Fear. This all-pervasive fear. What’s to be done with this fear? What’s to be done with it? Excuse me, please, do you feel this fear too? No? Would you mind taking mine for a moment? Hypocrite. Hypocrite. Victim. Coward.
Let me take care of this now. Liars. Scaredy cats. Nation of slaves. What is this culture of thinkers and funkers? No trouble sleeping as long as you’ve knocked back enough news to know that hardship is nice and far away and has an exotic name.
Talk, why don’t you. Talk till you’ve agreed that we have to talk. What else can we do in this unjust world; somebody has to be right, even if it’s only you. So you vote right. You vote for the middle classes. For more money, lower taxes, and yes, that would be nice, holidays in some colony or other. You vote for foreigners go home, but only the bad ones, and for the good of the community. Community? What community is this? Can anyone explain?
You and your dithering. You and your constant guilt trips. You and your guiding culture. Come on then, guide me. Guide me. Which way? Where are we going? Into a golden future. Black, red and gold. Maybe you’d like to teach me German? Purity of language? You want me to speak High German? Where do they speak that? I’d like to learn to think purely. Can anyone help? The culture of Germanness? What’s that when it’s at home? Can someone here teach me, please, because I’d love to join your club, but I’m not sure I’m compatible.
I know all the rules. Oh yes. I pay regular visits to the dentist. The optician. The dermatologist. I go for check-ups. Check. Check. Skin checks. Brain checks.
I know one more rule: the boat is full. But I know that I’m in the boat, I’m in it with you. Aren’t I lucky. We are one. We’re a unit, a unity, a community. That’s important. We need that. To survive. As a species. These categories—for pigeonholing myself, nailing myself down—I’m well up on them. Don’t you dare look away.
Look at me.
YOU DO-GOODERS YOU.
Tr. Imogen Taylor