Thursday, March 12, 2009


I denounced I today. They needed a name, and his was the first that came to mind. I’d been seen stooping to pet a cat, and this was reported as an act of Reakshunary Sentimentality. The ideal worker does not waste effort on inessentials. I managed to explain this away as an examination of the cat’s collar, a Misaplikashun of Karbun, so that I could report it.

When asked why I had not turned in such a report, I said that it hadn’t been a collar after all, but the remnant of a noose; some child had attempted to hang the beast, but it evidently had thrashed about so violently that the string broke. Cat hanging is a common childhood game, good preparation for adult responsibility, so I was believed. Indeed, it was a noose. But I was petting the cat. It was mostly bones, and only hunger could have allowed it to trust me as far as it did. I’d been giving it a bit of FauxBrie Green from my pocket. Fortunately the informant hadn’t been close enough to see this. I'd have said I was testing a hypothesis, on the viability of using vermin to dispose of refuse. I'd say I was going to submit the observations for note-publication in the Soshul Hope & Efishunsy Reader.

But explanations are not appeasement. Investigations and detentions expend resources, and the cost has to be made up somehow. So I gave them I. They will arrest him, if they haven't already. There’s nothing I could have done about it. These things happen. The boardreview will not be severe, I expect, because I will give up the first name that comes to his mind, as I did with I. There’s no malice in it. It’s just a way of getting along. I expect there will be hardly any bruising and no broken bones at all. I is smart.

If they ever found out that I did pet the cat, it would be the end of me. Off to the Reforestashon Kamps, and I'm too old to survive that. I know someone who came back from one. He spent 17 years there. He’d owned a fingernail clippers, which were outlawed as Seksist & Homofobik. Of course he never talked about it, where he could be heard. But he fell asleep once standing in the water line, and he was mumbling about digging for worms to eat.

I said I’d heard I humming a banned song. Well, it was true. Once I’d given his name, I had to think of something to accuse him for, and this was at least true. Sometimes I feel like a motherless child. I used to sing that to my son, before it mattered. Hope that doesn’t get him in trouble someday. I’m not worried about myself -- the cat mistake is the first one I’ve made in literally years. Not everyone is as careful as I am though.

Sometimes I wonder what the meaning of life is. The lesson for the kids today was how perfectly O loves all children. And we must love him perfectly too. I drilled the kids on it. Do you ever doubt how much he loves you? No, they all replied in chorus. Never? Never, they replied. Do you doubt the sun when it shines? No. Do you doubt that gravity holds you to the earth? No. Do you doubt the perfection of O's love for all children? No. Very good, children. Always remember this lesson. Always give those examples, the sun and the earth and O in the middle, if someone asks you if you doubt the love of O, or the perfection of the United State, or the beauty of The Chanje.

For the older kids I asked, Do you love O perfectly? Yes. How can you love him perfectly? Are you as perfect as he is? They didn't know how to answer that. I fed it to them. How can his perfect love not call out of ourselves love as perfect? It is not our own love, it is his love, given to us, reflected back to him. Yes, we love O perfectly. There is no imperfect love for O. Reprehensibles do not love him at all. Everyone else must love him perfectly. I drilled them until they learned it. It may save their lives, someday.

That’s the meaning of life. Teaching children how to stay alive. If they have to denounce a playmate to do it, then that’s just the order of things. Never deny, I try to teach them. Denials just mean you think The Chanje is wrong. Agree, and reframe. Add a detail that shifts the meaning. Always look at the bridge of the nose, and never smile.

I haven't heard yet about I. If he makes it, he'll be around by Sunday.


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