I was walking up a long sloping corridor or tunnel, with indistinct grey walls,
which disappeared into a distant brightness far above. There was an escalator,
but it wasn't running, I remembered a notice at the bottom saying it was
out of order, although I had no memory of getting to the start of the tunnel, or
of what had happened before then. There was nobody near me, and although I had
the vague impression of others climbing far ahead of me, the light made
everything too distinct to say for sure. Behind me, the view gradually
disappeared into a deepening darkness.
After what could have been months or minutes of ascending the stairs, I could
suddenly see that the light ahead was widening visibly as I approached the exit.
Relieved, I pushed myself up the last few steps and out onto an open plain.
Resting my aching feet, I turned around, to see a large gateway, and in front of
it an elderly man who I recognised instantly from the surroundings, and from his
shining white robes, full bushy beard and mane of hair. It was Karl Marx.
Have I come home? I asked him.
You're takin' the piss now, son, he replied. This place's not for
the likes of you. Back you go and keep trying. But one thing - you've learned,
you've caroused, and you've tried to do the right thing. Don't be so hard on
yourself this time.
And there endeth today's lesson.