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Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2012 by javedbabar

I have always felt alone in Lucerne, thought Shama. It is my own doing mainly. I have kept to myself. I wanted to get away from the city, all those people making noise and trouble, and I haven’t wanted to re-engage with people, even in this small place.

But I don’t feel alone now. I guess it had to be someone special, an outsider like me. Who is more of an exile than Zadam? He is a disfigured being hidden within a green, hooded coat. His facial features are reversed. A man ignored, who ignores. Like me, he seems weak but is strong.

Shama was protective of Zadam. He thought of him as a kid brother who needed help to make his way in the world. He also provided a way for his self-appointed “big brother” to escape self-imposed exile. The flipside of integrating Zadam into everyday life was that Shama too must engage with the local community.

He thought it would be good for them to attend a local election meeting. They could smell the hot potatoes, spot elephants in the room, complain about white elephants, and enjoy hearing politicians getting abused, which was always quality entertainment.

Shama and Zadam came in late and sat at the back of the hall. Some people stared but then turned away. Whether they became ashamed of their rudeness in a temple of political correctness, or they didn’t want to miss anything going on up front, was unclear.

The mayor was a local business man. He owned the airport, the bottle shop and the grocery store, leading to claims that he used his assets to unbalance the local economy. How he did this was never explained, but there was a history of accusations. His style at gatherings was called B&B, a mixture of bullying and boring people into acquiescence, and in private there was further B&B: bribery and beating. He was a political player par excellence.

The mayor was asked questions about the very high levels of village taxation, its unbalanced budgets and non-existent plans, impossible building regulations, vicious personal arguments and crippling legal disputes. Some of these questions received stock answers, but most received no answers at all.

Zadam began talking to himself.

“Please be quiet,” said Shama. “You are disturbing people.”

Zadam said, “He can’t answer. He can’t answer.”


“I know the answer. I know the answer.”

Zadam’s upside-down head caused his senses to be reversed. He could see both points of view of every situation, smell what things would become, and also hear true answers, rather than the false, unclear or irrelevant ones that most people spouted out, and usually preferred to hear. He liked that film where the general said, “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!”

Zadam couldn’t stop talking and people around him became annoyed. Shama asked him again to be quiet, but instead he got louder and eventually stood up, chanting.

The mayor tried B&B but it didn’t work. The chairman of the meeting also failed to silence the heckler. Eventually they just let him speak. No one was willing to publicly mishandle a disabled person.

Zadam said, “Why should I be quiet? You are not saying anything. You say you don’t know the answers. I know the answers.” He told the audience everything. He told them about the mayor’s personal 5% cut of taxation, crooked accountants, deliberate lack of planning so project funds could be hidden, the corrupt Building Control Officer, veiled threats, and lies told in court.

Following the meeting, the mayor and incumbent councillors withdrew their names from the ballot for the forthcoming elections. There was a motion for Zadam to stand for election but he declined, saying that the only poll he liked was a “pollipop”.

This confused people enough to not pursue the motion.



Posted in Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , on May 30, 2012 by javedbabar

Things were looking up for Danny. He had recovered from his depression, met a woman, had a small lottery win, and felt ready to find a new job. He didn’t want to go back to pumping gas, so asked around. He heard that Lucerne Village was looking for more staff so made an appointment with the Village Recruitment Officer (VRO). Danny tried to find out what jobs were available, but the receptionist wouldn’t say. She said discuss that with the VRO.

The VRO was a tough, red-haired man who Danny imagined had once been a police officer or soldier. “Sit down!” he said in the way he may have said in his previous jobs, “Put your hands up!” or “Put it down!”

Over a cup of coffee, he scanned Danny’s resume. “So, you’ve never really settled down, have you! What’s with all the moving around? It says here that you are an ‘enthusiastic individual’ who has a university degree and has worked in fancy companies in the City. How did you end up pumping gas here?”

Danny was a cool headed person; not easy to rile. He said, “Life doesn’t always work out the way you imagine. I’ve had some tough times.”

“You’ve had tough times?” said the VRO. “I don’t think you even know the meaning. Have you been on the battlefields of Afghanistan? Or on the mean streets of Detroit? That’s where I did my service. I’ve earned this padded chair here.”

Danny thought it best not to respond. He awaited further orders.

“Okay, the Village is a progressive employer and welcomes all kinds of people, regardless of their drawbacks.” He began with questions of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, mental illness, and physical disability. “Okay, good,” he said. “Now we have your basic details. I am required to complete this grid of personal metrics. It will reveal what jobs you are suited for. Answer all of the following questions, based on dualistic paradigms, which we will integrate holistically. They may seem strange, but answer them as best you can.”

“What is your essential nature?” Danny told him it was peaceful.

“What is your culture?” Danny said it was North American, Judeo-Christian, white Anglo-Saxon Protestant, free-market capitalist, representative democracy.

“What is your hardware?” Danny said it was a skeleton, vital organs functioning synchronously, and a central nervous system, and blood and skin.

“What is your software?” Danny said it was a sense of personal selfhood, which was part of a communal self, whose edges were permeable, and touched upon other beings.

“What are your skills?” Danny mentioned interpersonal skills, commercial skills, and common sense.

“What are your feelings?” Danny mentioned an appreciation of beauty, and compassion, and truth.

“What is the influence of your genes?” Danny said it had made him tall, white, blonde, fairly handsome, and predisposed towards diabetes and dementia.

“What is the influence of your environment?” Danny spoke of his early years in foster homes, where he had been beaten and abused. That was why he never settled. He didn’t feel safe or comfortable anywhere. He moved around.

“Ok, that’s it,” said the VRO. Please wait outside while I analyze the results. Ten minutes later he called him back in. “Welcome to Village Hall,” he said. “We have a very special job for you. Do you believe in Karma? Good. Well there are people in the Village who are not conducive to its welfare. The kind of people who beat and abused you. Wouldn’t you like to create a better environment for kids here? With the job comes an unregistered gun.”