Trapped by the system

Lostness  (9)

 

He sat in a hard plastic chair. The room had doors on each side. One way led to offices, unseen by the public. Another to a waiting area.

He had been summoned here, but not told why.

A man entered, leafing through a large file. He spoke without eye-contact.

“I asked you to attend to inform you of the decision of the Commission.”

Who were the Commission, he wondered. What did they know about him?

“As empowered by the Act of 1976, section 25, it has been decided that, in view of your persistent and wilful inability to obtain suitable employment: you should be charged with failure to maintain yourself. Which carries a possible penalty of a fine and/or a period of imprisonment, not exceeding three months.”

So the state would have its revenge against an offence of nonconformity. He must grovel before the dismal god of work?

What to do next?

He wanted to be a writer or artist, but could not see the path forward. Some way beyond his current isolation and depression. A critical inner voice undermined such hopes. With fear that any feelings of potential were just another illusion.

 

(15/12/1978)

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