Things are getting better in my captivity at 4360 Broadway, other wise known as the rubber room. It is now 89 days since I had been cast adrift from the wonderful world of PS 154 in the Bronx and the memories of that place are becoming more and more distant.
After a rough start to my captivity, (and here) I have become more accepting of my captors as they seem to have become more accepting of me. Yes, I did have some issues at first, but when one is forced into a captive role one reverts back to mankind's earliest stages when it is traditional to mark one's territory.
Anyway I now seem to have an understanding of their society and have come to accept their ways. Fortunately, have been invited from time to time to take part in their rituals and must say that I have enjoyed myself.
The leader of the captives rules by respect and benevolence. I have let down my guard and no longer expect the chair of punishment for my misdeeds. This ritual of respect and benevolence at first was foreign to me, but the leader seems to treat all the other natives under his rule in this manner and there is no less dedication to the task at hand amongst the natives.
Though some might say that I am suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, I am allowed to come and go as I please and have no problem staying with these people. In fact I feel more like an observer or a guest, like Jane Goodall. I live amongst these people at 4360 Broadway.
On the other hand there is another band of natives on the 4th floor, they call themselves District 79. They are quite territorial, controlling, and worst, malevolent in their dealings with outsiders.
Yesterday was just such an occasion.
The floor of my captivity was having many people and guests. The room where I have formed my base camp and marked my territory was being used, the room adjacent to it was being used, as well the big conference room. There was no place left for me to sit and put my stuff. I asked for permission to make contact with the District 79 natives and seek permission to set up camp for a brief while in their gilded break room where the vending machines are.
I decided to bring gifts of welcome to the District 79 band. I made first contact with their director of security, (For the purposes of this story a pseudonym will be used befitting what the director of security thinks of it's position) Tasha Yar. I explained the situation to Tasha that I had no place to sit and a place for my stuff and asked if I can just sit in the gilded break room for an hour or so.
She said no. She said I belong to the natives upstairs and they must watch me at all times. I asked if an exception can be made since their is no place to sit. Again she said no and that I need to be watched. I asked, "What am I, 12 years old?" At this point she suggested that I speak to the other Director of Security, Odo, who had shifted into some really odd shape.
Again I asked why can't I just sit in the gilded break room for an hour or so. Odo informed me that to keep a happy 4th floor I can't sit there and it is only to be used for lunch as there might be meetings happening throughout the day. I mentioned that there are very few meetings there to begin with and if there is a meeting today that I will clear out.
Odo again told me that I can't sit there and it is only to be used for lunch as there might be meetings happening throughout the day. I asked if there are any meeting there for today and Odo told me I can't sit there and it is only to be used for lunch as there might be meetings happening throughout the day.
I tried a different tactic. I explained to Odo that my captors have said it is OK for me to use the gilded break room. Odo replied that upstairs is for them and the 4th floor is for us and never the twain shall meet. I then said, "Isn't sharing caring?" That remark made Odo shift into many shapes, not all of them pleasant.
Sensing from Odo that there is a fear of me radicalizing and sharing truths with the 4th floor captives I inquired why am I feared. Odo responded that that I can't sit there and it is only to be used for lunch as there might be meetings happening throughout the day. I asked if I can sit near school safety, Odo responded that the agents are extremely busy (????) throughout the day and must concentrate on all aspects of their jobs.
I then inquired if I see one of the 4th floor captives in the hallway can I say, "Hi, how are you?" Odo refused to answer. I asked Odo again, no answer. I asked a third time, Odo said, "Yes you may say hello, but no conversation as it may be taking away from tasks that they perform for us."
Reminder, none of this is being made up. It is real!
Exasperated, I had to end this idiocy. This was turning into a Abbott and Costello routine and I wasn't the straight man, or was I?
I really don't understand why certain people feel the need to have to humiliate and demean people and colleagues. One day Tasha Yar or Odo might be in the same predicament as me and I can promise you they would want to be treated with respect.
But sometimes one is too involved in one's self importance to see the forest through the 4th floor of District 79.