Monday, January 21, 2013

The Red Box

The Red Box
Chancellors are allowed to drink Alcohol during the budget speech but that’s not for me.  So I’ve followed those men of the people Brown and Darling by opting for “Standard Water” as they like to call it. 
Booze can dull the senses and I have kept a little something special in the red box ready for me as a reward.  I want to be at my best when I return and I did get quite a buzz from waving the box outside No.11 this morning before heading off to the House of Commons.  Yes, its got facts and figures in but the other contents mean so much more than to me.
The press always think they know what box contains and mostly they do.  The idea is to judiciously drip-feed the content of the budget so the public get the bad news in little chunks.  They become inured. A cut here, a cut there is all part of the bigger picture but of course your normal man in the street is too thick to see how the medicine will work given time.
Now drip feeding the press is all well and good but there are some things they can’t find out about.  My little treat is one of them.  A small black leather case tucked away inside the red box underneath the white papers and budget fluff.
We swoop into Downing Street in my official car and it’s straight into No 11 for a post-budget debrief.  Pleading a need to freshen up first, I dodge the welcoming phalanx of Secretaries, Under-Secretaries and other hangers on and make a bolt for the private apartment in the attic.
They’ve probably not noticed I still have the red box with me but that’s all part of the plan.  Freshen up can mean many different things to many different people.
Apartment door locked, I open the box at the desk and slip the black case out into my hand.  Case and I make our way in the bathroom and lock this door as well.  This is too important to have someone blindly wander in on me.
Disrobe, shower and then dry off, finishing naked in front of the over sink mirror.  I reverently open the black case and gaze at its interior.  The centre piece is the razor blade.  It has that dangerous sheen of something that is truly lethal but also overwhelmingly beautiful.
Clasping the blade I move over to the bath.  Sitting on the edge I run my left hand over my scars.  The tops of both legs are covered, each one a memento of a difficult decision made, a path chosen and blessed relief received.
Swinging my legs over into the bath I draw the razor of a patch of virgin skin on the side of my right thigh. As I begin I ask myself who else can be entrusted with making the difficult cuts required to save the country? Who else can understand that cuts whilst painful will bring glory in the end?  I’m not a man of the people but if the people knew my sacrifice then would they understand more?
 The blood flows freely and I receive my redemption.

Brian Tuck

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