A race to the finish

Tuesday 8 December, 2009:

Oh, it’s been a weird, weird time. I identify so strongly with Tau at the moment that it kind of hurts. And it colors pretty much everything I do. It makes me question everything – all the old rules. I think: who am I to do this? Who am I to do that? Who am I to believe that a predictable set of consequences follow decisions, or actions?

I’m beginning to reject all automatic appeals to morality, fairness, or expected behavior. Instead, I value more and more a pragmatic response. If the fight needs weapons (to paraphrase Bob Marley), you use weapons. If it’s spiritual, you use spiritual. And if the fight’s, I dunno… if it’s not fair, then who am I to fight fair?

I feel like almost everything drops away… what’s left, what’s left? As I write this, the cover of a book I had as a child: The Snow Queen, comes into my mind. I haven’t seen the book for years, but I remember the white paper cover, with brown or gold stripes or spikes. I can’t recall the story exactly. Something about a mirror splintering, and a little shard of glass piercing the girl’s heart… Gerda? And the long and perilous climb to the domain of the Ice Queen; and how do they thaw the heart of Gerda – or is it her brother? I can’t remember whose heart is pierced. I’ll try and find the story. Right this minute it resonates with me so strongly, springing to my mind unbidden.


Wednesday 9 December:

Tau’s dad is back in hospital –  all the way in the city this time.

“Everyone’s saying my dad might die,” Tau says. “They’re saying it’s… ‘tumors’. That’s the word everyone is saying.

“Who’s saying that?” I ask.

“All my family.”

“Not the doctors?”

“No…” he concedes. “But I don’t know why he’s gone all the way to that hospital – the one in the city.”

“Well, maybe there’s a specialist there,” I say. “But it doesn’t mean it’s tumors… it could be a lot of things.”


Bruce comes up and tells me grimly, “CLUZO tags: they’re appearing all over the place today.”

I just look at him as if to say – I know not who this Cluzo is – which of course he and I both know is not the case. But I’m saying nothing; I’ll never sing that song.

I’m not happy, though. They’re not even Tau’s tags. Someone else is hitting him up – my guess is Simeon. But I know that if school can get Tau out they will. They’ll be gunning for him, and Bruce knows it, and I sure as hell know it.

Fuck this is all like a race to the finish. If Tau can last till Friday… but can he? I dunno, I really don’t know. I hate school for its cruelty and yet we’re stuck to it, we’re bound to it – and we chase it like a lover.

Just this time of year makes me sad, too. I long for my usual classes, filling up my room and giving it living warmth. The room’s bare after exams, and I put up a couple of things to make it a little bit nicer again: some photos and posters; one of Tau’s bombings, and a couple of Alexander and Dimario’s pieces as well.

Today I show the DVD Shakira’s given us for the year 9’s – Freedom Writers. Just as I expect, I dislike it for its sanctimonious stance. But the class are alright with it, so I don’t say that I don’t – I just half-switch off. What’s with that, anyway: ‘Giving people a voice’? Quite apart from the patronizing implication that they can’t speak for themselves: to do what for them, exactly? Sometimes it’s better to keep quiet. Like looking at Bruce today and knowing it was better to say nothing. Some days it’s just a succession of very small and unspoken things, solidarity in the not-doing, and the not-saying. Instead: just the everyday hope of a few messages received and understood.


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