After the 4.30 p.m. tea, which is what dinner is euphemistically called in Pentonville, the countdown begins. As the hour before midnight approaches, the noise level becomes intolerable. Unlike Christmas Eve, which everyone tried to ignore, New Year’s Eve is an opportunity for every con to scream his lungs out. Most of the yelling is racially motivated, and extremely lewd. But at least it keeps me from thinking about past eves. One thing does cross my mind, however, and makes me smile to myself. Tomorrow will be the first time in exactly twenty-eight years that I shall wake up on New Year’s Day without a terrible hangover.
Taki, Nothing to Declare (87)