Penalty Charge Notice – Dan Brotzel

THIS NOTICE CONTAINS IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT AN OFFENCE WHICH YOU ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE COMMITTED. DO NOT IGNORE.
(You did, of course.)

DETAILS OF OFFENCE
Hmm. How about: failing to be present to the person you said you loved? Basically, you recklessly entered a restricted zone (my heart), parked your callous little self all over my feelings, and just sat there while I bled dry.

TIME
Most of the time really. And more and more as time went on. I mean, when was the last time we’d even had a meaningful conversation about anything?

PLACE
I didn’t know where you were emotionally most of the time, only that it was somewhere other than with me. Even when you were here, you weren’t really here.

EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE ALLEGATION
Oh come on, it was all over your face. That slightly vacant guilty look that became your default expression with me? The way you never texted or called in the day any more? The way you were oddly reluctant to introduce me to your friends or family. Your avoidance of sex. And when I said we should do more together, you were always like, Yes! This weekend! Let’s drive out to the hills. Let’s spend some real time together! And then you were like: Oh wait, I promised to help my mum.

CONDITIONAL OFFER OF FIXED PENALTY
I tried to make you see. Tried to explain what was really happening. I don’t know why you want me here, I said. I only moved to this city because I thought you wanted us to be together. I gave up everything back home and got a shit job here so you wouldn’t have to keep subbing me. I share a flat with a bunch of arseholes because you’re not ready to move out from your mum’s. (Did she ever even really know about me, by the way? Does she even know you’re gay, come to that? You were oddly evasive about that too).

We used to make big plans about living together, marriage, adopting a kid. But it got a point that if ever I broached the subject, we ended up in a blazing row. Remember the shitshow at New Year’s Eve? The night the neighbours called the police? The crimes of Paris? First-class tickets on Eurostar and me sobbing alone in the buffet car.

THIS OFFENCE CARRIES A MAXIMUM PENALTY OF…
Christ, I didn’t know. How can you serve an ultimatum on someone who doesn’t give a shit? I could have just walked out on all this long ago, and I probably should have. That’s what my sister said, and you know how she always saw right through you. The only thing that stopped me was the fear that you would have just watched me walk away, just let it happen, been secretly glad. The only thing that stopped me was that I still loved you.

FAILURE TO RESPOND TO THIS NOTICE WITHIN 28 DAYS IS DEEMED AN OFFENCE AND COULD LEAD TO A COURT SUMMONS AND PROSECUTION.
Actually you did respond. To start with. You pulled out all the stops for a night or two, gave me some attention, showed me a bit of love. Just enough to keep me going till my next little hissy crisis. Jesus, you must have despised me, the way you just kept me dangling. Did you get off on watching me twist and writhe, you cold-blooded sadist? And God, how I must have hated myself to put up with it, to think that the best thing I could do with my life was to hang around waiting for you to turn into a decent person.

IF YOU MAKE TIMELY PAYMENT AND AGREE TO ATTEND AN EDUCATIONAL COURSE, YOU WILL BE DISCHARGED FROM LIABILITY TO CONVICTION AND NO PROCEEDINGS WILL BE COMMENCED AGAINST YOU.
Yeah right.

YOU MUST PAY IN FULL AND SURRENDER YOUR LICENCE.
And your ego. And your nasty sadistic streak. Also your sidelong glances at other men. Don’t think I didn’t notice. (But of course, it’s way too late for all that now.)

THE EDUCATIONAL COURSE IS DESIGNED TO EXPLORE YOUR REASONS FOR OFFENDING AND HELP PREVENT FURTHER LAPSES.
i.e. explore the reasons why monsters like you persistently exceed the normal limits of reasonable behaviour in supposedly loving monogamous relationships. As for further lapses, if you can’t see what the problem is already, then God help the next one.

YOUR DETAILS WILL BE CHECKED AGAINST A NATIONAL DATABASE TO ESTABLISH IF YOU HAVE COMPLETED A SIMILAR COURSE OF EDUCATION WITHIN THE LAST 3 YEARS.
You will also remain in my personal database for all time, and as soon as I get out of here I will not hesitate to inform any future partners of yours what a sneaky self-involved shit you are.

YOUR PERSONAL DETAILS WILL NOT AT ANY TIME BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC.
Unless of course you do this to someone again, and I’ll paste the gory details all over Facebook.

YOUR DETAILS MAY HOWEVER IN FUTURE BE USED FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF OTHER CONTRAVENTIONS AND OTHER ASSOCIATED PURPOSES.
And by ‘associated purposes’, I mean whatever the fuck I want it to mean, but especially reserving the right to drag up your sorry behaviour at any time that suits me, especially where it might assist me as an underhand card to play in winning any future argument I might have with anyone who I suspect of emotionally abusing me in any way whatsoever.

IF THERE IS ANY REASON WHY YOU THINK YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE TO PAY A PENALTY CHARGE, PLEASE SAY SO NOW. YOU CAN ALSO REFER THE MATTER TO A HIGHER AUTHORITY TO MAKE REPRESENTATIONS ON YOUR BEHALF.
But just so you know, that doesn’t mean your mum. Also, I can tell you now that the following were never going to cut it:

* ‘I was not aware of what I was doing’
* ‘I was not in full possession of my faculties at the time’
* ‘I did not see the signs’
* ‘Someone else was in control of my mind without my consent’
* ‘It was late at night and I’m not at my best then’
* ‘Well, that’s not how my mum sees it’
* ‘It was very early and I’m not really a morning person’
* ‘I was momentarily distracted’
* ‘It’s my first offence’ (bullshit)
* ‘My memory may be faulty’
* ‘I’m just really tired – work’s been really hard recently’
* ‘It’s not you, it’s me’
* Any sentence beginning, ‘What about when you…’
* Any sentence along the lines of: ‘If you’re the injured party, how come I’m the one in plaster??’

PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ARE CATERED FOR.
But just so you know, things like ‘my mum never hugged me’ or ‘I’m just wired differently to other people, I guess’ do not count as disabilities. Injuries after the fact do not count either.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT YOUR REPRESENTATIONS AND SUPPORTING EVIDENCE WILL BE CAREFULLY CONSIDERED, AND YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED IN DUE COURSE OF THE DECISION REGARDING YOUR CASE. IF YOUR REPRESENTATIONS ARE ACCEPTED, YOU WILL NOT HAVE TO PAY THE PENALTY CHARGE.
But there are laws for things – rules of love, if you will – and in your case, I’m afraid, the charge was payable in full. PLEASE DO NOT SEND POST-DATED CHEQUES. Just like your post-dated affection, these will no longer be accepted.

CURRENT LEGISLATION PROVIDES THAT, WHERE THERE IS SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO JUSTIFY THE COMMENCEMENT OF CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS, A FIXED PENALTY MAY BE APPLIED INSTEAD OF A PROSECUTION.
OK I shouldn’t have done it. I guess I took the law into my own hands.

THE FIXED PENALTY SYSTEM IS DESIGNED AS A FAST-TRACK SYSTEM WHERE THE OFFENDER DOES NOT DISPUTE THAT AN OFFENCE HAS TAKEN PLACE.
OK, OK. But you knew what you were doing. And I was sorely provoked. This had been going on for months, remember.

IF THE PENALTY IS NOT PAID BEFORE THE END OF THE 28-DAY PERIOD, AN INCREASED CHARGE MAY BE PAYABLE.
And you certainly milked it for all it was worth. Going to the papers like that, you little tart. ‘Jealous gay lover runs over boyfriend’. How much did you get for that? As if. It was just a little nudge. We were in a driveway, for fuck’s sake.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ARE MY HUMAN RIGHTS INFRINGED IF I RESPOND TO THIS NOTICE?
Are you fucking kidding me? I got six months and you’re asking me about human rights? I don’t even believe your leg was broken. (Not in four places anyway.)

IS YOUR EQUIPMENT ACCURATE AND CAN I SEE EVIDENCE OF ITS INSPECTION?
Oh enough with the gas-lighting already. You had it coming. ‘Dangerous driving,’ they said. Trust me, babe — I never drove with more care and attention in my life.

 

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