• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 12
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There is more, beyond the water

You cross three thousand miles of deserts, mountains, plains, just to get to water. Invisible barriers sound in your head like sonic booms each time you cross, hidden, hiding. The crushing flush of blood and air pound in your ears. Quiet. Quiet, you school your unruly organs.

Now water remains between you and your destination. A channel cut off by concrete walls and wire. A channel cut off by riot police with pepper spray stinging you awake, shredding your sleeping bag in front of you with Gallic indifference.

They have a job: to keep you on the move. To prevent another Jungle. They perform it efficiently, ruthlessly. They don't see you.

But you are there all the same. Resourceful enough to make it this far. Determined enough to continue. To crush your fear into a small sour ball and keep it from choking you. Your instincts are honed. Whose eyes to avoid. The best place to sleep. Where to find plastic to line your worn shoes.

You know there is a better place than this muddy field, its two water taps for 400 people, the woods with its scattered trees for shelter. Better than this endless queueing for food, for blankets, for clothes that are too big, for shoes that won't fit but at least will keep your feet dry as you tread this sodden ground. More than this sitting and waiting and football and fights. More than the man with his gold chains who says $5000 no guarantee, $10,000 guaranteed crossing of that water.

“Line, line,” the volunteers gesture. “Back back,” they shout. And you rub against the others, acknowledging them with your eyes but not your body, knowing there are only so many bags, so many coats, so many pairs of shoes, so many blankets.


There is more, beyond the water

There is never enough.

But there is more, beyond the water.

And you will get there.