“How do people get to this clandestine Archipelago? Hour by
hour planes fly there, ships steer their course there, and trains
thunder off to it-but all with nary a mark on them to tell of their
destination. And at ticket windows or at travel bureaus for Soviet
or foreign tourists the employees would be astounded if you were
to ask for a ticket to go there. They know nothing and they've
never heard of the Archipelago as a whole or of anyone of its
--Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
My shoulders rub against the shoulders of the comrade citizen who sits to my left.
My shoulders rub against the shoulders of the comrade citizen who sits to my right.
Our chairs collide like neutrons in an elaborate scientific machine.
Our knees and shins are bruised from the aggressive closeness of our nearby furniture.
All day and all night and all day and all night without rest without break without even god, work continues to find its way to our desks. We barely have time to look up and grumble.
It must be done by tomorrow we are told, with no time to say, why, why now, why me, why tomorrow. It just must be done.
There are no questions asked.
We do as we are told.
There is no way out.
Until out we are allowed.
And out we are never allowed.