When people warn you about “the real world”, they tell you that you will become a number. Special to no one. Significant to no one. just a number coupled and grouped among other numbers. As statics. As eventualities. As casualties in the body count, surviving forever wounded in the world. To the government. To the clerk at the register and the cop looking at your license.
At your job.
I am # 343 at my job. when I make an error with some form that comes across my desk, someone comes around asking, “Are you 343, are you 343…?” From person to person until, they reach me to inform me that I’ve done something wrong in my clerical duties.
I’ve always told myself that I would never be just a number. And I’m not. But its the idea that to the mechanical click-click-clicking of the every day machine of the system, that’s exactly what I am. It’s depressing, to have my humanity reduced to a numerical representation. How many times over and over am I reduced to just a number in the eyes of others? If to be is to be perceived, how do you connect with people who don’t really see you?
My ancestors were treated as numbers of animals for slaughter, to work until death, and as hard as they fought, it seems I share the vein of a similar fate.
I suppose, maybe, that I can only continue to fight.