Unreality Television

by Simon Kearns

I was told, take him round the back and deal with him. I mean, there's no ambiguity in that, is there? Everybody knows what that means. He knew what it meant. He didn't struggle, didn't plead. He was meek as a lamb. Hurrying almost, as if he couldn't wait for it to be over. He was leading me. All I could think about was how tight the cord was on his wrists, that it must really hurt, that his hands were turning white. It was my first day, you know? I wasn't gonna go making a scene. I mean, this is what we signed up for. Really.

Funny, though, I saw him a week later on Al Jazeera. Somebody must have moved him, cos he was face down when I left him. Seeing him on TV helped, actually. Made it more unreal. Anyway, I'd already quit by then.