The Ivory and the Ebony: The Census

A few days later we got a government form in the mail. “The census?” Mom wondered. “We got one of these a year ago.” “Maybe they need to keep track of the population,” I suggested. Mom shrugged. I may be blind, but I have the mind of a college professor and the ears of an owl. There were the usual stuffy questions, but there was something new: specific disabilities. I got suspicious. Then I had an impish idea. “Mark that I’m blind, but say Joey is mute.” Mom didn’t get the joke. “Y’know, your trombone mute?” I reminded her; we had a laugh about that.
My spirit felt lighter, but there was still a weight. I had never questioned authority, but felt I was beginning to. It was totally unlike my usual Nebel Licht self. Odd.
And I had the strange feeling it was about to get worse. Much, much worse.

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