Paul

By Grace

Why do you get all the feelings, dreams, hopes which can't ever be used?


Paul is well educated, well travelled and well spoken. Tall, smart and interesting to talk to. He loves the theatre, painting classes and opera.


On his 40th birthday Paul went to The State Opera House to see Madame Butterfly for the first time. He cried hoping that nobody was looking. Nobody was.


Was it the intuition's voice about his own future?


Paul was watching the news when he heard about The Marriage and Civil Partnership Act 2014, and the first ceremonies that followed.


To everyone's surprise, he left his country. He has never explained his reasons but what he really wanted was to find a warm hand reaching for his in a crowd.


He works in a museum. However, he is disliked by other cleaners. They don't like the way he speaks. And once he used Carol's hoover. Paul put on a poker face when he heard what they were saying after the Brexit referendum. Even when they were arguing whether the USA is in the European Union…


Minimum wage, maximum hate. How long does it take to get the message you are not wanted? Go home!


Even if your English is poor you can still read faces and see through a false smile.


On Sunday morning, carrying his weekly Lidl bags, Paul realised he hadn't spoken to anyone for a week. Lies about his successful career in Britain had built a wall around him. Eventually he stopped answering calls from his friends back home.


To everyone's surprise he never turned up for work on Monday. It was not like him. He was always there, accepting any amount of overtime they could give him. His phone was also dead. Fuck him!


They were talking about Paul for another week or so. Then they hired another Polish guy. They are good workers.


Have you ever met Paul? Surely you have. There are Pauls in every low-paid job. Sorry. I meant Poles in every minimum wage job.


Who is hiding underneath a uniform? Who cares?


silent rebellion, individuality, hidden rebels