The number assigned my totality to a personal duty station. I had no designation other than these five digits. I did not quibble yet wondered, if in their doing so, a mistake had been made as this action inferred I was cataloged and to that extent, did exist. It also inferred a measure of autonomy, however slight.
I needed to assume that they indeed had made an error, had moreover committed a cognitive oversight, and in that sense, I was rendered free to send these messages to my two sons and one or two others, right under their noses. I had no idea if my symbolic missives were transmitted beyond the boundary of the facility or if the boxes actually left on the trucks that were mentioned to me during orientation. I worked in a different sector, in a different enclosure. I maintained the position that they did though, and that what I created was released and as a result cherished the barest hope that my schema would be recognized and interpreted correctly and that they would know the truth.
I realize only too well that my supposition was improbable yet did not consider this, to be honest, carrying on each day, almost as if neurotically driven, with as much meticulousness as I could muster to generate code after code.
My employment afforded me the tiniest measure of creative license and that was all I needed. My task was to assign to each corrugated box in which product was transported, a tracking classifier, which consisted of a combination of numbers and letters. These codes differed for each box. The code itself was stamped within a 2 cm by 3 cm rectangle and barely visible in the lower right-hand corner of the finished parcel's cover, but visible nonetheless. I was instructed to follow the random algorithm in the selection of these classifiers but did not. The failure of the system had been to assume that we, the parcel code designers, all would follow the algorithm. There was immense social pressure to do so. One faced complete ostracization, even death by asphyxiation. Their logic failed in this assumption: There would be no reason why any one of us would find it necessary or useful to deviate from the random selection protocol and therefore, would not.
Only recently, after twenty years of developing and transmitting my clandestine schema, had I an indication that my system might have been acknowledged on some level. By whom I could not guess and this acknowledgement, or what I perceived to be an acknowledgment, might very well have constituted a delusion, my own wishful thinking, generated by that part of my soul which could not bear to face the tragedy of an unrequited existence and the stark barbarism of our political administration which none of us could acknowledge in any case, under the punishment through aforementioned measures.
I saw, on the requisition code sequences arriving at my desk weekly, this pattern emerge. . .