Nurse: How long have you been in this corridor?
K: There don’t seem to be any clocks … I think I arrived yesterday.
Nurse: How do you feel?
K: I feel perfectly all right. A little undernourished, maybe, but I’m not complaining.
Nurse: We are understaffed. Our best are at the frontier.
K: At the frontier?
Nurse: Would you like a gurney to lie down on?
K: No, I feel fine.
Nurse: It is regulation for someone in your case.
K: My case? What would that be?
Nurse (frowning as she reads her chart): It just says, “in this case”.
K remains silent as if deep in thought.
Nurse: How did you get here?
K: I was summoned. In fact I was dragged.
Nurse: Dragged? (She recoils in horror.)
K: It was humiliating.
Nurse: One moment. (She goes away and, after five minutes, returns in a protective suit.)
K peers at her anxiously.
Nurse: We have a place for you.
K: A place?
Nurse: You will have to stay there.
K: For how long?
Nurse: Until the governor says it’s all right for you to come out.
K: Oh, the governor. Of course, now I understand. Don’t worry. I can stay as long as you like. I have experience in these matters. Which way is it?