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Joseph 'Ciao' Canto was a double lifer.
Never to be released.
Twice over which to Paul Liddell seemed rather superfluous. He was nicknamed 'Ciao' because he was always saying good-bye to people as their release dates came around.
His never to be realised.
Their freedom guaranteed at some point from this most modern, depressing Prison.
The old bloke sauntered up to Liddell. Nodded his head.
This made Liddell nervous.
He was that close to his release date and for his entire stay, 'Ciao' had always left him alone. Never once taken the time for a natter, although Paul suspected that the one and only time where a 'Heavy', a Jail 'Enforcer' had been been sent in, had been on the orders of 'Ciao'. To suss him out. To let him know who was really running this Prison.
'Ya learnt your lesson? Knowed now how to stay away from this place?' As though he was the Reservation Clerk dutifully noting the state of vacancies available within the salubrious walls.
Liddell nodded his head slowly.
'A light wallet and a heavy head.' He stated by way of explanation.
Rather cryptically expressed.
'That was it. Still can't remember the night that changed my bloody life I was so pissed. Six with a non-parole period of four. With the problem still there. In my head. I reckon that it will still be there when I get out....and I reckon that I still won't be able to handle it! Though I know that the turps won't solve it.......'
The old bloke looked over at Paul Liddell as though this gem could solve the world's problems.
Maybe it could. Maybe it couldn't.
'Ciao' Canto wasn't into the world's problems.
He'd had enough of his own so he thought.
So had Liddell.
Problems to fill up a bucket with tears so he would explain, though that wasn't it really.....just the turps and a need to drown out the sorrows of another mate taking his own life. Another of the Squad gone for no good reason that Liddell could fathom.
That's what had got him into this joint.
He figured though, that now he'd get out with a clean slate. Like a brand new baby. Or that is what Liddell hoped in any case.
The old bloke shook his head sagely. As though he knew shit from clay. If the truth be known, he couldn't care less. He was a Lifer. Never to be released. And the prison yard was his personal serfdom.
Liddell was nervous.
He'd stayed out of trouble.
Didn't get involved with the Prison politics or the ever-changing, for-ever challenged pecking order. When one of the heavies had been instructed to work him over, the Heavy reported back to Ciao with a dislocated shoulder blade. In record time. The Heavy's steroid pumped, slow-minded explanation was that he tripped down some stairs. This, so as not to lose face. From then on, the Heavy gave Liddell a wide berth.....and so did the other boys wanting to advance up the pecking order.
There was always weaker ones to pick on to gain that 'inside' reputation!
He had less then three months to go on his sentence and with good behaviour, he was likely to be out in weeks.
Liddell hadn't wasted his time inside.
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