Gary Diamond

(04-10-1984 / Portsmouth, UK)

8 Hours In A Cell


A short squad car ride later and we were there.
They parked up and led me through
a blue barred gate down into a basement level complex,
all painted white broken up by the occasional chair.

I was led to the duty sergeants desk
a heavy-set woman with thick glasses
and short, dark curly hair.

The two officers explained what had happened, she questioned me and I gave more or less the same story.
My possessions were confiscated and itemised.
I noticed for the first time how much blood had spilled onto my wallet.

They led me into another small room.
They sat me in front of a huge machine and took a few mugshots.
Then they took some swabs from the inside of my cheek.
I had been trying to keep my DNA off the government system for years,
tonight I had failed.

I’d have to remember to wear gloves
and tight suits for all those burglaries I was planning
and banks I was planning to hold up at gunpoint.

Then came the fingerprinting.
It was all electronic now, done on a form of touch sensitive screen
Some of the prints had to be re-taken three or four times.
Thats technology for you.

After that I was ushered into a single cell
and the metal door slammed shut with a menacing metallic thud.
The cell had a rock hard foam mattress covered in blue plastic
the kind that squeaks when you roll your hand along it.
There was some kind of duvet cover
but I was hot and feverish from all the beer so decided to use it as a pillow.

I noticed a blood stain on the trousers
above my left knee.

I was tired and not willing to think about anything.
I had a copy of the police procedure book
but I was too drunk to read it.
I could read single words one after the other
without remembering the words that had come before,
so I couldn’t form sentences.

I slept.

Submitted: Sunday, February 24, 2008

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