There is a house in New Orleans, there may even be a hotel in California, but if there is any sense to be made of any of this try NAV, post-APEH, Budapest.
When I first tempted the threshold I turned and fled and if only I had listened to these base first instincts, and stayed the hell away, but as the man said, there are only two certainties in life, Death and Taxes, and here I am fighting the mortal battle while playing to my idiocies as a semi-honest man. On one of the hottest days on offer, topping 40c, I find myself in the foyer (!) of the Kertesz utca NAV office, the shade is welcome even if the air-conditioning comes in the way of the coolness exuding from the security man’s tub of ice-cream.
Ticket to hand and my number called I go delving into the mystery finding within a beast of a machine set in the middle of the room freshening up the interior. If this is hell, well, apart from the seeming shabbiness, it isn’t at all bad but I’m aware of the old adage – don’t judge a book by its cover – but as with previous experiences my temptation to explode into a rage is mostly down to my lack of understanding ( so that’s why there are so many conflicts in the world!). Again the lady borders on the edge of Job, patience tested by my continual expressions of “Nem ertem”. Now where people criticise the office staff at any tax branch anywhere in the world I have to come to their defence and say – listen it’s a bullshit job working for bullshit consecutively corrupt governments, and having to deal with people’s discontent day to day. Noone wants to pay taxes, not even administrators I imagine, but it is not their fault that the system has the average Joe running ragged. They are not the financial consultants, policy drafters, the experts credited with calamity. They have been duly employed to offer the buffer between the people and the shit (as are politicians but more on that later) and if shit floats then we, the hapless taxpayers, are face down in the deep-end with the same civil servants stepping on our backs to climb up. The problem is, they, too, are caught in the chaos and are being swept away on the whim of the bastards floating on top, who seer in the light while their putrid stink rises. In the sewers the rats don’t bother to dress smartly. On the oceans of power the stink of corruption is a badge of honour and up there nobody needs to hide who they really are. It’s just us, the drowners, who feel compelled to play with masks while casting accusations. “Oh they’re corrupt!” we scream but on the filter of leagues this merely bubbles to the top as another unanswered request. To them who reside there this is redundantly pretty. They are not fishermen, not interested in the depths and so we may pilfer our happiness for the remnants of hope, ordering this energy into another ream of hot-air-rising.
Redundantly pretty. That’s all. And just in case you thought it could change – remember we all stink up there so take heed and grow gills. Stop trying to support them with the banality of our existence.
On that note let’s remove ourselves to election time, and those moments when the bigger fishes* drop low to ‘dirty’ their filthy hands with the propostioning of the electorate. I say fishes here because they are not the boatsmen, merely the bait, ironically. They have only the capacity to aspire. Up where they are it’s brighter and closer to the stink…
What says you? Cast in the darkness with justice abounding or on a cruise conscious of the depths of depravity beneath? Trick question! If you’re up there you’re not thinking down here. But let me realign…
Come election time, come the chance not to change and revolt; toppling, sinking and rising on the crest of a new wave – this at best is just the inversion of power. The only true revolution allows for the acceleration of decadence and the collapse into the depths of everything. Only from the ground can we build a foundation and this is the flaw of everything. If you truly despise the system destroy everything it ever represented, represents, and will have the potential to represent. To allow tit-bits to favour you is to allow the germination once again of the festering seed, or rather to kill the daffodil but leave the bulb. And please, I don’t want to hear the “but that’s such a pretty flower”. If you’ve missed the analogy drink cyanide – one less dope when all comes to pass. In the real revolution the pretty, the ugly, the insane, the destitute, the intelligent, criminals, addicts, fools, the best, the worst, shall all be considered first as this – equal! And from that premise we must then move forward rationally towards a better society. Nothing is for the betterment of humanity if it doesn’t include all humanity**.
Ah, but I may have strayed. So apart from the bad news conveyed by her, the lady in APEH, now NAV, that I dealt with was a sweetheart, a darling. She even had the gall to compliment my Hungarian. Now that took courage. In truth I understand more than I once used to*** but please, no more compliments, no, oh you shouldn’t have…OH, you didn’t!
Leaving Kertesz utca and strolling into Pertu Cafe on Dob utca, I have indeed found a rhythm, a rhythm increasingly indicative of the understanding of my position. Unless I want to be drawn into immorality I must strengthen myself against the temptation, and even when those around me may fall victim to the aesthetic, I must be strong enough to enjoy life on my terms. As we in the drowning department are under the illusion that our voice matters, them in their boats in that stinking hell hole up yonder are also deluded into thinking we really care.
Choose not to care about them and one day they’ll have to submerge themselves deep enough that they shall really be in our domain. Until then, civil servants beware. You are test subjects till the cowards come along.
Viva la revolucion…whichever one you may choose.
* Fishes as a plural can exist and whereas it may usually be defined as the different species rather than the number of individuals it has its biblical usage in the Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes, so there!
** Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind then that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; and while there is a criminal element, I am of it; and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.
*** “Alas, how terrible is wisdom
when it brings no profit to the man that’s wise!
This I knew well, but had forgotten it,
else I would not have come here.” Sophocles