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Moviepants: Adventures in Underground Cinemascopia
   by Jerry Pyle

I arrived at the Department of Integration on the other side of town at around 4 pm. It had been closed since 2. I banged on the glass door until a young lady came to answer and tried to sum up my situation in a sentence. "I have been unfairly asked to leave the country and I need to launch a formal complaint so I can stay."
     "We're closed," she said. "There isn't anyone here."
     "There must be someone," I pleaded. "I've just been kicked out."
     "I'll see what I can do." She disappeared back inside and left me waiting in the street.
     While I waited for her to return, I got a message from Mette insisting I meet with her. That she had a plan. I told her the only way I could see her is if she met me at my flat and helped me pack up my things. She agreed to that. I was sending Mette directions to my flat when the young lady reappeared at the door and told me to go home.
     "You don't understand," I said. "I no longer have a home. That's why I'm here. I need to launch a formal complaint."
     "You'll have to come back tomorrow," she said.
     "If I'm still here tomorrow, I'll be arrested."
     The young lady thought for a moment and then went back inside. Moments later another woman appeared at the door and invited me in. She escorted me all the way into a small room with a table in the middle like an interrogation room without a two-way mirror. It was only after I'd sat down that I noticed the woman sitting across from me was disarmingly gorgeous. She had on an extremely tight blouse with stripes that made everything seem extraordinarily Danish.
     Though she didn't appear to be so happy to be seeing me outside her office hours, she took my materials and looked over them, being gracious enough to translate the letter I'd been given in addition to explaining to me exactly what my rights consisted of at this stage of the process. My rights included filing a formal complaint following which I would be obliged to leave the country for a minimum of one year. The complaint she said would take at least six months to file and be deliberated on and to her knowledge, in accordance with Danish law, it would probably be denied. I asked her to file the complaint anyway out of principle.
     As I followed her out, I realized she had managed to leave me with an image of Denmark that would most likely haunt me for no less than one year. That indelible image of vague hospitality and disaffected consideration combined with complacent beauty is painful when it's stricken from your life with no warning and no opportunity for reconciliation.

Moviepants: Adventures in Underground Cinemascopia   
Copyright©2003 Jerry Pyle
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