3:30am: wake up!
Loud speakers in the hallways.
They lock the doors during the night.
10 minutes after the speakers scream, the doors spring open.
A grumpy guard yells at everyone to get ready.
I’m exempt today for more admin stuff.
The guys have told me about the work they do.
Every weekday morning they are driven by bus to a huge factory.
Stupid, boring piece work for furniture parts with eccentric shaft presses.
The doctor looks at my wrist again and tells the guard that I can work next week.
They explain the ‘commercial side’ of things to me:
You work, you get money, you can shop.
Play-money that is.
The ‘shop’ doesn’t deserve the name.
Cheap hygiene stuff, tea and dry cookies.
And cigarettes of course.
I’m at 3 packs a day by now.
Black tobacco, without filter.
Spending my last real cash on 20 packs.
That’ll hold me over into next week.
I might work for the smoke only.