Cold Freedom


(Martin Addison [CC / Flickr])

You want to know why I was waving a knife around in that shop? It’s a fair question, constable, so I’ll give you a fair answer. It was because there wouldn’t be no kids in a booze shop. They might’ve got upset.

I know you don’t understand. You’re still wondering why I didn’t at least try to nick anything, so you won’t catch up with that yet.

All right, I’ll try to explain.

I went straight from foster care to prison.

Don’t roll your eyes, I’m not feeding you a sob story. I know it’s not gonna stop you charging me. I’m explaining, like I said I would.

No one told me I’d best stop snatching phones when I turned eighteen. I’d done a couple of stretches as a young offender, which meant I had a record when I was charged as an adult and, well, you know what happens next.

I spent the next year and a half counting the days. I couldn’t wait to be free. No more bars, I thought, no more walls.

Then the day came and out I went.


But free to do what?

How’d you get a job when your address is wherever you haven’t been moved on from by you lot? How d’you fill in the forms for a council house when you can’t read half the words in the questions?

I didn’t take me long to learn something about freedom: it’s cold.

We’re off the record, right? I don’t want my brief hearing this. He might get my sentence suspended.

That’s right, I wasn’t gonna hurt no one. I’m just tired of freedom. I want a dry blanket and a hot meal.

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

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