Even though the periods during which I am asleep and unaware still remain brief and infrequent (victory!), it has always bothered me that my attendants remain unobserved during these times. No doubt they spend this period given to many wanton and idle activities.
However, I have recently and rather unexpectedly come upon a remedy.
The other day, sometime during the midnight hours, when the attendants seemed most likely to be idle, I was protesting an insult they had wrought upon me (for that I will write a fresh entry) and instead of the usual patting, shushing, application of soothing music, offering of libations and serenading in her cracked and tired voice, the tall attendant exclaimed “Stuff It,” removed me from my quarters and brought me to their sad billet.
I was, of course, initially enraged by the indignity of joining them in their pathetic chambers, as there is not even one row of bars next to the heap of rags they laze about on (I suppose this is because their lives are so cheap that no one cares if they fall to their deaths). Nor have they the device which assures the world of my breath (my life is so valuable that its vital signs must be constantly monitored).
However, while attempting to strike both of them simultaneously, I made the serendipitous discovery that, with some small maneuvering on my part, their lowly slab can offer even more peace of mind and therefore restful slumber than my usual berthings.
I have found that if I rotate myself in a particular manner horizontally between them, I am able to place a set of limbs on each of their faces respectively in such a way that the smallest shift of any part of my person will rouse both attendants from their loafing.
I find this position of repose and the regular disruptions it affords me to inflict upon my attendants’ torpidity to have upon me a not unsubstantial soporific effect, and I am now resting better than ever.
This day heralded new and baffling attempts on the part of my attendants to shirk and make mockery of their duties.
After the indignity of putting me in frills and placing a decorative and demeaning edifice on my head, they took me in the carriage to the place they call city, where we stood unmoving for too long in a bright place, surrounded by other attendants. While the lights pleased me, the torpidity and idleness did not and I chastised everyone involved for the confusion and delay.
Once I had finally made my wishes clear, we were taken from the line to a cave where they attempted to hand me to a big fat red attendant of no use and no experience with Overlords (looking, as he did, so plump and joyful and well-rested). They looked amused while some other attendants made a record of the ridicule. Then they looked worried because I would not have it. I shouted and shouted, demanding to be released by the fat mock attendant, and so the tall attendant had to hold me and stand next to him. I did not let up in my protest of this reprehensible treatment.
Upon our exit from this cave of insolence, the attendants were handed a sleeve of portraits and I was cheered to see my screaming objection etched into all of them; each likeness a pleasing record of my defiance.
Each day I endure many tortures. There are always new ones, but these form the landscape of my daily suffering:
The wresting of the limbs into the fabrics of confinement and the driving of the feet into hard cages.
The confiscation of morsels hoarded for later need (who knows what horror will appear in front of me next).
The prohibition against consuming the delicacies named Nosharp and Eryuk that lie on the ground of Outside.
The passing of the damp cloth over the mouth and nose and the brutal seizing of the treasures made by nose.
The durance vile they call Cuddle.
While my campaign of protest and punishment has reduced the regularity and duration of these assaults upon my person, my attendants’ outrageous attempts to undermine my authority and dignity are unrelenting and must be thoroughly quashed.
There are many things to say about the place they call “CAR” and none of them are good. I am bound by straps and ropes and then am blasted around the outside, facing in the wrong direction. Further, the attendants sit up front and determine where we go. If I chastise them loudly, which I have to do often in this situation, they send loud and hideous and tedious talking my way — not theirs, it comes from Car.
Often we find ourselves caught in a swarm of many Cars of different hues, all frozen in a state of unbearable stasis. No doubt this is due to some profound ineptness on the part of my attendants. I shout and shout but there is no release.
Today, after I delivered a lengthy castigation for their reprehensible treatment of me as well as their incompetence, they sang a song. The song told the deeds of an attendant named Bakers Man quickly and efficiently making a cake for me and marking it with B, for my insignia. I shouted that this would be some small compensation for my discomfort and that they should produce this cake immediately, but they just started the song again, this time making accompanying hand gestures, clearly designed to mock me.
I included this outrageous mockery amongst my chastisements and did not let up until long after I was free from the prison of buckles.
I have found the best time for airing grievances to be day’s end, after the fading of the light, when the attendants are at their weakest.
Recounting sources of past and present dissatisfactions and repeating them with increasing volume also serves to delay the fall into that strange and terrible state of unawareness.
I have no doubt that, during those short periods I succumb to the grip of this dreadful state, my attendants will be given to sloth and wantonness.
Therefore, it is necessary to resist this descent as long as I am able, and strive to keep its hold on me as brief as possible.
Tonight, disaster. I knew something was afoot when they attended to their daily tasks with a new lightness of spirit. I hid my confusion, so as to not show weakness. During my bathing, one disappeared and returned transformed. She was no longer wearing her usual rags, marked with the day’s work, but some smooth, bright fabric. In her ears hung tiny bright toys.
The other then made a similar transformation. They were clothed not only above their station but beyond that which is appropriate for their duties–it was a matter of minutes before I was due to dine, and the fabrics they were now clad in were not suitably absorbent for those parts of the meal not pleasing to me.
Then the door rang and in came a new attendant, one I had not seen before, but who came towards me with a bright face. My attendants became animated as she came in, and chatted with happiness.
I mustered the foulest mess I could summon with my rage, but it only served to delay them.
I began then to cry and shout, hoping to frighten them. But with scarcely a look behind them they exited the demesne.
The rest of the evening was given to planning their punishment.
A wondrous day. I have finally done it. I have come upon a tone of the voice which they cannot ignore; a precise frequency that is guaranteed to stir them even from their hand-lights.
Today the attendant was lazing around the bright cup that she must have upon waking. I have deduced the cup contains a powerful elixir as every day she remains fixated upon it until it is consumed completely. Usually nothing can rouse her.
But today during her usual preoccupation with the NO HOT (this is what she calls it), I summoned her using the new tone. She jumped up immediately as though someone had hit her and looked upon me with a Face. And so Sophie Giraffe was given to me with some speed and attention, which was pleasing.
Today heralded a new level of invention in their constant quest to avoid acquiescing with my few, simple requests.
In an attempt to escape her duties, one of them suddenly closed her eyes and made a violent dive backwards into a horizontal position on the floor. From here she did not stir until roused by the other with much shaking and shouting.
The affront did not end there, as the other attendant did not admonish the delinquent one but instead encouraged her eccentric display by half-carrying her to the soft platform on which I occasionally dine and urging her to remain there in a slovenly position of repose for some time.
To add further insult to whole affair, they spent much of the day engaged in tedious discourse about this new indolence they call “fainting”. The one who “fainted” told the story again and again, all day, to anyone who would listen. “You must be exhausted”, people kept saying to her, which is an absurd statement as she spent a good part of the morning laying inert.
One of the grand-attendants came to pay homage to me in the evening, and instead of focusing on the movements I make with my hands – which would normally and quite rightly cause him to praise my greatness – he listened with a serious face as the attendant started to tell the story again. “Oh god I can’t stand it!” I shouted. “This is so boring!” But instead of agreeing with me, the other attendant lifted me from my usual place of dining and carried me to the bathing quarters at a very unsuitable time.
I made my displeasure known to her in no uncertain terms.
Today, a victory. The owl that sticks out its head from the hole in the book shall mock me no longer.