When Trust ends.
On his fifty eigth birthday, the chief financial officer of a theater company, Gerald Thomas, is unexpectedly arrested by two unidentified agents from an unspecified agency for an unspecified crime. The agents’ boss later arrives and holds a mini tribunal in the room of Thomas’s neighbor, of Italian descent. Thomas is not taken away, however, but left “free” to await instructions from the “Committee of ‘Legal’ Affairs”. It is important to say that this Committee also sells truffles, of the chocolate kind, and invests heavily in people’s weaknesses and emotional states.
Thomas goes to work, and that night apologizes to Fräulein Z, his neighbor for the intrusion into her room earlier that day. At the end of the conversation he suddenly kisses her.
Thomas receives a huge bill for services never provided to him as well as a phone call summoning him to court, and the coming Sunday is arranged as the date. No time is set and the address is given to him. The address turns out to be a huge tenement building on the main street where the local tram runs through.
Thomas has to explore to find the court, which turns out to be in the attic. He does notice that there is a formality of sorts and a huge table in the center of the room, at the center of which are neatly laid out arrangements of chocolate truffles, tea and coffee pots.
However, the room is airless, shabby, and rather empty, and although he has no idea what he is charged with, or what authorizes the process, makes a long speech denigrating the whole process, including the agents who arrested him, and during which an attendant’s wife is raped. He then returns home.
Gerald Thomas later goes to visit the court again, although he has not been summoned. He is reminded by a friend that, a long time ago, he visited the court out of his own free will.
Court is not in session. He instead talks with the attendant’s wife, who attempts to seduce him into taking her away, and who gives him more information about the process and offers to help him. Thomas later goes with the attendant to a higher level of the attic where it turns out that the offices of the court are housed, which are shabby and airless.
(Based on Kafka’s The Trial) yet close to a real life situation which is very very sad indeed.)
NEXT CHAPTER: “sleeping with the enemy”