"I look outside from my window for hours every day"
She tells me sitting in front of me holding the phone while a thick glass is separating us.
We are sitting on cold metal chairs in the visting area for women prisoners. It's shaped like a kiosk, dark and uninviting.
She continues, "I see this mother hawk who is teaching her chicks how to fly".
I mostly listen when I come to visit her.
"Or maybe she teaching them how to hunt doves"
She's doing 1 year and 6 months has already passed.
"I see humming birds, and they are so amazing, the way they fly. They can fly upward like a helicopter". Her face lightens up with a sense of amusement.
She has a faint makeup on and looks good.
"Nobody else can see what I can see from my cell"
I can hear a little girl's cry form the kiosk next to us. They've come to visit the father, three of them two little girls and their mother. The mother is young and around 30 years old. I had seen them in the waiting area. We had to walk for almost a quarter of mile to reach the actual visiting room. The little one had a leather jacket on and hardly 4 years old. I can hear her crying and repeating "Daddy, daddy.."
I turn my attention back to 'my inmate' sitting across me behind the glass. She starts complaining about the dusty pulloted air that comes in through the vents inside her cell:
"It's made of old rusty metal or iron, it constantly blows in dust 24 hours a day, nonstop. The other day, I climbed up my desk to take a close up look inside the vent and I saw mold stuck to each little sqaure that make up the vent."
And then, she stands up and takes 3 steps and says "This is the width of my cell.." She takes three and half steps in a different direction and continues: "this is the lenght of my room, that's it,". She looks at me as to see my reaction and sits down picking up the phone again.
I could hear her without it too. She continues: "I used to sit in my cell and cry."
Driving back home I think about the people who are locked up for all kind of reasons, be it petty, nonviolent crimes or political reasons.
I think about all these Iranian lawyers, intellectuals, students, activists who are being locked up. I think about the "undocumented" immigrants in U.S. who are rounded up and sent to jails away from the rest of their family.
How tough is that?
When I reach home I read about this thirty years old Palestinian gas station
attendant with two kids who was arrested a few days ago and had died under torture in Israel, thousands of Palestinian political prisoners are on hunger strike now.
How hard is it to be locked up in a small cell for days, months, years?
How tough is it for the families of prisoners, the wives, husbands, kids?
These questions repeat themselves each time that I come to visit her.