Category: Uncategorized

Foreign House: Twenty-one

FRIDAY >YES, IT’S ME. WHAT’S GOING ON THERE? IT’S LIKE A PSYCHIC BOMB HAS GONE OFF.   “How are you doing this, Maya?” >DO YOU NEED HELP? WHY ARE YOU SO ANXIOUS? CINDY IS TERRIFIED. WHAT’S HAPPENING?  “Maya, how are you doing this?” I can feel her kneading my mind, reaching into my feelings and memories […]

Foreign House: Twenty

FRIDAY Kanu is looking down at the ground, walking in little circles between the plant boxes in the car park. He has been doing it for a couple of minutes, unable to start the conversation. Like father like son, I guess.  I want to walk to the end of the carpark, to the road, see […]

Foreign House: Nineteen

FRIDAY The bellhop is in the hotel lobby and greets us. I ask him if he has seen my son.  “I don’t believe we’ve met,” he says.  “See?” says Cindy.  “Have you seen my son?” I ask again.  “What does he look like?” I exhale half a laugh. “He’s the black one.”  “Sorry sir. I […]

Foreign House: Eighteen

FRIDAY There is a botanical garden at the back of the hotel. Loose stone walkways weave around a number of display beds. Here and there a corner, or a section, is marked with a tree or some bushes. The plants are leafless and skeletal. Their bones frosted, some breaking under the weight of the ice.  […]

Foreign House: Seventeen

FRIDAY The training continues and we learn more about the power structures which make white people racist. We learn about white fragility: the way white people are apparently unable to talk about racism, despite them being the people who never seem to shut up about it. We learn about the difference between not-racist and anti-racism: […]

Foreign House: Sixteen

FRIDAY >Be me >42yo black male annon >Director of customer support at annon corp>Weekend company training session>Fainted.mp3 during orienteering team building session earlier >Get to training room after lunch >15 colleagues happy to see me looking well>CEO says I have colour back in my face>Realises what he said>Worried.xls >”I know what you mean” I say>Disarmed.ppt>Asian guy from the backend […]

Foreign House: Fifteen

FRIDAY I pad down the corridor to the ajar door. Why I am doing it quietly? What am I expecting? I peer through the gap. The room is arranged as a reflection of ours. But which side of the mirror am I on?  From where I am, most of the room is blocked from view. […]

Foreign House: Fourteen

FRIDAY I get mollycoddling at the hotel. Cindy stays with me, quiet and tucked into my arm. Ozzy keeps looking at me. Not looking at me, but looking at me. Like a doctor would. Looking at my eyes, and my gait. He keeps coming close to my face, inspecting it then smiling and clapping my […]

Foreign House: Thirteen

FRIDAY White noise behind my eye lids. My face is frozen. Snow blocking my breath. I push my hands into the ground and lift myself. The back of my neck is a bag of ice, crunching. Knees wet through my jeans.  Did I faint? I don’t think so.  I’m not alone in the clearing. Figures […]

Foreign House: Twelve

FRIDAY I put an arm around Kanu’s shoulder and give him the map. He looks at me from within the hood, eyes wide, an acolyte chosen for a sacred but painful act. His eyes wet from the cold – probably. “We’re here,” I point at the map. “You’re the navigator now.” Within the trees, the […]