221+21=Another Pratt Badge Story

221 liked special school. Access was good, Made her feel independent.
21 became numb to the world at special school. Anxieties were high. Made him feel independent.
221 liked the support.
21 had none.
221 went home for the weekends
21’s family were more distant, lost to him, but sometimes visited.
221’s family still recommend residential care to her all these years on
21 will not die in a nursing home

221+21 sat at a stall together promoting independent living.
Their numbers came up in conversation.
21 was saying how much he hated Pratt Badges (see previous blog) those you wear in conference in case you forget your name or should someone want to feign interest in you.
21’s wife had threatened to sew name labels in his clothes after he’d lost another scarf.

We are born in an institution, sent to special school in labelled underwear, as we age we end up locked up in nursing homes – our labelled undies rammed into piss baskets, our paltry lives scrambled in the mire of other people’s incontinence and with our best dresses ruined. Yet they say labelling and the numbering protects property in death camps.

221 remembers her number well. She may yet wear it again.
21 blocked his out but talking to 221 his memory recalled 21.
21 his caustic cynicism refers to it has his lucky number.


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