What about tapping on the walls?
Imagine a 5 x 5 square numbered 1 to 5 horizontally along the top and vertically down the left side. Picture the letters of the alphabet running in order across each row with the letters C and K occupying the same space on the first row in the third square. Hold this image in your mind because if you are imprisoned in this place, there is no way to write anything down.
The “Hanoi Hilton” wouldn’t get even a 1-star rating today, and thankfully it’s not taking reservations any longer. It’s the infamous house of horrors that took in downed pilots captured during the Vietnam War and tried to break them more—both in body and spirit. The prisoners lived in abysmal conditions, often in isolation, sometimes with a cellmate. They were often ill and frequently tortured. Communication with prisoners in other cells was forbidden and subject to severe punishment. In order to “talk” to each other, they used a simple tap code that newcomers could easily learn.
Chances are most of us will never find ourselves in a Hanoi Hilton. But there are many kinds of prisons. What did the POWs tap? How did they maintain their mental health? Follow me to Tweetspeak Poetry. I’m talking about it there.