The Line

The dreariness of it all.  Walking into the building is a slow path to hell.  People look over at you as you enter the door, their stone-like gazes penetrating your soul, giving you a knowing glance as if to tell you get out!  Escape while you can!  I venture in further, past the few individuals seated to my left who are staring dumbly straight ahead. It feels eerie and dark in there.  I round the corner, where I see 11 individuals all corralled inside the long endless roped tight walk, waiting, waiting, waiting forever more.  A few of them look my way, disinterested, un-seeing, like zombies standing stock still, unable to move or to speak.  I make my way to the end of the line to wait for an eternity, standing still, then shuffling slowly forward when the next one is called and we are expected to proceed ahead.  Once I’m in line, no one moves, no one talks, it is silent except for the chosen ones.  I gaze around at this barren, grizzly place, with no joy, only sadness, frustration, edginess.  I am on alert.  The corralled individuals stand stiffly, looking straight ahead, no conversation, no smile, nothing, like blank staring statues. I smile at one, but there is no response back. It’s too painful.  It’s eventually finally my turn, and I have to make an effort to move.  Everyone behind me watches stoically, their eyes burning into my back as I shuffle up to the wooden counter.  I have to talk now, I can’t mess this up, there is too much on the line, I’ve waited way too long and have sacrificed much time and energy, it must all go smoothly.  My fate is in their hands now.  Where am I?

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