The world is a different place. A place of Cultural creators. Cultural tasters. Cultural dictators. Where it is your link to belief that assigns where you reside. Where birth-right is the only thing that is certain and right. No more mobility. No more integrating. No trust. No hope. In short the world of status quo and neo-colonial control.. Or rather the struggle for control.
The green, green lands of Blightly have been touched severely by years of tension, civil unrest and unsound policy making. Until the landmark year of 2020, August 2020 to be precise.
But most of all a place where culture has ripped away at all that could be, could ever have been and is now used to discourage any integration, mixing or appropriation.. Unless a case is made and upheld in the secular centres of the British Isles.
In the midst of it all. The laptop chimes, beh-beh-buehmm .. those Skype ringtones are old and classic. Though Zaika makes a mental note for the millionth time this month about changing it after this call, she already knows she most likely, probably, most definitely won’t. She can’t seem to pin down what it is, familiarity, nostalgia, laziness or what, but that sound.. That silly old-school bubbley logo, she patched in 18 months ago, that animates round and round.. Buzzing over that S. All of it. Everything. Makes her entire body beam with delight, her life for one brief moment seems light. Lighter than the beams of golden speckled beams shining through the french dormer windows.. Catching all sorts of hazy transient bits of fluff in their nurturing rays. Enveloping her cold pert breast, warming her nipples into some form of biological submission. Making her feel at one and at a loss, simultaneously. Her life is not her own. Her life is not a whole.
All this and more she thinks in the 1 minute and 45 seconds she can bear the ringing sound coming from her comically tall looming white Ikea desk. With the fluid movement of someone who has performed this task a million times, Zaika pushes her slender, naked form off the floor. Her knees and toes taking most of force as they act like fulcrums, while her rough fingers reach out to the soft black shawl, on top of which she had been sat in absorbed contemplation. As her body turns the 65 degree angle needed to silence the monotonous ringing that has faded into the patchwork of her life sounds, Zaika has managed to drape the shawl loosely but competently around herself. Managing to even pin the ends tightly around her face, to build the illusion of constant observance to protocol. Just in time to answer the call to her young overseas nephew.
“Bore da, Yayah”
“Asa’laam walaykum Khala”
“Walaykum Asa’laam Yayah, how are you doing?”
Oh this call is not going to go well she thinks, already her young 11 year old nephew’s eye have narrowed with the intensity of her mother’s. She wonders what sermon will be filtered to her in today’s conversation, she has already dissected the 15 seconds of interaction and found herself to be be seen as wanting. If only she’d just smiled happy and allowed him to begin the conversation. She mutters a hurried prayer to God Allah that her constant interaction down at the centre will at least carry her pakistani and arabic verbal skills through the next 25 minutes. Perhaps for once she can bring some pride to them, and leave a call feeling loved. Her eyes swell a little with tear.. As a flash-forward of herself looms large in her mind’s eye. Zaika is laing naked on the flower, curled up against a hot water bottle and teddy.. Crying like a broken water-works doll.