Monday, March 6, 2017
The Diary of Mitch R. Singer
Wasting some time at the Ministry of Truth
The line stretches for hundreds of yards. People, all sorts of people, stand and wait for their turn. Hotdogs stuffed into security uniforms patrol the lobby, their eyes full of suspicion and low-intelligence. I stand with the rest and test my patience. It pays to be patient, said a man who never waited in a government line. Finally I reach the teller. "Present your prospective truth," she says, with about as much emotion as a rock. I show her the question. She looks long and hard at it before finally handing it back to me. "What is this?" she asks. The questions asks "Am I a human being?" "Well," I say, folding the piece of paper and putting it in my pocket. "Is it true?" One of the sausages moves behind me. "You are the arbiters of truth. Surely you must know!" I say. A hand takes me firmly by the shoulder. "Come with me, sir," says the creature. I know the woman behind the desk has the answer. I plead with them as they drag me to the dungeon for questioning. The questions they ask down there, of course, have no answers. When I emerge I will be white, pure, and clean like an immaculate piece of soap. Did you know that you can use fat to make soap? The golden truth is that I do not know anything besides what they tell me, what they approve. Still, I know I will be back with the same piece of paper. It might take months, years, decades. But I will be back.
Watching approved television, alone in my flat
He comes on the screen, orange-skinned, mouth-agape, the strands of his hair defying gravity as though they sense an opportunity to escape. He is impossibly old--it's a miracle, really, what they are able to accomplish using medical science and computer graphics technology. Some say that he is convalescent in a secret nursing home, using his eyelids to communicate. I don't know about that theory. I think he's alive, living out of malice, utilizing his hate and unrelenting narcissism to extend life far beyond what is normal. The world I live in--he created its sun-drenched streets, its interment camps, the smoking ruin where California used to be. When I look at him, I can't tell you what hate means. Perhaps that is his greatest victory.
At a restaurant, trying to enjoy my meal.
I order steak because it's the only thing on the menu. The waiter presents a charbroiled piece of fat and slaps it on my plate like I'm being punished. I am really--you can only call it a steak in the loosest sense of the word. Catsup is the only offered condiment. The steaks only come well-done. My theory is that it's because they never had any blood in them in the first place. I stare at a patch of peeling plaster as I shovel the "meat" into my mouth. "Thank you, Supreme Leader," I say in between every mouthful. I make sure everyone hears me say it.