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A normal life.

vasilis paliokostas a normal life

[...]On account of the Passover feast all the prisoners had been transferred to the prisons for which each was intended. As I would later find out, the prosecutor and the investigator had pre-decided on my pre-trial detention without observing, as they should have, the legal procedure, which stipulated that the accused must first be aware of the indictment, refute the charges if he wishes, and then any decision is made. They detained me in advance and without my knowledge, so that they could go with their families to their destination, where they would have a nice Easter holiday. Your pain, my happiness...

Thus, they intended me for the prison of Patras, but they did not make it. Due to the holidays, the prison stopped receiving prisoners.

I would necessarily spend the three days of the holidays alone in the switching room. On Easter day, a man (I think a policeman), about forty years old, was on duty, cursing his luck because he had to be on duty on such a day because of me! But when I explained to him the conspiracy that his colleagues from Trikala set up for me with the judicial officers of Patras, he suddenly forgot his own problem...

vasilis paliokostas a normal life

At four o'clock someone else arrived for the shift change...Not an hour passed when I saw him enter the shift office holding two bags in his hands. They said something to each other and then came together to the railing.

- Santa! I brought you a spit-roasted lamb from my house. And bun, he whispered conspiratorially:

I also put beers! Silence!.

I didn't have time to thank him and he took two red Easter eggs out of his pocket! He reached through the bars and handed me one.

- Come knock. Christ is risen!, he exclaimed.

More than two months later I met again in the same place...Knowing that at some point I would be called for an apology, I had prepared myself very well for escape. That would be my resounding response to their reasonable belated queries. I had a handcuff key with me and I was physically at my best. I was informed by other prisoners that the courts were nearby, two or three hundred meters from the switchboard. Most of the time the prisoners who were for the investigator and prosecutor were escorted on foot. I wouldn't let such an opportunity go to waste. At one point I heard the metallic voice of the bark.

- Paleokostaaas... Who is he?


-Come outside. Investigator...Open the door and I'm out.

vasilis paliokostas a normal life

The good man's hired servant handcuffed me (hands in front) and led me out of the offices where an acquaintance made his appearance. It was the constable who kept me company on Easter and brought me the homemade lamb! He didn't recognize me. So many go through the switchboard. I now had a two month old beard. I didn't remind him either. He would be one of my two escorts to the courts and I didn't like that at all.

- Shall we go, colleague? - Let's go...

We went down the steps and stood at the entrance to the switchboard. The constable looked at his colleague:

- Let it be, baby... I'll take him.

-Are you sure? Don't let it go.

-Where is he going? Looks like a good kid...

Another thing the younger man didn't want, he disappeared running up the escalator. We were left alone. He scanned me from top to bottom and in a fishy tone asked me:

- Why are you in?

- I don't know either! It's scanning me again...

Finally he pulls a bunch of keys from his belt, chooses this one for handcuffs, unlocks them and takes them out of my hands!

- It's not good for people to see you in handcuffs! Come on...Go ahead and I'll follow you, I hear him tell me.

vasilis paliokostas a normal life

I got freezed... My mind stopped working for a while. I was used to the generous surprises that life always had in store for me, but this is where it ended. She set me the most childish and at the same time the most honest game of hers. He shamelessly tested the insides of my soul, its quality. It brought me face to face to clash with my deeper conscious world. The man who on Easter day, finishing his shift at four o'clock, goes home and instead of sitting at the table with his family returns to the prison to give a little joy to a prisoner, he is probably a good man.

But when the same man risks his job so that the world does not see the handcuffs on the hands of the prisoner he accompanies, there is no doubt that he is an exceptional man! Did he deserve to be paid for this behavior? And from me? Without handcuffs I felt free. the Constable Attendant was unfit, physically weak. If I suddenly sprinted or disarmed to take his weapon away, he was out of luck.

vasilis paliokostas a normal life

I had prepared for escape, but unlocking the handcuffs was extremely binding for me. The entire time he walked and during the time we spent in the hallways and courthouses, my legs were waiting for the order to grow wings, but my conscience was in chains. The obvious logical counterargument was that this police officer was serving the system and the he did it his way!

And when it comes to freedom, there is no sentimentality. The stake for me was not who and what the policeman served, but whether I would treat him as he did, humanely. What would be my writing sample in this wild world that I now consciously entered knowing that there is no return. Who would I be and what would I represent? If my value code would allow me to steal the dice to achieve the desired result.

vasilis paliokostas a normal life

Through such experiences that pose extreme personal dilemmas that must be answered with actions, instantaneously, with no time credit, life has taught me to acrobat. An acrobatics between an attacker aiming to overthrow the system and a romantic rebel who refuses to overthrow his own nature. A struggle between purpose and means, who sanctifies whom. But life owed me that, after about two months it paid me back. Or I owed her and paid her back! Who knows...

vasilis paliokostas a normal life

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