Sam was released from custody last Friday. He was transported by car to his probation hostel 100s of miles away and to a town he has visited only once.
I spoke to him for the first time today on his new mobile. It’s the first time he’s been (legitimately) on the outside in 26 years. I couldn’t help but satisfy my own curiosity and ask how it felt.
(As an aside, we get on very well and laugh a lot, so he knows how curious I am. He seems genuinely pleased that someone is interested).
He referred to himself as an ‘alien’. Repeatedly. He said that he walks down the street and doesn’t recognise the cars. He has conversations with people and wonders if they think he’s an alien. I reassured him they probably didn’t, but how would I know? I wondered at how normal that feeling is for people who have spent the best part of three decades in prison.
He continues in his usual industrious way. He shared his new email address with me, which following my email, he immediately responded to.
As the next phase in our mentoring relationship begins, I’ll be exploring how I can continue to support him remotely as his mentor.