love in the time of Corona : part i

I think I fell in love three times during the escape. This was all unexpected. A few months ago, I was intending to go to Edinburgh, way up north from England. One harmonious night, in a local, crowded bar in London, I met this old man who had his dog outside at the entrance, almost boozed out but conscious enough to intuitively like or dislike a person. Continue reading love in the time of Corona : part i

The Life Chronicles: I Don’t Like Cider

I don’t always choose red wine. Red wine sinks, and makes a barrel of my body. It turns my purple eyelids heavy, and my pink tongue, purple. I drink a glass in the garden and watch the cracks in the patio or the pegs on the line: the ones that are so old that opening breaks them, belonging to tenants long-gone.
Sometimes white wine wins. It is strong and acidic, demanding the drinker to stay alert. White wine matches white blossoms, which match dinner in the garden, which matches white wine. Pollen tickles the inside of the nose and bees hum upon a bed of weeds, the one littered with dead bluebells. Continue reading The Life Chronicles: I Don’t Like Cider

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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Creative Corner: Like One Of Those Films You Could Only Watch Once

The house does not sit so silent as usual – there is the constant hum of activity vibrating from room to room: the creak of jagged soles placing stress on the cracks between the wooden floorboards, the slight brush of skin against 50% polyester 50% cotton, the occasional expulsion of phlegm from the back of the throat (which induces temporary panic before confirming it is not continuous and the body temperature remains below 38°), the muffled opening of a drawer, then the hurried rustling of papers and a frustrated “no” before it is shut again and another is opened, the light tick of fingertips dancing across a keyboard, the screeching of a chair as it rasps against the hard surface, the rattling of keys followed by the metallic click of a hinge swinging up and out, then the high-pitched whistle of someone beckoning a little cat and a disgruntled meow in response as if to say ‘I can’t believe you left me outside for so long’ before proceeding to purr excessively, and then the tiptaptiptaptip of his little paw pads as he saunters away, and sometimes, the ping of a device, a short pause, then a sudden outburst of deep laughter at something upon the screen, oh and the incessant echo of George Ezra’s ‘Shotgun’ on repeat, (I’ll be riding shotgun…underneath the hot sun..), followed by small voices flinging out irrelevant nonsense in alternating frequencies from the radio in the corner, which was supposedly turned on by the woman sat at the dining table in order to be listened to, but after a brief examination of her, it becomes clear that the small voices fall on deaf ears, instead she bends over the needy laptop in front of her, folding her limbs into a smaller mould (and in doing so, submitting to the machine’s demand), and every so often brushes a hand through her thinning (but still immaculately blow-dried) hair as she thinks to herself how she should have got it cut and highlighted before this involuntary cloister began, (..feeling like a someone…), and when asked why she insists on playing the damn thing all day every day despite the lack of interest in it, she meekly replies “because I don’t feel so alone” (for otherwise the silence spreads out like wallpaper speckled with sticky patches – too much glue in some places, others not enough at all). Continue reading Creative Corner: Like One Of Those Films You Could Only Watch Once

The Life Chronicles: Charge and Control

Build it. Break it. Build it, break it.

I exercise control in the small mannerisms I have adopted over the years. The minor, domestic cogs of my life, turning in perfect succession. Succinct, and ritually executed. These are the private domains of my psyche, the charts and the crosses, the changing of bed linen and the calculated hoovering of square spaces. Each chart is built of boxes, and each room possesses borders. The hoover head stops at skirting boards. Continue reading The Life Chronicles: Charge and Control

The Life Chronicles: Bar Flies

It is late December in a pub in Dublin. Poised behind the bar, a barmaid watches her customers buzz between velvet bar stools, and neglected coats. There is a plastic clock on the wall behind her, as she waits posted in front of the array of liquors, spirits and bottles of wine. The bottles are lazily draped in pound-store tinsel. Pine needles rest upon the floor with a certain authority; the endless cycle of hoovering is no match for the green pins. The air outside turns cheeks pink and skin chapped. The bar has become a haven for restless sets of boots, and men’s frozen fingertips. A sign reads, ‘Our mulled cider is a must’. Drawing in a deep breath, she marks the beginning of her shift upon the shiny surface of the clock. Continue reading The Life Chronicles: Bar Flies

Poisoned

Two days after the Queen died, they sent for me. I was sixteen. Barely more than a child. Father and Mother could do nothing. News of my supposed beauty had reached the capitol, so they came, they saw me, and they took me. Dressed in a great fur coat and a long, velvet dress trimmed with white ermine, I was bundled into a carriage and never saw home again. Mother and Father’s faces grew distant, like clouds, until they were as indistinct as clouds, and then they were gone. Continue reading Poisoned

The Life Chronicles: Blinkers

Angie was slow my mother used to say. She told me she was ‘out of it’, and needed Adderall to help her focus. I was the younger daughter, by five years, so this gave me an internal feeling of superiority. I used to get called bright in comparison. I was naturally focused, but Angie didn’t seem to envy me, so she resisted the prescriptions my mother pushed for. Continue reading The Life Chronicles: Blinkers