On The Other Hand

This morning I woke up at 5:30 to the news that we have voted to leave the EU, and that as a result, the pound had dropped to its lowest point since 1985. Worse, a lot of my friends, born in other countries, no longer feel welcome in the UK. Our Prime Minister (much as I disliked him) has announced his plans to resign. I believe that the front runner is actually and actively dangerous to international peace, and to anyone in this country who needs help – anyone who’s sick, or young, or old, or out of work, or, or, or…

I flipped between social media and the news, getting more and more panicky and sad. Then I stopped myself and opened my photos. A dear, long-time friend had sent me a picture of herself, less than 24 hours ago. Her newborn son, lying on her chest. Her, smiling down, calm and proud.

I take a breath.

I trick the rabbit. She knows that when I go over to her cage in the morning, it’s to feed her, so she runs inside. I don’t feed her straight away. I pick her up and hug her close, smell her soft, warm, mammal-and-hay smell. Her fur is so white it almost doesn’t look real.

On the way to work there are students, overtaking the bus on their bikes.  They’re dressed in the robes they wear to exams – I used to roll my eyes at those robes (so outmoded! OMG ridiculous), but now they male me smile. They’re all wearing red carnations in their buttonholes, which means it’s their last exam. Later, when I point them out to my Mum, they’ll be covered in flour and glitter and maybe baked beans. Look, I’ll say. They do it every year! Their friends wait for them after the exam, and attack. But they also bring a bottle of fizz.

I lug my guitar through town. I haven’t played it onstage for four years. I’m nervous about tonight, but I’ve been practicing. The tips of my right hand fingers have hardened up again. Dad once told me that when he was playing professionally, he could snuff out a cigarette, just by pinching it, and it didn’t even hurt.

Outside the sixth form college, the one that offers International Baccalaureate, that has a lot of students not born in Britain, two teachers meet. One of them shrugs, heavily. The other punches himself in the head. One of the kids laughs at him. The teachers smile and head into the building.

As horrible as today is, this will be someone’s best ever day. Someone’s worst ever day. The news feels huge, because it is. But don’t forget to look away. To look up, and out. And I know how stupid it is to blog this, but let’s all spend some time off the internet today. Let’s go to a real life pub tonight and at least be able to hug in person.

But not Wetherspoon’s because fuck those guys.

Maybe somewhere with a beer garden. Because remember, no matter how bleak things seem – it’s still summer.

1 Comment

  1. Hattie Ajderian says: Reply

    Thank you for writing this

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