Imagine a room, long and narrow like a corridor, ending in a curved wall, where a black metal desk sits. Viewed from above, or on the floor plans that were so meticulously designed, the room gives the vague impression of a plant growing from a bulb. So far, so ordinary. But what singles this room out from every other room in the city - perhaps every other room in the world - is what it contains. This room is filled end to end with screens. They cling precariously to the walls, dangle from the ceilings - they even fill the floor, protected under a layer of glass so they are not crushed by my footsteps. They're too precious to risk damaging. They are never switched off - they broadcast twenty-four/seven, from all over the city. No one escapes my notice. How can I look after them if I don't know what every single one of them faces? It's a kindness, really.
There are no lights in this room, and the walls - what you can see of them - are painted a dull no-colour, a shade of what used to be called grey. No matter what the walls look like - it is the screens that are important, the screens that fill the room with a soft, flickering light that is all I need. This is my temple. My sanctuary. Out there they call me the new Leader, the new God, but in here… In here, I can believe it.
It happened so quickly, I can scarcely believe it myself - one day I was stood on a platform, the metal of the microphone cold beneath my gloved hand, preaching for the adjustments to society we so dearly needed - isolation, total trust, faith in one figure, instead of a Parliament that squabbled and crowed over every decision and every minor victory like ravens at a corpse. Then a cheer, the war-drumming of hundreds of leather boots hitting the ground at the precise same rhythm, a wave of brightly coloured flags and scraps of ribbon and hope… And I am here.
I am here, and they are there. Separated but connected. I am a god, a monster, a puppeteer… call me what you will, it makes no difference. It was my idea to ensure that they were watched at all times, to prevent a slide back towards the time before - I would supervise them, like a mother with a child on a swing. They would not fall, not garner as much as a scraped knee while I looked after them. That was my intention. I want you, the person who is imagining me and my room and the light of the screens, to know that. I wanted to look after them.