What the fuck is it to yourself?

The cell door opens and a young, uniformed police officer enters. The man lying on the bed, continues to face the wall, unmoving. The police officer encourages the man to wake up by jostling his shoulder, and repeatedly saying ‘come on now sir, time to wake up. We need to interview you’.

After a few minutes of this, the man, finally roused, offers the policeman a firm ‘fuck off’, and kick at his shin. The policeman suggests, that there is ‘no need for that’, and should it happen again the charge of ‘assaulting a PC’ will be added to the charge sheet, along with the existing ‘urinating in a public place, being drunk and disorderly and causing a public nuisance, with an additional charge of public indecency’.

The policeman is holding a small plastic cup of black coffee. He suggests the prisoner sit up and drink it, as he is to be taken to an interview room to be questioned on the above offenses. The prisoner suggests that the policeman can ‘fuck his coffee up his ass’. The policeman places the cup of coffee on the floor and leaves the cell. As he closes the door he tells the prisoner he has five minutes to ‘pull himself together’.

Ten minutes later, after a great deal of kafuffle, the prisoner is sitting on a chair, in an interview room, opposite his two arresting officers. Due to the prisoner’s violent outbursts, a large uniformed officer is also present. Standing behind the prisoner.

One of the arresting officers, the male, asks the prisoner his name. The prisoner replies that it may as well be ‘Fuckity McFuck-Fuck’ as far as they are concerned. The female officer let’s the prisoner know that in his wallet are a number of items, including a driving licence, in the name of ‘Fredrick Aleister Brightling’, and goes on to suggest that this is actually his name.

The prisoner mumbles, almost under his breath, ‘What’s in a name? That is what we ask ourselves in childhood when we write the name we are told is ours’.  The male officer asks the prisoner what he said. The prisoner replies ‘James fucking Joyce’. The female officer asks if the prisoner is known as ‘James Joyce’. The prisoner let’s his head sink to his hands. The male officer looks at the female officer and gives her a quizzical look. The female officer says ‘ what?’, and shrugs her shoulders.

The male officer composes himself by clearing his throat and before asking the prisoner if he is ‘Fredrick Aleister Brightling of Flat 2a, 16 Morden Rd, Tooting?’ The prisoner asks the male officer ‘what he thinks?’. The male officer thinks that ‘William Aleister Brightling’ is actually his name and that if the prisoner doesn’t become more Co-operative then a charge of obstructing the law will be added to the charge sheet.

The female officer calls the prisoner by the name ‘Aleister’ and in a tender way suggests that the police are doing their best to help him. The prisoner replies that forcibly removing him from his journey home, throwing him in to a cold cell and then interrogating him, seems an absurd notion of ‘help’.

The female officer tells the prisoner that it was vital he be removed from the public domain for the safety of the general public.

The prisoner asks the female officer, ‘since when has a man, on his way home from the pub, having a piss behind a bin, been a danger to society?’ and goes on to point out that people have been pissing in streets since streets were invented. He then thinks to add the remark that will prove to seal his fate.

Looking at the male officer then back at the female officer, he calmly suggests that due to their own sense of inadequacy and unfulfilled potential they were forced to take a job that involved the persecution of the lower orders at the instruction of those who present a myth of controlling society, to whom they have subjugated themselves. As a consequence the officers spend their working lives seeking out petty criminals that they can bully in to submission as a way of subconsciously retaliating to the bullying they themselves received as children, and thus finding some solace in the wretched situation that they find themselves, consequently bolstering their sense of self worth.

The male officer calmly replies ‘Fredrick Aleister Brightling I am charging you with public indecency, causing a public nuisance, resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer and obstructing the law. You do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence. Do you understand the charges against you?’

The prisoner looks the officer in the eye and says, ‘What the fuck is it to you?’




Ben Greenland



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