I invited some guests to our home. It was obvious they were not well off but neither was I. I had not expected them to stay on – overstay is the correct word – but they lingered. At a family powwow we came to the decision that we can´t very well chuck the guests out after all, but we must let them know that they really have to leave otherwise, well otherwise. They have nowhere to go other than the miserable shed down the road. So we let them stay. That is now several decades. The matter continues unresolved but in the meantime many more guests seem to be moving in though it is unclear who invited them. Then one fine day the uninvited guests decided to declare the kitchen independent and sure enough grandma remained stranded sitting in the corner. They were nice enough to offer her to stay in the corner as long as she didn´t make a fuss.
When I complained and tried to evict these people I … well nothing happened. Finally I got some help from a neighbour but his fear was palpable because he was having a similar squatting problem. Down the block a man of wide-ish proportions inveigled his way into negotiating a solution to my problem. I thought, good, any sensible man should be able to untie this Gordian knot.
Later, much too late, it became clear that he agreed to an abridged version of the squatters’ declared independence and there I was, stuck. He did agree to send in a few squaddies to make sure grandma was not maltreated. He also made sure that the squatters had a bit of pocket change for the odd Mars bar. In the meantime, the neighbours to the far west, beyond Vienna, wait for me to explain why I am to blame for my own misery. I am, according to the prevailing opinion of my neigbours to the west, a pariah, a misfit and evil. I don’t mind the former two but the evil thing is difficult to swallow when you consider how it all came about.