IX – Roman Hobbies?

Dear Journal:

It’s been a paradoxical busy six days with nothing to do but play cards and fret. My neighbors come over from time to time, bringing food and news. My unwanted guardian down the street keeps watching my home during the day. At night I don’t know what he does, nor do I really care. I suppose he has to sleep sometime. Frankly, I wish he would conveniently disappear.

My neighbors are still jittery, and they are starting to eye my guard with growing dislike. Who knows, something could happen to my unwanted friend at the corner.

Two days ago, several people a couple of streets over were arrested and hauled off. The rumor is sedition. Wonderful word “sedition”.

Governments use it to mean what they want it to mean. You could be reading a pamphlet and get arrested. Also, under Roman law, anyone charged with sedition is considered a danger to the State. All of the person’s rights are taken away, including the right to a fair trial. I know. Remember, my brother was charged with sedition AND treason! The Gods only know where he is now.

Well, I think Caesar has finally cracked. The Legions have barely crossed the Parthian border and the Emperor is declaring victory.

In an awful hurry for that Triumph, I guess. I hope our boys come home in one piece. Rome may have conquered the world, the trick is effectively policing it. I don’t think we can do it, but then, what do I know? I’m a prisoner in my own house.

I’ve been hearing rumors from the marketplace. Business is falling off. It seems people are afraid to shop. Fear of being heard saying the wrong thing most likely. Also, people tend to get arrested there more frequently these days. Go figure. It wouldn’t surprise me if people started carrying concealed weapons. Not a good idea. The City Watch catches anyone packing, the offender is killed on the spot. Something to do with terrorism and city security.

Some of my neighbors have been coming over to play cards and gossip. Without their company I think I would go stark raving mad.

Something strange happened just a bit ago. My guardian is gone. That’s right. The corner is empty again.

I saw one of my neighbors at that corner, mopping something up. Another neighbor was emptying his trash. One big bag full to be precise. Hmmm. I wonder . . . Maybe my spy got reassigned.

I’m still drinking pretty heavily. It’s the only way I can get to sleep. Nothing like that last big bender, but just enough to shut my brain down. I must be getting used to it as the hangovers are gone now.

Guess what? I just looked out my window again and there are now TWO guard dogs at the corner. They’re not posing as vagrants either. They’re armed with swords and bucklers.

I wish they’d just arrest me and get it over with. Why am I being treated so carefully? Just when I thought things were getting better. I think I’ll go to bed and try and forget all of this. Not likely though.

Good night Journal.

Chapter X

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Published in: on August 19, 2009 at 3:46 PM  Leave a Comment  
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