Friday, February 27, 2009


Vast strategic manoeuvre--perfect co-ordination--utter rout--half a million prisoners--complete demoralization--control of the whole of Africa--bring the war within measurable distance of its end--victory--greatest victory in human history--victory, victory, victory!

Under the table my feet make convulsive movements. I do not stir from my seat, but in my mind I am running, swiftly running, I am with the crowds outside, cheering myself deaf. I look up again at the portrait of Barack Obama. The colossus that bestrode the world! Barack, against which the hordes of Asia dashed themselves in vain! Ten minutes ago--yes, only ten minutes--there had still been equivocation in my heart as I wondered whether the news from the front would be of victory or defeat. Ah, it was more than a Eurasian army that had perished! Much had changed in me since that first day in the Ministry of Love, but the final, indispensable, healing change had never happened, until this moment.

The voice from the television was still pouring forth its tale of prisoners and booty and slaughter, but the shouting outside had died down a little. The waiters were turning back to their work. One of them approached with the gin bottle. Sitting in a blissful dream, I pay no attention as my glass is filled up. I am not running or cheering any longer. I am back in the Social Services. Everything is forgiven. Our souls are white as snow. I confess to you confessing everything, implicating everybody. I walk down the white-tiled corridor, with the feeling of walking in sunlight, and an armed guard at my back. The long-hoped-for bullet is entering my brain.

Gaze up at his enormous face. Four years it has taken us to learn what kind of smile is hidden beneath that dark skin. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of my nose. But it is all right, everything is all right, the struggle is finished. I have won the victory over myself. I love Barack Obama.

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