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i just woke up from the worst night of my life. i am twenty years old. i live in a city called Riverside, another city in the west. i am not from here. i come from Africa, the eastern part of Ethiopia, if you must know. i am here for school, attending college. and last night, last night was the darkest of nights for me. i am most certain the devil visited me. it hugged, kissed and did not let me sleep until my whole self gave up to its unsolicited caress. somethings are true. fear, anxiety, devil, evil, these things are true. they are for everyone in some ways, but until they happen to you, it is easy to believe they are not true. some crazed minds made them up to scare others. because until they happen to you for real, the idea of thinking about them is fun, enjoyable, giggly. but not last night. not when my lonely room shrunk to six inches, and in the midst of gasping for breath, in the midst of my extreme exhaustion, i was still keeping a tab on my eyes not to close themselves – because i did not trust them anymore. that i would not wake up if i let them shut. that the devil, in its grotesque gaze, was waiting for me to make this mistake for a split second, so it manifests itself all over my naked body in winter – sweating in winter, in a cold room.
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Reading Corner: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Recently, I read, and loved, Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. It’s uplifting, heartbreaking and downright genius. Eleanor Oliphant’s mind is complex and contradictory: simultaneously full of confusion and certainty, denial and acceptance, darkness and light. She evolves as the novel progresses, and it’s encouraging to see a character with such a distorted view of both life and of herself change in a positive way and confront her past and her fears. Continue reading Reading Corner: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

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Self-Isolation, Sex Work, and Stigma

With lockdown seeming to stretch on indefinitely, the nation has been coming together in common interests and activities, as everybody but key workers have been confined to their homes. Amongst this, a few key activities have stood out, from sharing instagrams of home baking to taking part in Joe Wick’s PE classes and, less wholesomely, pornography. Isolated from partners and dates, it’s no surprise that an increase in consumption of pornography has occurred. According to Pornhub’s own analytics, traffic increased by 18.5% on the 24th of March “when it was announced that Pornhub’s Premium service would be free to all visitors worldwide for one month to encourage people to stay at home and help flatten the curve of new Covid-19 cases.” Continue reading Self-Isolation, Sex Work, and Stigma

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Review: Normal People

Sometimes, a book comes along that makes you feel like you’ve been uprooted and transposed into the lives of the characters it’s following. Normal People, for me, was just like that. I wept throughout, and stayed up multiple nights to finish it, fully engrossed in the lives of Connell and Marianne. When I heard about the BBC adaptation, the first emotion I felt was nervousness. So many books I’ve adored have been adapted, to varying degrees of success, and I didn’t want Normal People to be another Percy Jackson (sorry Logan Lerman). In fact, I felt so much trepidation surrounding the series that I was scared to even press play on the first episode. To my relief, it delivered – and was even more beautiful than I could have imagined.   Continue reading Review: Normal People

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Review: National Theatre at Home: Frankenstein

A collection of 3,500 light bulbs hang above the audience, flashing all at once, as electronic static buzzes persistently. A spherical, beige screen – veiny, alien, womb-like – stands alone on the stage, until suddenly a hand bursts through it. Even for a virtual viewer, there is a sensory overload of light and sound as the Creature falls hard on the floor. It convulses and squirms, wet and barely conscious, twitching like a fish out of water. In silence, we watch it attempt to move, adjusting to its limbs as if paralysed. Continue reading Review: National Theatre at Home: Frankenstein

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Living for Killing Eve: Ep. 4 – Still Got It

‘Still Got It’ is as dark as it is captivating. It opens on Niko delivering bread to villagers in his native Poland having left Eve and the UK behind. Obviously, this being Killing Eve, the peace doesn’t last, and Nico is quickly reminded of reality with Eve’s constant messaging, which he ignores. Eve herself is haunted and conflicted. She has taken to sleeping in the Bitter Pill office as opposed to her flat, presumably due to Villanelle’s latest ‘gift’. Dejected and guilt-ridden, she has a few crotchety interactions with Kenny’s ex co-workers before receiving yet another reminder that Villanelle is still fixated on her: a birthday cake in the shape of a red bus. Continue reading Living for Killing Eve: Ep. 4 – Still Got It