Alcatraz and Unrequited Love

Alcatraz, before it became a popular tourist spot, was a maximum security prison. They call it the prison of prisoners. When prisoners in other prisons commit crimes while inside the prison may be sent here.

Rumors has it that prisoners in Alcatraz were used for questionable medical experiments. Others talk about guards torturing prisoners. There are also talks about inhumane conditions. Those are the supposed reasons prisoners are trying to escape and the Great Escape of 1946, where 25 prison guards got hurt, happened.

None of those are true. In fact, the prison cells are better than my childhood home (I didn't have my own room growing up). They got enough food that's approved by a nutritionist. They get proper medical attention and educational privileges.

However, It is true that Alcatraz is the the most cruel prison the US because of the location. It is located one mile away from the shore of San Francisco. From almost any point of the prison, the prisoners can see San Francisco. At times, they can also hear the noise of San Francisco.

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At night, they can see the lights of the city. It's a mile away. It doesn't take a Michael Phelps to swim that. There are no man-eating sharks or piranhas to deter your way, just a brain-deteriorating water temperature. But it's right there. San Francisco is there, the city of freedom, prosperity and beauty. It is everything they have ever wanted, right in front of their eyes and yet, they can't reach out.

They can see it but they can't have it. They can see it but they can't experience it. They can see it but they can never have it.

View from one of the gardens of Alcatraz

From the isolation area, the prisoners can see San Francisco... Everything they have known and wanted, just a mile away. It was all in front of them and yet they couldn't reach it. It was the most ruthless punishment ever bestowed to man

It's the greatest emotional torture... much like unrequited love, don't you think?

It's the helplessness that eats you up, the desire to possess but lack of opportunity or right to even try to get it.

It is nothing short of irritating really. Some of the prisoners in Alcatraz have found, as weird as it may seem, comfort in the crimes or in isolation or in the company of others who are like them. Then, they are sent to this place where they are teased with what they are missing, much like love, don't you think.

You work hard to be happy or find your place and find someone for you only to realize that you are in love with someone right in front of you, within your reach but can't have.

It is that helplessness that are "forcing" people to try and break free, I guess, to make that escape even if it means risking their life. It is the helplessness that's forcing people to try and break free from their emotion, either by being the third party or completely stealing the person from the "legal" one. They do it even if it means risking everything in their life, friendship, family, reputation.

It's the helplessness that gets you, seeing it but can't have it.


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