After a year, I began to work in the back of the room where the proud young man was. It was a separate office. There I sat at a desk and began scribbling court orders, sentences and summons. One day the judge called for me and He said to me: I am so pleased with you, young man, so I decided to name you my personal secretary. I tried to articulate words in the style of “thank you”, but he did not seem to hear me. He was a very fat, myopic man, so pale that his face was only visible in the dark, cold hallways. He would sometimes murmur things like: I wonder where my beautiful wife may be. Wonder if she is still alive. And my children… the eldest must be about twenty years old now.
Some time after this, the melancholy man died (or simply disappeared) and I replaced him. I am now the judge. I have gained prestige, culture, weight due to a sedentary lifestyle and my eyesight has worsened, due to the artificial light day and night. At least I get to always wear the same clothes. The envelopes from the men in suitcases are bulkier than before. An orderly brings me the same food every day. I sleep on a couch in the office. It is a good life. Economical.
Sometimes I miss my my family, my hometown; that little small town where life is so different, so unimportant. Especially at Christmas, when I remain inside the Palace. But what can I do? I am the judge. Yesterday, my secretary (a commendable young man) made me sign a conviction drafted by him. The sentence was a fine plus a disqualification to serve as a witness in the future, due to his failing to show up at a summons. The name seems vaguely familiar. It could have been mine. But now I am the judge and I dictate sentences.