YOUR LAWYER – A woman, for Chrissakes, young and Australian – is making you do some last-minute prep-prep-prepping. That’s really what she calls it: ‘prep-prep-prepping’. But you do not want to prep-prep-prep. You want to lie down, rest your eyes and turn your muddled brain off for a few minutes before they drag you in front of the judges – foreigners, every single one of them – and force you to plead guilty or not guilty to crimes against humanity, whatever the hell that means. By way of reply, at least in your dreams, you will launch into an impassioned and, you very much hope, wild-eyed speech that links Western imperialism with international law, and links international law with the authoritarianism of McDonalds, and links the authoritarianism of McDonalds with that moon landing the Americans faked in nineteen-sixty-whenever, and links the moon landing with the essential truth that sometimes leaders just have to do what they have to do. Boys will be boys. And everyone in the courtroom sitting smugly separated from you by bulletproof glass – judges, prosecutors, guards, spies of all nationalities and skin colours, alleged victims and alleged journalists – will nod in agreement, despite themselves. ‘Not guilty,’ they will chant. The walls will shake.
But you don’t want to plead at all. Why should you? You would prefer to be back in your cell, making a list of goods and services you believe the authorities are legally and morally obligated to supply you with: a firmer pillow, a pedicurist, Italian beer, a chef who really knows how to cook a pig, a woman who really knows how to please an old man.
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