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Three came in, two walked out

The sun hung low on the horizon, its orange brilliance casting a golden gleam upon the white-capped ocean. Gentle frothy waves lapped the shore in a comforting rhythm. Seagulls squawked in the distance, and a warm tropical breeze caressed the skin.

He remembered the day with clarity: the two guards had been at his side as they disembarked the boat. They held his arms and led him up the shifting sandy shore until they reached a small grass and wood hut. They unbound his hands and left him to explore his new home---a deserted island paradise far away from civilization so that he would never again bring harm to humanity.

The rigid, uniformed guards retreated across the sand and returned to the boat. The hut itself was filled with a few weeks of provisions; after that he would have to to fend for himself.

He remembered all of this as he stood on the sweet grassy ridge overlooking the tranquil sea. Almost unconsciously he clenched his hands at his sides. Only almost. Sighing, he brought them to his face---hands that were now calloused and hard. He had been a professor, and his hands had been used for typing, for writing, for demonstrating. His lips, now chapped, and his mouth, now toothless, had been used for discussing, for talking, for communicating. His eyes, now failing him a bit more every day, had been used for reading.

His crimes ... his crimes were unimportant now. They were not unique. No, they had been repeated countless times down through the ages. A mere theme and variations. The corporate society had no use for him. It had little use for anybody, and he wondered if he was any more a prisoner than those left behind. His mind wandered to the two guards who had deposited him here---what had become of them?

In answer, a wave splashed against the shore. He shrugged and returned to his hut.

Notes: The fall of 1992 was full of politica turmoil in our community. Three Meridian High School teachers were suspended in November after an openly lesbian woman spoke in a class. I wrote numerous chapbook entries that dealt overtly with this event; in such texts violence was often executed upon certain school administrators and politicians. This text was a more somber and distanced reflection upon that November.