The Speech Police
What was protocol when I went to sleep may be heresy by the time I wake up. I live in dread of undergoing medieval rites of purification – having, for example, fire applied to the penis and the tip of the tongue. My words once had the force of acts. Now my voice comes out hesitant, muffled. I can almost feel the police hiding nearby, just waiting for me to trip on a forbidden phrase or state an unwelcome opinion. Space and light are shrinking. Where there was the peal of bells, there is only the squeak of history’s hinges.