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These WALLS are funny

Remember Brooks, that old-timer in Shawshank.

After 50 years, he finally came up for parole. Except he didn’t want to go. Even put a knife to his friend’s neck, just so they’d let him stay. He didn’t do it.

So one day he had to leave. He set his crow, Jake, free through the bars in the library window.

Outside, everything had changed. Automobiles everywhere.

The parole board got him a room in a halfway house and a job bagging groceries at the Food-Way. He tried his best, but his hands hurt all the time and he reckoned the manager didn’t like him.

Sometimes after work he fed the birds in the park, wondering if Jake might turn up to say hello.

He often woke up during the night scared, not knowing where he was. Maybe, he thought, he should get himself a gun and rob the grocery store. Then they’d send him home.

So he decided not to stay. He was tired of being afraid all the time. He carved ‘BROOKS WAS HERE’ on the ceiling beam in his room. Then he rocked the table he was balancing on until it fell over.

It was like that guy Red said, you know, the one who looked like Nelson Mandela.

“In here he’s an important man, he’s an educated man. Outside, he’s nothing. Just a used-up con with arthritis in both hands.”

“I’m telling you, these walls are funny. First you hate ‘em. Then you get used to ‘em. Enough times passes, you get so you depend on them.”

Institutionalised. Can happen to anyone if they’re locked up long enough.


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