Repunzel! Repunzel!

She sits on the balcony wrapped up against the cold. It's like this every day looking out at the world. This morning there is a letter in her hand. Like the thousands before she knows what it will say before she opens it.

"Thank you for your interest. Unfortunately on this occasion your application has not been successful. We hope this does not discourage you from applying in the future"

It's nothing new. She wishes it was. She pulls the jacket closer around her. Its cold out here but it's too warm in the flat, Claustrophobic. She should go inside but she doesn't. She has application forms to fill out, job sites to search and emails to open. She knows what they will say as well before she opens them. Life has become so predictable.

"Thank you for your interest. Unfortunately on this occasion your application has not been successful. We hope this does not discourage you from applying in the future"

Instead she watches the people moving about down below. She wants to leave the flat, go out into the world again. But she has no reason to. She has no reason to go out into the world. No excuse to break her isolation. In a couple of days she will have to go to the Jobcentre. To sign a sheet of paper, to prove she is looking for work. She will look at the machines, listen to their suggestions and the pile of letters will get bigger.

"Thank you for your interest. Unfortunately on this occasion your application has not been successful. We hope this does not discourage you from applying in the future"

She puts the letter down next to a book at her elbow. A book of fairy tales, that don't cheer her up today. "Repunzel! Repunzel! Let down your hair" But life isn't a fairy tale. She goes inside and opens the laptop. There's only one way out of this isolation. There is nothing else she can do. The routine continues.