The Issue

A short work of fiction.

I’ve had a serious issue in my life for five months now. I can’t tell you what it is. It’s not through embarrassment. In fact, my desire and instinct is to shout about it loudly. But I can’t. My pressure points are being tested and my family threatened, all in order to silence me.

The Issue is not a dispute. It is not a difference of opinion. It is a conspiracy, stretching to high, far-off points beyond my observation. It is so distant that it is unperceivable to us what the absolute goal of it could be. If one wished, a sense of importance could be drawn from that; all these machinations, working against me.

But that is to observe it through the wrong end of the telescope. The constructions exist to empower those at the top, and to entrench that power. My position is just that of a dog on the racetrack. Easier to run over than avoid, or stop the race.

As I held out, and continue to do so for at least the time being, I did uncover some motives. Each revelation turned my world view, yet like the onion, each layer exposed just reveals yet more layers. I sense I shall never see to the centre because my view of the world, my attitudes and morals blind me from what some persons are capable of.

It is nearly impossible to speak about The Issue now. My closest family, one to one conversations, deep in private, are imaginable. But friends. Even those I trust implicitly, I cannot risk. Even if they were to keep the secret, mere knowledge of the details would alter their actions and their re-actions in such a way that they may be detectable to those who are watching. Or even someone a couple of points removed. It wouldn’t be hard to trace the source of this change.

Social Media is the great trap. I am not one to vent and share a great deal on there, as some do. But if I were to, my discussions of the issue would be met with the same throwaway concern that is expressed for the minor trivialities of other people’s lives. Yet the repercussions would be so much greater.

They have already scoured my social media output. They have noted their findings and threatened me with them. These devices were meant to be our freedom. A voice to the voiceless. But they are perfect because before their existence who knew what the voiceless was thinking? Now we all do.

It is a release. When you are a gas valve fit to explode, that tiny release of pressure is all but impossible to resist. To say the words, at last, is heaven. Then response. Positive, supportive response!

The relief is short-lived. You have shown your hand. The pressure points required to make you break become more obvious and you have given them further ammunition.

The only option is to aggressively keep it all within. The issue becomes a figment of your mind, like a guilty secret. Forget that you are morally and lawfully in the right. It is something of the darkness, in the shadows and must be kept there.

A heroic pyrrhic victory becomes a nightly fantasy; the final confrontation and the celebration of your strength slips more and more into delusion.

The Issue will be resolved in the most mundane fashion possible. It has already done its damage, internally. And you have the mental strength of a man with a noose of taut barbed wire around his neck. You’ll think twice before standing up for yourself or others again.

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