He gets in line with the other young men, most of them his friends; all of them he knows. On the outside, it seems like a simple initiation ceremony – one that marks their ‘coming of age’ and becoming a true citizen. And all they have to do is get in line, be marked down in the census, and pay the fee. Simple, and boring. But at least it’s a test everyone can pass as long as they’re the right age and have the money.

It’s not even a lot of money, but it’s almost like he’s having to pay to continue the rest of his life with the same community. A half shekel for his life.

To the rich, it’s not enough. To the poor, it may be too much, and even though he’d never be able to equate a life to any amount of money, he thinks that this ceremony; this event of taking a census is one of the ways where people become equals again, and the amount of money needed for the fee is more of a symbol; a representation of worth and value.

It reminds him that each one of their lives is worth something; costs something to redeem (because everything that’s considered beautiful is never free) or give away.

The line is ever inching forwards, and he’s not feeling so bored anymore.


Blah blah blah

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