Section 126 is anti-Dante
The doorman and the attendant shrugged their shoulders at his request for directions and seemed about to question his ancestry. Vernon wondered if there was a machete sticking out of his belt, wires trailing from his or maybe he just had the remains of a snickers bar in his teeth.
When he got to the top of the stairs he was unprepared for the heaving mass of bodies that filled the large room. Old and young, rich and poor, male and female, united in boredom and resignation like something out of Dante’s Divine Comedy.
The room was lined on one side by grimy windows overlooking the pleasantly planted courtyard outside and by glass-enclosed counters on the other. What wasn’t glass was panelled in dark grimy oak. The setting reminded him of a Victorian train station, the clientele reminded him of a doctors waiting room. He stood for a full ten minutes not sure what to do next, realising eventually that the ticket he held tightly in his sweating hand corresponded to the numbering system for calling clients to the booths at the far end of the room.
When Vernon’s number was up, after a wait of half an hour, he quickly made his way to the counter. He showed his tickets and his documents “You have photocopy?” The attractive but severe girl behind the glass asked.
“Photocopy of what?” Vernon said.
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