You will know when it exists -- Obscure journalism direct from our man on the ground.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

The Curse of Gibraltar - Jailed for crimes unknown

Flight back to London booked for Tuesday 30th October. The earliest one I could afford.

I just want to get out, to get away…

…But nothing’s ever easy.

This cursed place has tried and will try again to drag me down.

This emergency report for NecessCity is coming to you direct from Christopher Gj Cooley, straight out the pen.

Friday 26th October 2012
I started work at Celebrity Wine Bar at 11P.M. It was a Halloween costume party, a band called Jet Stream played a very long set. It was busy. The glass washer was broken. It was chaos.

When the shift ended at 6 A.M. I felt like relaxing. I had two whiskey-cokes and then left with The Boss and his associate. The last thing I remember is being at a roadside restaurant ordering food. After that I draw a complete blank, until: I’m in a Spanish fucking prison. They are asking me questions; I can’t remember what they said, or what I said. All I remember is that I wouldn’t sign any of the pieces of paper they put in front of me. Then I am taken to a cell. The seriousness of the situation begins to dawn upon me. Where is my lawyer? Can I have some water? What have I done wrong? Sheer confusion, panic and shock.

It is all a mystery when you are alone in The Cell. Conspiracy theories circulate your head. Did they take your shoelaces just to put the thought of hanging yourself into your head?

Why can’t I remember anything? I had only had a couple of drinks surely that would not have made me black-out. How long will I be in this prison? It is all very weird in here. A door made of metal bars. Tiled walls. Tiled floor. No window. No sense of time. On the white roof somebody has burnt the words ‘No no’ – one last-ditch attempt to communicate. Before The End. Before the feds come in and club you to death, just for fun.

To stay sane and remain calm I try to keep my sense of humour, but it is a task to laugh at the situation. The Messiah of all failures: Dear Grandparents, Mum, Dad, brothers and sisters “How did I start my career after university?” Imprisonment in Spain. Ha Ha, but it could all be too real. Yes you are in a jail but how is that funny? This is no joke. It could be horribly serious.

After a few hours in The Cell I’m taken to a room where a photographer tries to take my photo but for some reason he can’t seem to get the settings right on the camera and it takes him maybe 15 minutes. Then every single one of my fingerprints is taken. My hands black with ink.

Then back to The Cell. I can’t sleep: too anxious. I attempt to sing ‘Spancil Hill’ but in my distraught state I can’t remember the lyrics. Some time later I’m given ‘Fabada’: a plate of beans with two bits of black sausage and one bit of pasta floating in it. And three packets of crackers. I would have preferred a cigarette. The strange paranoia I was feeling drove me to roll up the packaging of these foul tasting foods and stash them in my sock.

Prison food.

I tried to sleep again but I couldn’t. I just lay there, trying to remember anything. Trying to make some sort of sense. I decide the only explanation can be that somebody drugged me. But why?

I bang on the bars and ask to go to the toilet. The toilet has a window and I see it is sunny outside.

Finally a lawyer arrives along with a translator. They ask me what happened.

“I finished work, went with my boss to a restaurant, then when I was walking home I was arrested.” I say, as a police officer stares at me over the desk.

“And you remember everything?” Asks the translator.

“Yes.” I lie, instinctively.

“Why am I here?” I ask.

“You were in a house that is not yours.” The translator tells me.

I am asked to sign some papers, this time they are translated and describe a court date on Monday. Suspicious terror leads me to sign them with a newly invented signature.

Then I am handed my possessions in a brown envelope: shoelaces, belt, passport, keys, a £10 note, a lighter and a packet of Marlboro gold. I am told I can leave. There are three doors and I am completely disoriented. I pick one and walk towards it until they tell me the exit is the opposite door.

Freedom. Walking the streets, the sickening taste of jail-beans haunting your mouth. The wind blows heavy and you debate with yourself whether to stop and lace your shoes or just keep going.

And you debate going to court. You could flee.

You should have asked the lawyer what the charges were. Asked her what the possible sentences might be. The best you can hope for is an incremental fine. Hopefully some clarity.

Court date.

1 comment:

  1. So ...the only honest trusting and kind folk who you met deserved to have their identities revealed ?? Shameful behaviour on your part and very offensive considering that they gave you free board and lodgings and fine food. Please do the decent thing now and remove my Sons name from your blog.