Adonis Diaries

Justice cavernes claustrophobia

Posted on: August 10, 2009

Justice cavernes claustrophobia; (August 9, 2009)


            I had been investigated by the Justice and I attended several sessions in my case.  On a Friday I visited the palace of Justice and discovered that the session had been cancelled; the case judge had decided for an extended weekend. The bailiff had returned from a shopping expedition ordered by one of his superiors. We got into conversation. The bailiff had a mind of punishing several employees for abusing of his candor for he needed the salary; I encouraged him vigorously for actions; he then felt uncomfortable for expressing overtly his inclinations and invited me to follow him to the archive section in case I was curious of what the files recorded about my case.

            I tripped on an uneven step and the bailiff said “They have no consideration for the public; it is nothing compared to the waiting room though” It was a long corridor with coarse doors opening to various sections of the administration.  The ancient cubical like offices barely received the morning light.  A few defendants or “accused” were sitting on benches, keeping distances, bending their heads, and barely looking at one another. I had the impression the accused might be beggars with their bent backs. I said to the bailiff “They must have been terribly humiliated”. The bailiff replied “Yes, they are all accused for one thing or another”.  I realized that they were my colleagues in these circumstances.

            I could not help but confronting a dignified graying man holding his hat. “What are you waiting for sir?” I said to the middle aged honorable man. The man was disconcerted by my question though he seemed to be in total control of his life outside the perimeter. He looked at his “companions” expecting a rescue gesture. The bailiff told the “accused”: “He is just asking what are you waiting for. Answer.” 

            A few defendants approached and the bailiff ordered them to disperse. They retired a little but not to their original places. The “accused” then replied hesitantly “I sent petitions a few months ago and I came to wait and see that they are taken care of”.  I said “You are taking plenty of trouble”. The man replied “Isn’t my affair?” I said: “Not many people think as you do. See, I am also a defendant. It is true that I would like to go to heaven but I had never produced any pieces of documents. Do you think that would be necessary?”  I had the impression that he didn’t believe that I was a defendant; most probably he thought that I was a judge. I barely touched his arm and he screamed as if I started to torture him. The bailiff said “Most defendants are pretty sensitive in here”. We resumed our walk in the caverns of the Justice administration.

            I entered a passage with no door and preceded the bailiff; I had to wait for him because I didn’t want to feel like a criminal being guided to the judge.  Then I felt a terrible uneasiness. I said loudly to the bailiff “I have got enough. I want to get out” The bailiff replied “You have seen nothing yet” I said vehemently “I don’t want to see everything. Show me the way out” The bailiff said “Just resume your walk and you will reach the main corridor” I almost screamed “Come with me. Show me the way” The bailiff patiently said “It is the only exit passage. I have a few errands to accomplish before I join you”.   I violently retorted “You come with me!” The bailiff said in a reproachful tone “Keep your voice down. There are plenty of employees around here.”

            A door opened, there was so many, and a young lady entered saying “How can I be of help sir?” Another well dressed man was behind her by the door. The bailiff had told me that no one would bother me around here and there I discover two individuals interested with me. I had now two bureaucrats on my hand. In no time all the employees will get hugely curious and would like to take care of me.  They will all discover that I am a simple “accused”, one of hundreds, and I had noted down the repugnance of this archival place. I could not face a high ranked bureaucrat and wanted to be out quickly.

            The lady realized that I was not feeling good and she extended a chair for me to sit down. I sat down and grabbed the arms of the chair. “You are feeling a little dizzy, aren’t you?” said the lady.  I was looking at a severe expression that ladies possess at such a young age.  The lady employee went on “Your uneasiness is very normal. It is experienced by everyone visiting this place for the first time. It is pretty humid and damp here; the air feels heavy and dense and first time visitors are not used to this atmosphere. On the second visit they get used to the climate as if taking a walk in the fresh air.  This location is certainly not appropriate to installing offices. Wait for the hectic days of full sessions and even we can barely suffer this environment.”

            I was feeling weaker and weaker, especially with so many people knowing the real cause of my discomfort and wanting to taking care of me. The lady opened a skylight for added fresh air and dirt covered us; she closed it. I was convinced that I could regain enough force to get up if they only forget about me. To exacerbate matters the lady said “You cannot stay here: you are a hindrance to circulation” There were nobody circulating and I wished these two bodies would circulate away from me. I felt far worse when the lady suggested “I am going to take you to the infirmary”.  She asked the man by the door to aid her making me stand up.  I felt heavier because I refused to stay any longer around here or in the infirmary, an annex to the place.

            I said “I can walk alone” and then I failed to even stand up. The elegant man said “The best for this guy is to be out of these offices. He will be cured in no time” and he roared with laughter. The young lady tried to excuse what she considered an impolite laughter by explaining to me who was this bloke.  She said that he is hired to aid defendants with the complex machinery of Justice and the routine procedures that they will suffer through in order to make the task of the employees of the Justice easier to handle cases and the ire of the people.  For that purpose, the employees decided that this guy should be very well dressed up to be convincing to defendants as to his knowledge.  Since the department lacks the finances to buy him a decent suit then the employees made a collect for that purpose.

            To make my long claustrophobic predicament story short, the lady and the elegant guy helped me out to fresh air and out of the cavernous building by holding my arms tightly. I was cured instantly.  The funny part was that the two employees felt a wave of discomfort by the sudden surge of fresh air and they quickly shut the door close behind me


Note: This topic was extracted from “The Trial” by Franz Kafka.  I used the first person for effect.

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August 2009

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