• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 04
Image by

She’s there because she is

She’s there to tell the people around her that she is. They maybe haven’t noticed, even though they’ve lived in the same clutch of cheaply-spawned houses for two decades and sent (dragged) their children to the same school and when school was finished watched them sit around the kitchen table crunching breakfast cereal into the tablecloth because they have no reason for moving from the chair.

She’s there to stare at the riot shield and blank visor (that might have a human being behind it, unless she believes the organisers who say they’re all devils paid by the state) that she’s there and she’s tired of watching nothing happen. The house is crumbling away before her eyes, the kids gone the way of used syringes, and the bills piled higher than she can ever climb. The kids have stopped growing, shrunk even, only the bills grow.

She’s there because she knows nothing about politics, just bills and kids and how they don’t mix and because there is no solution, not that she can see.

She’s there to laugh for once and feel part of something, a camaraderie that has never existed, not in her household, in her life, where men accept that women can creep out from their preordained role and take part in the destruction. They will tear it down with their bare hands and the rumours spread on Facebook because truth is what you make it. She asks her husband what ‘it’ is. He waves his arms about, and the gesture covers the housing development, the town, the breakfast table with the crushed cereal crumbs and the dog chained in his kennel.

She’s there because she thinks the people who live in the same crumby house built on the same model as hers (so she knows where they all keep the long conservation milk and the dog food, the shoes and the toilet paper) will be like her and together they will make a point.


She’s there because she is

The point is what she is trying to work out. Exactly. Out of the muddle of bills and kids and where did life go? She sees her face reflected in the visor and it’s the face of a woman who lost herself years ago. The point would be to find herself again. She asks why, how, when? The visor doesn’t even blink.