Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Indignity

From here, to there. "How many worlds am I really living in?"

But what of the indignity of it? you think. A woman and a man in their late-thirties having to pay fines or be lashed with a garden hose just because the weather was nice and they wanted to take a walk together, up there in the forests above the once lovely and now obscenely polluted Caspian Sea.

The judge who sees to their case is, of course, a classic fellow, first making a stab at trapping them by saying that one of them has already confessed. When that doesn’t work, he threatens to have your friend sent to the “official doctor” to see if she has had intercourse of late. But when both defendants say they are ready for that too, the judge resorts to chiding them for their bad behavior - Do you not know that a man and woman walking together can cause all sorts of difficulties? (No, judge, we don’t.) Do you know that you may not be able to control yourself? (Your friend answers that she’s quite capable of controlling herself, that she’s neither an animal nor a slave to the hysterical desires from which his highness implies she’s suffering.) But what of your male friend? He’s a man, after all. You could be walking along and suddenly he jumps on you; what will you do then? (In the judge’s world everything begins and ends with the matter of conquest; he cannot possibly imagine that two human beings of the opposite sex who have been friends for years could simply be taking a walk outside because the weather was fine.)