Call him Anonymous

Call him Anonymous.

He was born in a middle-size town to middle-class parents and he was then one of about 1,700 million people alive. He was an only child and rarely met his two cousins. He did not want for food or clothing and enjoyed an unremarkable but comfortable childhood. He was not bullied and did not bully anyone else. He was never beaten and never struck anyone. He finished school in the middle of his class. He went to an unremarkable university and graduated, without honours but without any adverse comments. He joined a large textile company as a junior clerk in the accounts department.

In due course he married his unremarkable cousin (twice removed) who was two years older and they had three unremarkable children. One died (a cot-death) in infancy. His children grew up unremarkably and without any great upheavals in their lives. He bought a house and a little car. His wife worked as a shop accountant before their children were born and also after they were teenagers. They did not want for food and clothing and they could afford an unremarkable holiday for a week or two every year. During the War he was seconded as an accountant to the Amy Pay Office. After the war he returned to his textile company employer. His performance as an accountant was always adequate and his career progressed unremarkably through the accounts department. By the age of fifty he had risen to be the Deputy Manager of the Reports and Financial Statement Department. His parents died unremarkably in their 80s.

His wife and he both retired at 60 and their combined pensions allowed them to continue living unremarkably in their house. She continued with her Lunch Club and Dramatic Society and he had his annual subscription to the Football and Bridge Clubs. Their children – and later 2 grandchildren – visited them in the summer and at Christmas. They were always invited to his company’s annual Christmas Party until the company was wound down and vanished after 120 years in business. She died quietly after a stroke when she was 78 and he continued living in his unremarkable little house for another 15 years. When he was 92 his children and the City authorities moved him to a home for the aged. His house was sold and the proceeds together with his pension were sufficient to ensure that he was cared for at a better than average home. He never became senile but his physical abilities gradually withered away. His children continued visiting him once or twice a year. He had no other visitors.

He died 11 years later at 103. It was a quiet death and his heart just stopped beating one night. It was during the pandemic and nobody could visit him. The Home organised his cremation and the disposal of his ashes in consultation with his children. This was in an environmentally approved tip since immersion of the ashes in the local river was not allowed. A short memorial service was live-streamed a month later and 4 people logged in.

He died alone among 7.5 billion people on the planet.

There is no doubt he did exist. An unremarkable living, a forgotten life

His name? Call him Anonymous.

%d bloggers like this: