Monday, 11 February 2013
Falling Down A Hole
FALLING DOWN A HOLE by Roger Gerald Scott
"We found ourselves in a hole I didn't dig, but I have dug, dug and dug to try to get out of that hole" - Harry Reid
"Fear of failure, fear of meeting ones own depths of feeling and the hidden side of oneself; anxiety about some form of death" - Generally accepted dream interpretations of falling into a hole, abyss or pit.
Piedras Negras prison,
Somewhere in Mexico
Dear Mum and Dad,
I'm sorry you haven’t heard from me for a long time. I expect you’ve probably been worrying like crazy, wondering where the hell I am and what’s happened to me, so I hope this letter will fill in a few of the gaps since we last met.
I've always wondered if I was a difficult and demanding child. Maybe because I just don’t remember any of my early childhood at all until, at some point, I found myself sitting at the bottom of a long, deep hole in the ground. How on earth (please pardon the pun) I got down there in that cold place is something only you two know. Did I get there by accident or did someone push me in ? Whatever the reason was, I remember vividly how you repeatedly shouted down the hole to me from above, trying desperately to get my attention, screaming at me and waving furiously. You wanted so much to help me get out of the hole: was that because you felt so guilty about pushing me down there or were you the innocent party?
It did, of course, take a long time to understand what you were trying to say to me from up there. After all I was only a child so my English vocabulary was pretty limited. It didn’t help either that it was pitch black at the bottom which meant I could barely see you at the top and the sound of your voices took ages to reach me as they bounced off the narrow tunnel walls, echoing incessantly. But eventually, through a lot of trial and error, you got me to understand that it was possible to get out of the hole by simply climbing up using my hands and feet on the thick rope you had kindly thrown down for me.
“Start climbing, make your way up, come on, you can do it! “, was the gist of what you were saying. Easy for you to say, I thought to myself, if only it were so simple! How I cried, screamed and protested as I tried in vain to climb up that hole. I failed miserably many times: trying to get a foot grip on those slippery damp walls of mud wasn't easy and sometimes I would accidentally let go of the rope and come crashing down, bruising my body all over. But in the end, I made it to the top, crawled out of the hole and collapsed onto the grassy ground.
Well, that's my version of what happened anyway. Perhaps my recollection seems a little contrived and exaggerated. I suspect you may not even remember any of this as so much time has passed under the bridge since then. I remember as I lay on the grass that I fell asleep for a little while, resting my tired body and gave myself time to readjust to my new surroundings. But when I awoke, you had vanished... you hadn't even said goodbye! I saw you running away in the far distance and managed to trace you back to your house but by the time I got there, the front door was locked. I knocked relentlessly and rang the doorbell many times, trying in vain to get you to come out. Eventually I decided to peer into one of the nearby windows.
And that's when I saw you both stark naked, laughing and shrieking with unreserved delight, jumping up and down on the sofa as you drank champagne from a champagne bottle, guzzling it greedily down your throats without a care in the world as I stood alone outside. I was so shocked: it was as if you had already completely forgotten all about me. Instead of celebrating me being free from the hole, what you were really celebrating was your new found freedom FROM me. Shocked by your gross insensitivity, I turned around in disgust and ran off, never once stopping or looking back over my shoulder. To me, you were history, best forgotten.
A few years later, I heard through the grapevine that you were asking after me and that you wanted me to get in touch. How strange! I found this very hard to believe since you didn’t miss me the day I climbed out of that hole so why would you care now? So I ignored your attempts to contact me.
But then something happened to me that changed everything. I was happily living my life without you but somehow I got myself into a few problems from which I tried very hard to run away but in doing so I fell down another bloody long dark hole. This time unfortunately it was far bigger and the sides were made of solid steel so there was no hope of climbing out this time. I became very frightened and I found myself shouting out your names constantly, hoping desperately that you would somehow appear at the top like you did all those years ago. I prayed every night that you would magically materialise into view, throw me down a rope and help me climb out again but you never came. You never showed up..
I am, unfortunately, still down here as I write this letter. Luckily, I am not alone : many others like me found themselves stuck down here as well and I've been able to share my life experiences with them. Talking about my past with others also gave me another chance to reconsider all that's happened between us and reflect on everything from another perspective. It gradually dawned on me that perhaps you would have shown up and rescued me had you known where I was but I had never bothered to let you know. I came to realise that you had had every right to celebrate my successful ascent and that , in helping me get out, you sacrificed a great deal of your lives.
So I'm hoping that this letter might be the start of a new chapter between us and that we can somehow meet up before it's too late.. My only wish is for us to have some time together and get to understand each other better. I want so much to say sorry for all the heartache I caused you both but I was young, for God’s sake, I didn’t know any better.
Your loving son, Peter xxxxxx
To Peter's Mother and Father
I am sorry to have to tell you that your son Peter recently died. When we found this letter in his cell, we felt that ensuring it reached you both was the very least we could do in view of the tragic circumstances. It wasn’t easy to find your address but fortunately we were able to track it down through a detective agency...please get in touch with your local embassy so we can sort out burial details and belongings or contact us at the address below.
We hope, in light of your tragic loss, you might find some comfort in a poem from William Penn, an English philosopher who once wrote: “They say love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies.”
May I, on behalf of the all the wardens here, offer our sincere condolences to you both.
Head Warden at Piedras Negras prison