treated me the way he did she says
the law says that if she wanted to get away from the beatings from this guy she should have ran away
not gone into the kitchen when he'd passed out drunk in his chair
not pulled out a knife to scratch him with
as she says
scratch him?

i'm looking at the photos taken at the scene
deep wounds in his arms, his hands and face
this is the end of a long line of abuse from men
all her life ruined
she hates them
she has an extensive previous for all sorts
and i read it to her
she doesn't like authority
she has assaulted two no three policemen
i like that about her i think
we are face to face across the table
and she repeats every single thing you say even the mistakes
so if you say
'you will see your solicitor i mean your barrister at court on tuesday'
she will say
'you will see your solicitor i mean your barrister at court on tuesday?'
her voice rising
shes enjoying something
its not a traditional horror-movie evil that she possesses its more like
like this anger inside that flashes
you have to blink and refocus sometimes because looking into her face is like staring into blackness
a stare and a smile
a hole
she is the feeling of vertigo in the room
she is inducing the panic
i got so scared that i almost said to her
-listen i'm really really scared
but i couldn't
because it's not professional
and also i was scared that if i did that then something really terrible would happen
i held it down
if i'd said that and she'd laughed i dont know what would have happened
i felt trapped
so i say to her
do you remember that night
-i don't remember anything
the night you took a knife to him
-i did it in self defence, i was scared for my life
why didn't you run away?
-cos i love him
it's not normal to stab someone you love
- he was going to kill me-you weren't there
no i wasn't there
i stare at her body
it's not nice
they dress in mottled tracksuits inside
rotten pyjamas
she was pregnant at the time
she had twins in her belly it says here
i asked her what happened to them
they are burying them tomorrow she says
they died in my womb
i had to deliver them dead
she says it as if to say it's all your fault and in a way it is i think
i'm very sorry i say
i'm very sorry she says
i read her the police statements from that evening she was arrested
this police officer says that when they turned up you were naked
-when they turned up i was naked?
she's smiling
its funny
she's on side now
and the walls were covered in blood?
-the walls were covered in blood? ha ha ha ha ha
o god
is that true? i ask
and our eyes meet
we are communicating something i don't want to communicate
we both laugh and laugh
everything reverberates
her eyes and mouth and teeth and something really horrible flashes across the table
and i realised that given the chance she would kill me
i didn't think that she had a knife
it wasn't about the possiblilty of the situation
but it was enough that she would do it
that given half a chance she would stab the shit out of me
i nearly left that tiny holding cell
the ugly walls and shitty table
not that i could leave without summoning a screw
banging on the window
i held it together
she went back to repeating everything i was saying and turning it into a question
as if i was relaying to her information she had never heard
she made me write things down
its her way of gaining control
then she folds it up and puts it in her pocket
like she has taken something from you
she should not be just sentenced like a normal person
which is what they are doing
she needs to be locked away
she will kill someone
i felt certain of it today
she will start drinking again
her mother was an alcoholic
it's been handed down
and they want to treat her like a normal person
she's fit to plead they say
what the fuck does that mean?
fit to plead?
its not something for you to worry about
she does not know what's going on
she keeps asking who i am
i dont know i say.

Mike Frankel

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