As I lay that night in bed, for some reason sleep kept eluding me and instead I felt myself in a restless strangely frightened state, with no reason that I could discern. I kept feeling there was something wrong about the past day, but I just couldn’t figure out WHAT it was. The visit to the factory with the pompous ignorant state official was surely nothing out of the ordinary. The parade, the workers with the flowers, singing as usual something foolish about how their collectivist experiment was going to be glorious and righteous, about how the productivity in the factories as in the fields has been improved by big percentages and all that usual nonsense that had always been convenient for rulers to convince the masses of for thousands of years just as long as they got to rule them with iron fists. But, let’s be honest, that was the usual, nothing special. It must’ve been something I had seen, something not obvious enough for my conscious mind to pick it up, but that somehow now my subconscious was nagging me with. I tried for hours to sift through all the memory imagery of the day, all the flowers and colorful ribbons, the women and the men in festive attire yet working for show at the dirty machinery, the big billboards, the fresh strong paint on the otherwise decrepit factory and machinery, all of it meant to overwhelm the senses along with the sounds of machinery and people at work, meant to convince through me the bank that we should give them yet another loan for their newest great utopian dream… all of that was what my mind had sort of noticed and remembered, the themes on the walls of workers holding hands and singing praise to the motherland or some-such typical nonsense. Was it the bombardment of new “modern artwork” covering walls and the freshly made big imposing statues? No! The big bas-relief with the typical patriotic nonsense in the new artwork style sanctioned by the government… no it wasn’t that still… But there was something… something sticking like a thorn in the back of my visual memory, something nagging for an answer!
And then, it hit me! It was the little bust on the desk of the factory foreman! It just didn’t fit! It wasn’t in the new state religion artwork style, neither did it have any uplifting patriotic message for the masses. And then it hit me why my brain must’ve noticed it: unlike everything else that was freshly painted over for my inspection IT looked old, very old, and even rusty at parts. Except the top part which seemed very smooth, like those religious artifacts from the time before the state atheism became all encompassing, the ones which the masses would touch a lot for luck/blessing/salvation and they’d become smooth and worn in those spots. THAT’s how that bust looked like! It didn’t make any sense!!! And why would it be there!?! Surely the government representative would not be the worshiping type… and yet it was all there, I remembered it now clearly. I couldn’t sleep all night wondering about this. How peculiar! I finally managed to fall asleep after filling out a form 5347b request which I’d mail first thing in the morning to ask for another inspection of the local officials. This prospect seemed to finally calm my tired mind enough to fall into the much needed sleep.