The terrorist inside
On the 7.15am train to Cardiff I locked myself in a toilet to contain the psychic explosion about to happen. My journey of a Thursday morning across London tells you what’s gone wrong in the UK. The veneer of being in anything together doesn’t extend to the bus routes carrying the hundreds of invisible workers from South East London to the city at 6am. The modern day oracle, the Metro reports the murder of a soldier, pictures of two young black Muslim men. Our eyes look down. More waves of tragedy reported, two young men drunkenly butcher a lamb because they fancied a roast, and someone loses their job at the DVLA for checking their facebook page at work. We can’t look at each other.
When I get on the train a man in a suit sits next to me and proceeds to eat two packets of crisps with his mouth open. Each crisp individually placed in his mouth. Crunch crunch crunch. Three times exactly, each sadistic little crisp. I turn on the First Great Western entertainment screen to find a mindfulness section presumably designed with this precise scenario in mind; Ocean Breathing or Chakra Energy Cleanse? And then he coughs, with his mouth open and I watch wet crisp stick greedily to my leg. Pause. Crunch crunch crunch. I get the stabbing pain of desire to carry out my first colon cleanse on him.
As a twin I was brought up on the romantic fiction that I had found my mirror, sanctuary from a world of difference and the frustrations, envy, revulsion and desire that comes with it. It came to me late in life the knowledge that twins are just siblings, that even with a shared DNA none of us can circumnavigate the reality of being different in a world of difference.
Facing up to these differences means saying goodbye to a world of them and us and accepting the comfort free stuff of being alone in a big world. This reality makes us afraid of attack from those who just don’t like the cut of our jib. At which point we stand a serious chance of projecting our hatred into others. All of us have an internal terrorist, the part of ourselves that hate people who aren’t like us. Just listen to the racism and hate spewing out of the speakers in homes across the UK this bank holiday weekend. The only way to stop the butchering of our humanity in response to the real tragedies happening around us is to accept at least one uncomfortable reality. We are all responsible for our own hatred and anger.
Agreeably lacking in dignity, sometimes locking yourself in a toilet and having a good scream is what you should do. I’d walked away from performing amateurish surgery on a man I had come to loath in a period of 15 minutes. Startled by the red faced troll confronting me in the toilet mirror, I had a good scream (perfect place for human despair to get drowned out by the noise of the engine), then a good blub, moved seats (an obvious move that my enraged brain had not even registered) and plugged in my ear phones. The universe was indeed benevolent and instead of precociously trying to get me to breath deeply it randomly flicked to a documentary about John Lennon. John Lennon screaming ‘mother’ is what I recommend when you’re on the edge. Plug in and join in.
If you feel yourself taking a righteous turn on your journey to work today do a Lennon. Remove yourself, find a safe place to shout/scream/cry, don’t go back until you know it’s about then and now, you and them. Let it out man and then you can let it be.
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