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The Obverse

Updated on November 11, 2012

Vague and Yet

He was sitting somewhere, waiting. He wasn’t sure where he was, but the place was not strange. People moved by, not seeing him, and he knew he was to wait.

It seemed he’d been waiting a very long time.

He tried to look around but it was blurry, and he'd experienced this the kind of fogginess before. No one spoke at him, to him or loud enough for him to hear them.

And he kept wondering why he was waiting, then why he was kept waiting. There was nothing but an impression that he was being kept waiting as a deliberate act.

He wanted to bathe, change his clothes, eat, lie down, leave, but he had to wait. And this wasn’t the first or tenth time it was happening.

Things just weren’t clear, not that he was agitated by the lack of clarity, he was not. There was just this impression, for that was the strongest he could put it, that there was a maliciousness in forcing him to wait so long.

At some point he was traveling, but the driver was a blur. A silent blur. And the silence was the kind one didn’t try to penetrate. He let himself sit and wait without anxiety and eventually was in a room he called ‘home’.

The room was not unknown but seemed foreign somehow, as had the office. Yes, he had been at the Office. That is where he had been waiting.

He took off his clothes went into the shower. He had the image of a hand turning off the hot water. Sure enough, there was no hot water, and it was chill and he didn’t want to catch it, so quickly came out and did his ablutions with a rag, not getting the benefit of a real shower.

He dressed and realising he was hungry glanced at the plate of food that was in the microwave oven. He knew what it was and that he didn’t like it, but ate it because he was hungry.

Then he sat, in the silence.


There was something familiar and not about everything. Something that suggested he’d done all this before many times, but yet, not this way.

He decided to leave the room and find people but the people were all moving about, ignoring him, and their voices were harsh to his ears, like misfiring engines, and he returned to the room to sit and look at nothing.

There was a sense that tomorrow was going to be just like today. And he couldn’t really remember today.

He tried to go back to the moments before the waiting and again had an impression he had been insulted by his boss. He couldn’t recall what his boss looked like.

He shook his head wondering why he wasn’t feeling afraid or confused; but then again, there was the impression that this particular series of events had repeated itself so many times, only...only...there was something different...

That’s when he saw the mirror.
That is when he knew the reason why everything was j'off’.
It was a mirror image of reality.

A mirror image....

And that is when he remembered when his nephew David came to work for him.

David had been in an accident, he had suggested David’s employ. He had promised to take David to the office and take him home again.

He remembered how he would make David wait. How he would stay at the office just knowing that David could not leave, (unless he called a cab) until he dropped him home.

He remembered how he demanded silence in the office. How he refused to let people speak to him. How he controlled the sounds and that his most common advisory was ‘Too Much Talking!’

He remembered renting a room to a student who he had wanted to get rid of, so would wait until she came in to lock off the hot water.

He remembered having food prepared which he knew other members of his family didn’t like.

But these are little things.
These aren’t murders, these aren’t major sins.
He was under pressure, he had problems, he had....
taken them out of those who couldn’t fight back.

How long would he have to bear what he had inflicted on others?


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