From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
Standing outside of the white building the next day, Alex recounts his last day inside it.
It tires him out, actually. He has to endure interviews for TV, photo sessions, demonstrations, and then, finally, a nap…Glad to put it all behind him.
On an empty stomach, Alex decides to grab some grub. He witnesses the boorish men grab at a waitress who seems to enjoy the attention. He sits in dark corner to eat.
A dwarf comes in to sell the morning paper. Alex purchases the paper – a Government publication – something about the upcoming General Election.
It's so much propaganda from the boastful Government on the first page. Triumphs this, more police that.
On the second page, he sees his own photograph: the first graduate from the State Institute for Reclamation of Criminal Types. Ludovico's Technique. A crime-free era coming up! The Minister of the Interior boasts about how clever the system is.
Alex throws the paper on the floor in a fit of rage.
A homebound Alex looks forward to surprising his parents, all the while dreaming about the classical music he'll be able to listen to in bed. Oh yeah, nothing like a little Mozart in bed.
He takes the bus to Kingsley Avenue, and then to the flats of Flatblock 18A.
It is quiet, since it is early winter morning.
The apartment complex seems to him a bit cleaned up. The elevator even works.
Alex opens the door to his home with the key he has in his pants, and is confronted by three pairs of frightened eyes.
Mom and dad and some stranger stare back at him.
The stranger is the first to ask him who the hell he is.
Alex's parents start questioning how it was that he broke out of jail.
Alex starts to explain, and the stranger starts to huff and puff…
Alex questions him now: how long he's been there, what he does. He looks to be thirty or forty, very ugly, very middle-class.
Alex's dad interrupts to defend the stranger, Joe. He lives there now; he's renting Alex's room.
Joe speaks up and insults Alex, saying Alex has been a horrible son and that Joe's been protecting his parents like a son ought to.
Well, this is funny, because Joe seems to Alex to be the same age as his parents.
Upon seeing that his stereo and discs have gone missing from his room, Alex screams out in pain, calling Joe a horrible bastard.
Alex's dad answers that all everything been taken away as compensation for the victims, a sort of new regulation by the State. After all, after their keeper died, the cats needed to be fed.
A baffled Alex sits down.
Joe demands that he ask permission before he sits.
Alex retorts with profanity, and instantly feels pretty sick.
The parents speak up. We can't just kick Joe out. He's supposed to be here for more time according to the rental agreement…
Alex starts to cry, feeling very sorry for himself. His parents have gotten used to the peace and the extra rent money after two years…
Well, his dad says, Joe's already paid the month's rent, so he can't go now.
Joe cuts in and preaches just what a bad boy Alex has been and how he doesn't deserve kindness, nor parents, for that matter. Umm, AWKWARD!
In tears, Alex speaks out about how everyone just wants him to suffer.
Joe cuts in again, and says, basically, what goes around comes around.
Alex staggers out of the door, saying that he'll never be seen again. And that he wishes he were back in prison.