To force my hand (For Solzhenitsyn)

I did not want the recognition but they said it was to honor a lifetime of achievement. The people from my village said I should accept it. That it was something I deserved. That it was about me and not what they had done over the years. They said things had changed. They dressed me in a suit and had me stand with my hands folded to the front. I waited until the president arrived. He was typical in his far-reaching hypocrisy, insincere like most of them. Like the ones that made a name for themselves and kept their pockets thick for the sake of their insecurities and overreaching need for power and ambition. I was kept waiting in the room for longer than necessary. Just like they used to do before interrogations.

I didn’t stick my hand out to shake his, but he grabbed my arm quickly and shook it thoroughly to avoid any sign of an awkward altercation. The cameras lights flickered, and I was briefly blinded. He pointed to a seat and asked me the standard range of polite questions and left before long. I decided not to answer questions asked by the media, citing fatigue.
I never really met the president that day. I met a ghost, a shadow of men who represented the cause of our struggles over the decades. He decided to bestow upon me something long after there was nothing left to take from us.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s