In the Ferrari I am driven to boot camp. It’s the first time in my life I’ve ever been in a car like this. Or lying down? Like in a coffin? No way! What kind of weird associations are those? Surely, we would have reached our destination much faster than we would have done in Gudrun’s little car, if there had been less traffic jams on the motorway and less chugging tractors on the country roads. Nevertheless, I’m very impressed by the powerful engine, which, however, is more bubbling than roaring, and is completely underchallenged by the necessity to roll along. But it is undoubtedly an advantage not to reach such a goal too fast.
It is a warm, sunny summer day with white clouds in a deep blue sky and a pleasant breeze, almost like the sea. Long days and short nights, tomorrow is solstice, holiday time. Ilona and Richard are going on holiday, too, this evening, so he is a bit impatient.
No sissy clothes, no chastity belt. You can’t do anything like that at boot camp. Not being locked up has become strange. It feels strange, on the one hand unprotected, on the other hand free and self-assuring, just like a real human being. Although freedom and self-assurance is not what I expect. I have nothing with me, nothing at all, not even a toothbrush, not to mention a smartphone. No clothes either, apart from the dark pants, the blue t-shirt and the blue sneakers I wear. No jacket. Possession is a burden, yes, yes. But to possess nothing is not synonymous with freedom, but with dependence, in my case at least.
Sceptically, Richard looks at the road, which is getting narrower and narrower and more and more rural, and he tries hard to keep the right gear of his six gears in it with his steering wheel. We are not often alone with each other, mostly Ilona is with us, and that’s good, because we don’t know what to talk about. Uncomfortable is the silence that fills the car with leaden heaviness. Nevertheless, I wish that we would just keep on driving like this forever and ever, because what I will face at my destination will be more than just uncomfortable.
I wouldn’t find the way anymore, didn’t pay attention when I was driving, was busy with others, with fearful thoughts, as I am now. The secretary, who seems to master every task, found out the address and so the GPS knows exactly where we have to go. It guides us to the right in the last village without us having to ask a hunchbacked mother for directions, and unerringly it leads Richard directly to the wrought-iron entrance gate, which is closed.
I get out of the car with him, don’t want to sit in the car any longer, need air, want to stretch my feet. Everything is still as I know it, the high white wall, the camera on top of the gate pillar, the bell button Richard presses. Only the chain hanging from a crossbar of the gate at head height, with a wide clamp at the end, I can’t remember that.
A female voice croaks from the intercom. “Yes, please?”
Richard moves the lips to the area where he suspects the microphone is. “Yes, hello, I bring the slave. We talked before”
“Yes… Unfortunately, no one is available at the moment. Would you please put the neck iron on the slave that is hanging at the gate? – No need to wait. He can’t run away. We’ll take care of him later.” One more crack out of it and the intercom is mute. Apparently, even lords get their instructions here, which is not discussed.
Richard looks at me in irritation. “You heard him.”
Yes, I did. And I wish to be far away, somewhere where I can do what I want without anyone giving me orders and humiliating me. Yet here I am at the gate of boot camp and nowhere else. I don’t fight back, just let Richard put the wide cuff around my neck and squeeze it until a lock clicks into place. I’m chained, I can’t get out of here on my own.
Richard walks to the car, opens the door and turns to face me. “We’ll come and get you. Be brave.”
One could almost have thought he had a guilty conscience just to leave me standing there. But he gets in and starts the engine, lets the Ferrari roll backwards onto the road and then dashes off as if the devil was after him.
The chain allows me to walk three steps in the radius. That is enough to reach the shadow of a broad-crowned plane tree. At least not having to stand in the blazing sun is the only comfort I have at the moment. Although, there is something else: in the bushes beyond the wall, a blackbird sings a throaty song as if it wanted to encourage me. But she is probably chirping for a very different reason. Perhaps, it’s making fun of me, too.
A car comes driving from the village, a silver-grey middle-class car. At the wheel sits a bull-necked older man, next to him a woman with perms, in the back a child, about twelve years old, a boy. Everybody stares at me with big eyes as they drive by, surely seeing my neck iron and the chain that goes with it. In a moment they are gone and disappear behind the next bend. What will they do? Call the police? It’s not normal to chain someone to a gate. Or is that what they’re used to here? The villagers are at least roughly informed about what happens behind the White Wall, as I k…