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Remember, they are building you a cage

They are building you a cage. They’ve already brought in armfuls of straw and they’ve begun to tighten down the rusting bolts on the door.

They’ve lost interest in you but you sit politely and nod at them through your bars.

Sometimes you get up and hold out your hand but you’re pale and emaciated and starved of political nourishment. They walk straight past, or else shy away. Every time you disagree or voice an opinion or try to defend your rights and entitlements they kick your bars.

Confused, and not knowing what else to do, you retreat back into the gloom. Kneeling in the straw you remind yourself of how important you once were, but the image they held of you, the image of you as a person of soft devotion and sentimentality, is dead.

Instead you are hungry and haunted and reviled, lost and hated, and above all else, you are alone.

Dr Kevin Hinkley is a GP in Aberdeen