He had been waiting at the gate forever, an eternity. Unshaven, dirty, ridden with fleas, scabs and bruises inflicted by the seasons, he waited patiently to be allowed in, as he watched high dignitaries, emissaries, entire cavalries entering freely, only to see the gate closed in his face. He wrote messages on the walls around the palace, got beaten up by the guards as he sung and screamed for the King to come out, lost his voice and his tent, and even his coat was taken, making his life harder, more miserable. Tear-gassed he didn’t even have the chance to cry his fate, lost as he was trying to survive, struggling to enter while stuck to the ground. Little did he realise that behind him, new tents were being erected, new faces blossomed and stronger voices were joining his – voices with different accents and dialects, faces darker or fairer, forming one big colourful tent of the oppressed. Even the guards, or most of them, had grown wary of their fate, paid to stay out on attention come rain or shine and just shut up everyone and clean up the palace street of the unwanted rogues, their own brothers. Stripped of their uniform, they were part of the gathering masses with a humiliating salary.
That’s how the guard who shall remain unnamed told the waiting man, Why do you want to enter this soulless place? Look behind you, everyone else is waiting, we can force through the gates by sheer force. But what do we do then? Install you as the new King?
That’s not what I came for.
I know, I’ve been watching you everyday.
Although now that I think of it, I’ve forgotten what I came for.
That’s even better. It means we can all start afresh.
And that’s how the guard and the waiting man realised that all they needed to do was to lock the King and his followers inside, give them their mausoleum, let them rot under their crumbling walls, dying of their own tyranny. Freedom was out there, on the streets.