On being away from home

I moved apartments over the weekend.  Only a block away in order to gain a roommate, but it’s not the distance one drives that is the main cause of stress when you move, but the packing, movement of heavy objects and the slow unpacking/adjustment of new environments.

On Saturday, I sat down for one last check of the internet and I saw my British friends’ Twitters were all talking about one thing.

Riots. In London.

The last few days I have been juggling the stress of moving with my PhD thesis corrections with the added bonus stress of knowing that my home town is on fire.

I have only been able to compare this specific stress with what it felt like to be in New York while my nephew was ill; to be so far away from my home and family and support network that the only thing I can do is drink lots of tea and occasionally curl up on my own until the need to cry has passed. Something is rotten in the state of the UK.

Which, we know, shouldn’t come as a surprise. The poorest communities have been disenfranchised for years. The relationship between the communities and the police has deteriorated – after Jean Charles de Menezes, Ian Tomlinson and now Mark Duggan, not to mention countless other micro reasons, the shit has hit the fan and sprayed everywhere.

I don’t have political analysis today. I don’t even blame “the police” as an amorphous group as that last paragraph implies.  I just have pain – it hurts to realise just how broken my country has become and to know that I can’t even go out with a broom to clean up.

I wonder if anything will now be done to address the root causes of all this.

I bet you it won’t.

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