I am doing this too much, because I have now dreamt of noding
. I was counting up the different identities
I had and kept stumbling across new ones. I think there were twelve or thirteen by the end. Something to do with an atlas
of the world too.
I was awaiting a verdict
. Three or five offence
s, for each of which either I would be shot
or I would receive some severe but lesser ticking-off
. Someone else was with me in the same boat. The judge
, or perhaps she was just a clerk of the court
, had slips of paper with the verdicts. She was dressed in a uniform
but this wasn't in open court, just in a kind of antechamber
. She was quite casual about it.
I asked "Is it...?" and she confirmed yes, and gave three times half an hour apart, one for each offence. I was so tense I couldn't bring myself to ask again, though I didn't know what she had confirmed. Was it to be death? Against this, I reasoned, was the fact that they were unlikely to appoint three separate times for it.
I prepared myself for the worst, and reflected soberly on how wrong the death penalty was in a civilized country. How could they? What was going on here, had we been taken over by a totalitarian régime? I thought of Johnson's "when a man is to be hanged... it concentrates his mind wonderfully".
I don't know whether these two scenes were connected, or which came first.