[tahy-tey-nee-uh-n]: Sia recorded a demo guide vocal, which she sent first of all to Katy Perry, but the California Gurls singer turned it down because it was too similar in theme to her hit “Firework.” After trying several other artists, Mary J. Blige finally recorded the song, but her version leaked online in July 2011, so Guetta decided to stick with Sia’s original.

 

The House That God Has Forgotten Part 27: We live and we die.

I got some sad new yesterday. My step mother of 36 years has terminal lung cancer. It makes me reflect a lot, my wife is a cancer survivor and so was my mother… both breast cancer.

I wish I could sit here and tell you that I do not think about it. I of course think about it. Anyone would. We are all mortal. We all die, and some die even in The House That God Has Forgotten.

People die of natural causes, and people die on the inside. It is the inside that kills everyone. It is that feeling of hopefulness we all feel in the morning while walking through that metal detector every morning.

Each ride up the elevator. Each time we open that weapon safe. Each time we put that baton and pepper spray on our belt, we die a little.

We have forgotten the quiet ones that lie in their cells that have lost all hopefulness. Instead we call them good prisoners because they leave us alone while we have to take care of the ones that take all the energy out of us.

I watch you. I watch you stand around that little door inside the cell door trying to talk down the man who has just thrown his food and is pounding on the way. I watch you realise there is nothing you can do but leave him there screaming because he won’t listen to what you are staying.

Instead he paces up and down on cornflakes that are now formed into powder on the floor.

They ring on the port telephone a million times and they do it just to yell.

They are alone, and like a small child they want all of your attention.

That quiet guy down the floor never pushes that call button, and never asks for anything. He just sits there in the darkness, crying himself to sleep.

I watch you as you wish you could do something for him, but you can’t. There is never enough time there is only 10 hours of your shift at The HouseGod Has Forgotten.

I watch you as you hear that man crying all the time. He hit his wife and they usually do that you know. “I am innocent!” they say over and over again, but you have seen the pictures. You know it is true.

He bombs you with papers as you try to get your job done. A paper requesting a pen. A paper wanting slippers and another for paper so he can report you for nothing you have done.

You tell him your own name a million times so he can write it down.

The food was cold.

You looked at him with a tired expression in your eyes.

You never do anything right.

You open the cell door and the man always does the same. His back facing to the wall in a curled up position. You wish you could do something, but you only have 10 hours in The House That God Has Forgotten.

They yell and scream down the corridor. There is never a moment of silence. They stay up all night screaming, calling the night guards “whores” and telling them they are going to “fuck their mothers”.

I watch you as they are awake. Their drama and intrigue that fills their half of the corridor everyday. The look on your face when you know that today is going to be a long day working with teenager that sit in the jail and are out in the open.

They throw punches in the gym, everything goes in slow motion as you push that button and beg for help. It feels like forever, and you push again and again begging for help. It’s two against 14 and you do not have a chance against it.

On the other side of the hallway there sits a guy at his desk writing a letter to his mother trying to help her feel better.

“It’s not your fault, I am doing ok.” he writes, but he himself can barely write. Not because he is sad, but because he never learned.

He sits there frustrated as he tries to formulate the words to ease his mothers pain.

You open the door to his cell while he is up at the promenade. Screaming and holding his mask so no one will know the fear in his eyes.

You find the unfinished letters and paper in the trashcan. You wish you could teach him how to write to his mother and tell her he is ok; but you only have a 10 hour shift in The House That God Has Forgotten.

I watch you as you spend one day with the prisoners out in the open and the next day with them locked in their cells on the other side. You do not know what to expect where you will be working that day. Sure you have guard lists, but they always change. Nothing is ever permanent in The House That God Has Forgotten.

Today you will run between both sides of the floor. Administration tour. Covering over lunches and being there to help. Help with handing out dinner to those locked in their cells, help to search before promenade on the other side. You run and you run.

Papers here, papers there. Go get the mail. Fax this. Your day never ends. You pick up medicine, you return medicine. You run.

You never have time to look up from your papers or medicine dose holders to notice him, but you see him out the corner of your eye. He moves a little slower down the hall. He sits alone when the other prisoners run around and talk to each other. He hides in his room, and you see that he does not want to be there.

“We need the space for the restriction floors” is what you would hear as you suggest that maybe they should move him.

“He has to ask to ask for it himself in order to be moved,” is the answer you receive when you talk about the situation.

He is not brave enough. So he sits and waits until he is the last one to get his food, the last one to get the ill fitting jacket at promenade. He lives for the scraps.

You wish you could sit him down alone and explain to him that he can move away and does not deserve to be treated like this. You only have 10 hours on your shift at The House God Has Forgotten.

I watch you as you never get to escape. You are surrounded my prisoners all day. The yelling the questions.

“Have you fixed this?” says one guy that follows you up and down the hall until he gets an answer.

Another comes to you: “Have you checked about my…” and follows you until you give him an answer.

“I am working on it.” you say to both men as your head flies into a whirlwind of having to keep track of what twenty-four men want and need.

You always see that guy sitting at the table all alone. No one can speak his language and he is the loneliest man surrounded by other at that second. No one to talk to, no one to give him answers to his questions when all he wants is to know how to get a new pair of pants because his are too big.

You wish you had time to sit and try to translate with your hands and smiles, but you only have a 10 hour shift in The House That God Has Forgotten.

I see you with the towel in the corridor. Someone has urinated, thrown water or has done both on his cell door. The smell of ammonia fills the air as you walk down the hall as he screams and yells at you.  He has reached the end of the line and all he can do is behave and wait to be moved to a better room again.

Down the hall sits a man over his bead throwing up over a plastic grey trash can. He cannot make it to the toilet, he is too sick to do it. A year of pressing that cold needle in his arm is getting its payback by sitting in a room quitting cold turkey.

Sure they give him medicine, but it never is strong enough to stop the pain.

He shakes. One second it is cold and the next it is burning up. He cannot eat and can nevr make it to the shower door.

He gets lost and forgotten because the guy down the hall started throwing his shit at the door. You wish you had ore time, but your shift at The House That God Has Forgotten is only 10 hours.

No one sees me, but I watch you. I watch you come in the morning with sleep in your eyes and the screaming look on your face longing for that first taste of bitter state made coffee.

You put your things on plastic trays, you show your phones to me in front of a glass window. You go through the motions.

No one sees me open doors as you stand there impatiently waiting after less than 5 seconds.  You do not see me when the same elevator is requested by 4 people or that the screen is filled with blue little dots wanting some from me.

You do not see this, but I see you.

You do not see me when I am up there on the 12th floor opening elevators and doors with razor like precision. You do not see how I do not get a break, I don’t get to get up from my chair to use the bathroom and how I stress about how I need to get as much done as I can in the morning so that everyone in the afternoon gets home on time.

You do not see me. I have a shift of 10 hours at The House That God Has Forgotten and you forget that we all are made of titanium.

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