“The State who?”
“The State who says your home is under occupied.”
And this was all in my own head. Yes, they came and knocked on the door of my mind. It was a man and a women, neatly dressed, with official-looking laminated name tags on their chests. I looked behind and saw a large room. Cluttered with photographs, it’s odd what one remembers. Old girlfriends, flashes of moments–I read somewhere that these flashes are the sum total of our lives.
Cluttered, dusty and fairly chaotic, the woman muttered something beneath her breath about my house being a reflection of my mental state.
“My mental state is perfectly fine,” I said, catching her off guard. She didn’t know I had heard her.
“Of course you would say that,” she blurted. “It’s your mind so you don’t know any better. We’re from the Department of Mental Housing. We have a report from an anonymous complaint that says your mind is under occupied.”
“What does this mean? That I’m stupid or vapid? Because that’s what it sounds like.”
“No, Sir,” the man said. “It means you will have to take on tenants. You are the only occupant here, if our records are correct. Under regulation four-fifty-one, paragraph seven, line “D”, all minds must maintain a minimum of two-point five occupants per head.”
“When did this rule take effect?”
“September 21st, 2030,” the man replied.
“Well, that’s ridiculous. I suggest you both leave immediately.” I began to close the door.
“Not possible,” he replied.
“Oh? Who says? There’s no room here for any more.”
“You have plenty of room, Sir,” said the woman. “In fact you’re lucky we don’t fine you as a mental Kulak. How have you managed to hide so much mental space for so long?”
“I keep my door locked and curtains drawn. Now get lost.”
“No Sir.” The man placed his foot in my door as I began to close it.
“How many in your head?” I asked the woman.
“I have an Eritrean family of seven.”
“And I have three Ukrainians,” said the man proudly, straightening his posture as he said it. I could almost see the blue and yellow flag waving in his eyes. Ten-years on and that war was still going. “We are serving the greater good, and so must you.”
Suddenly there was a noise behind me in the room. I turned, and, much to my surprise two old men came through a door from the far side. “Who is this?” said the one old man with a long grey beard.
“It’s people from Mental Housing,” I said.
“Get rid of them. You’re up to code.” The old man came to the door. “This is my son and that’s his uncle. That makes three, now please leave.”
“Is this true?” the man asked.
“Of course. Your records are mistaken,” I answered.
“Very well, then. But we will be back to check on you.”
I closed the door. Lucky for me I had been listening to “uncle” Orwell’s 1984, and “papa” Solzenitzen’s gulag stories on audio books. I had been thinking about them alot..
Thank you Johnny U.