Solidarity Confinement

Alex was bored. He was acutely aware that being a trust fund kid just isn’t everything people think it is. Oh sure, you get to do everything you damn well please. Whenever and whatever and oh boy ain’t we got fun. After a while though it gets old. That’s the ugly truth.

So it was that he found himself doing what he did every morning, sitting at his usual table at his usual haunt sipping his usual latte and flipping through the newspaper someone had left behind. He turned to the personals, idly curious about people’s lives.

“Are you a committed, passionate person who wants to make a difference? If so, we need you! Help us change the world. Call 555-2347 now.”

Now this was interesting. Perhaps it was just what he needed. Get involved. Make changes. Why not? He certainly had the ways and means. He circled the ad and folded the paper and strolled home.

Checking his messages and finding no one was giving him a thought he made up his mind. He picked up the phone and dialled.

“People For Change, how can I help?”

“Um, hi. I saw your ad in the paper and I…”

“And you want to make a difference? You want to be a force for good in this world? You want to make things happen?”

Alex was nonplussed but stumbled ahead.

“Well, I think I do…”

“You think you do? Either you do or you don’t. There’s only one way to find out. Be at 93 Bleaker Street at seven p.m. tonight. That is if you have what it takes.”

As the line went dead Alex stared at the phone. A dawning realization took hold of him. This was it. This was what he needed. An excitement he hadn’t felt in a long time grabbed him and shook the cobwebs out his mind. He had found purpose, and by god, it felt damn good!

Climbing the stairs of the dilapidated building at the appointed hour Alex was in high spirits. A girl he decided in a heartbeat he would have to get to know better greeted him at the door.

“So you made it. Come on in.”

He was introduced around. Everyone there was in his age range and by the look of them he guessed many of them were in the same boat he was in. No matter, they wanted to make a difference.

A man who introduced himself as Frank had him take a seat in the middle of room and soon a sea of staring faces surrounded him.

“Well Alex, congratulations. You’re about to embark on a great journey. You, Alex, are going to make a difference. You Alex are going to be a force to be reckoned with.”

He leaned in until his face was barely an inch away.

“You, Alex, are going to change the world!”

Glancing around Alex saw nods of agreement on eager faces that shone with a strange light.

“Great. So what is it we’re supporting exactly?”

“We’re supporting change, Alex. We’re supporting goodness. And Alex, we’re going to start by supporting YOU!”

As one the group threw their arms in the air and began chanting.

“Change, change, change. Support, support, support.”

Completely befuddled now, Alex tried to back away but Frank took him by the shoulders and stared deep into his eyes.

“Um, look Frank, it all sounds…intriguing, but, well, I’d like to know exactly who you guys are and what you stand for. You see I…

“Alex, Alex, Alex. Questions, eh? Always with the questions.”

He waved a hand in the direction of the group who continued to chant.

“They too had questions, Alex. Look at them now. They have direction. They have purpose. Soon, so will you. It’s time to take the leap Alex. It’s time for change. Are you with us, Alex? Can you do this? Do you want to make a difference?”

As he looked around the room Alex wondered what he had been thinking, but he didn’t have long to contemplate.

“The bus is leaving in an hour, Alex. We’re taking you to our camp up North. It’s all going to be so good. You’re among friends now Alex. Relax.”

As Frank continued to look deep into his eyes Alex could feel hands all over him, lifting him from the chair. Change was in the air.

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