Prisons and Prisoners. Grinder. Part 5.

Контент 18+ (лексика, подробные описания сцен насилия, описание тюремной жизни и порядков)

I had many night duties. As Valery explained me, they desperately needed a doctor to cover the 'graveyard' shift. When I was a student I had had similar experience working in emergency stations at night while learning during the days. It was hard, but in the prison, it was even more difficult.

I had never been subjected to such a huge number of duties per month — I used to spend 12–14 nights in the hospital. The fact was that after working the night I then had to work all day too. It is a common practice in Russian hospitals and nobody worries about how the sleepy doctor will treat them after his night duty.

So I was able to go home only every second night and very soon got extremely tired. Valery and the other doctors saw it and they let me sleep in the staffroom every morning after my duty. So in the morning, I used to meet them and tell them about the patients and all events, then I would cover myself with a blanket, and nobody woke me up till 11 am. However even that wasn't enough to solve the problem long-term, and in two or three months I became absolutely exhausted. When I looked at the wall calendar, it seemed to me that the dates of my duties pulsated in a red colour.
In those days I used to take bass-guitar lessons and sometimes fall asleep while doing my exercises, hugging the instrument. It was so hard a time that I hovered on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Moreover, although my music lessons were cheap, my salary was so small that sometimes I didn’t have enough money to pay the teacher. “Don’t worry, — he smiled kindly, — not all things in the world are done just for money”. However, I felt awkward when he taught me absolutely for free.
So, I hadn’t enough time to meet my friends or even to sleep, and I didn't have money for my hobby, but as much as I could I helped people who didn’t have anyone to help them. How long could this humanistic motivation hold me in the hospital and how long could I live on that schedule?
On one of my duties, the guards gave me another striking lesson which convinced me how insignificant my benevolent endeavors were. They brought two prisoners into the corridor of the hospital. The guards told me nothing and forced them to face the wall with their arms outstretched. Then they put opaque bags over their heads. I saw that the prisoners were tired. I couldn’t see their faces, but noticed that they staggered and their arms sagged down the wall; they couldn't hold their position. So the guards beat them with their fists to force them to stand still.
— What are you doing and why are you here? — I demanded, outraged. — Remove the bags and let me examine them if they need in my help!
— No, they don't, — one of the guards answered with an insolent tone, — and we will finish soon.
They kept the prisoners near the wall about one hour while I in the staffroom unsuccessfully tried to find out by phone who had ordered them to do it and how to stop them. Eventually, I couldn’t stand it and came in the corridor again.
— You must stop it immediately! — I said, now hard with rage. — In my duty, you must carry out my orders in the territory of the hospital!
I think now, it was a strange scene: a young girl snarling at several massive, cocky guards with sticks and guns, dressed in body armor – it was like a tiny dog barking at a herd of rhinos. However, my unexpected pressure confused them and they took off the bags from the prisoners’ heads and took those guys down to the first floor. There were two isolators — the same rooms, dismal concrete boxes without windows and a single door with a small barred hole in it. There was only one steel bed in every room. I hadn’t seen those isolators used before.
The guards ordered the two prisoners to bring one bed from one room to other, then set the beds in front of each other, put the prisoners on the beds and fastened them with leather belts.
— They need only to rest, — the guards grinned, — but they are dangerous enough to be fastened. We are going to send them with the escort to another colony in the morning.
They left the door open. Two guards brought chairs and stayed near the door all night. Why didn’t they close that door? Did they want to listen to the prisoners’ talk? I didn’t know.
That night Alexey was on his duty too and we smoked together again.
— What is happening? — I couldn’t calm down. — Why do they do such weird things?
And he explained me. It turned out that the story was deeper than I could imagine. There was a Georgian Diaspora in the prison and it had a great influence on everything that happened here. The usual practice was that a “prison’s boss” who was also called a “thief in law” chose a boy as a prostitute for his own pleasure. They called them “the cocks”. Those boys were humiliated and raped and they couldn’t do anything to help themselves. Some of them even committed suicide. This system had been working for decades — the prison is a very conservative world. However, there would be a case now and then when something went wrong, and it was happening at this very moment; now all the prison seethed with indignation.
One “thief in law” from among the Georgians had brought his boy too close. He started to protect his partner, spent a lot of time with him and — most outrageously! — started to consult with the boy on different questions. At first, they asked their “boss”: “Please, give him up”, but he refused. Then the situation began to grow hot and the other prisoners had started to joke: “Georgians value themselves on a par with lowered cocks”! The Diaspora defiantly urged him to get rid of that boy. “Let us kill him or kill him by yourself!” — they demanded. All the Diaspora was threatened to lose their authority and strength. However “the boss” refused again. Sure, he knew very well about all the risks, but did it his own way. At first, he had had a possibility to kill the boy and save himself, but then Diaspora had decided to get rid of them both. It had only one way: to ask the guards to help them in order to preserve the stability. And now the guards were just showing all the prison including the hospital that “the order” had been restored again.
— It seems their relationship is very strong, — I muttered, — they have had to endure much. I hope in the other prison everything will be better for them.
— Don’t be so naïve, — Alexey chastised me, — they will not reach the other colony. It’s obvious that they will be killed for trying to escape. Even if they don’t try. And they know it. It's a pity that it happens so, — Alexey turned away to put out a cigarette, — I personally do not care who of them f***s whom and why. However we will continue to work here, and it would be worse if those Montague and… tell me, how they called… Capulets? …will start fighting. More people would die. But now we can get off with a little blood.
What did they talk about lying exhausted, battered, bed-bound? Could they talk with the door opened and when the guards listened? They knew that it was their last night alive. Did “the boss” regret that he didn’t refuse the boy, didn’t kill him? Maybe even that night “the boss” could say “stop”, confess and return back to his Diaspora. It would be so edifyingly for everyone in the prison, that they would let him return: “Look what happens with one who breaks the prison’s law! He’s like a beaten dog!” But he didn’t. He couldn’t save his partner and stayed with him till the last breath.
I was so impressed that a day after they were taken away I asked Valery to clarify if they had arrived at other prison.
— They didn’t, — he shook his head, — they were shot dead yesterday while trying to escape in the small railway station.
I didn’t know those men, I even didn’t see their faces. I was just a random bystander at the end of their way. However, it turned out that now I can write it and you can read. Their tragedy started behind those walls with barbed wire and their life ended in a forgotten railway station, lost in the dull forest. How much more is hidden from us because nobody speaks about it?
All those people just played a well-known scenario, which ended in death for two of them. Why did they do it? Who were the spectators? It seemed to me as a ritual saltation in front of the rasping, metal Leviathan, the spirit of the prison, that spreads through all our giant country from west to east, staring from the guards’ eyes and taking victims. What does the monster promise in return? Stability. And it is ready to grind the bones of everyone.


If you kept the small rules, you could break the big ones. (George Orwell, 1984)

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