Monday, May 28, 2007

Murder and Society 1

From the very beginning Carl was just an ordinary man, he was preoccupied with ordinary preoccupations, and entertained himself mostly after the usual fashion. It was the unhappy world which demanded of Carl something spectacular, or at least so he believed as he set out one evening to take his place among those obdurate figures of classic and modern tragedy. He brought with him only a few objects that seemed symbolically important: a flashlight, a gun with ammunition, a backpack with some changes of clothes, and a copy of Mendelssohn's Jerusalem by which to remember the follies of man. He stood motionless at his doorway for a very long time, one hand on the knob, the other in his pocket. He held the flashlight under one arm and shone it into the darkness of the familiar, its light reflected off a mirror opposite and blinded him, but he didn't mind because there was really nothing worth seeing anyway. Carl searched himself for the appropriate emotion, but found only confusion and various distracted fragments of irrelevant thought, like: "For six months already of constant struggle..." or "For weeks and weeks...", so he gave it up and took his departure as all men do.

Carl did not bother to bring his passport, which he had lost a long time ago, and so he had to keep to himself and not arouse suspicion; if he was caught without a passport he would be promptly incarcerated. With a smile he reminded himself that even if he had his passport it would do him no good, and that he would really be arrested all the more quickly, since the authorities were, without a doubt, searching for him. Not three weeks ago he had shot dead a lone, drunk soldier who had accosted him on his way home from work and demanded of him proof of identity. At the time he was, God be thanked, clear sighted enough to realize the mistake he would have made had he submitted to the man's authority, and so he acted decisively. It bothered him, of course, that he had to become a murderer there, but, he told himself, he always was a murderer, and now he could recognize himself and move on. "In fact", he thought aloud, "it is just this sort of character that will inspire others to follow me".

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