Even those of us who lived through those days, we who learned the texture of history as it pushed against our cheeks, can barely understand the magnitude of what took place. The narrative is too grand, all-encompassing, planetary. Really it is the story of all of us. The children on the street corner, picking through rubble and wrack. The young lovers, composing graffiti protests between the burst of rubber bullet fire. The citizens, thrust from quotidian routines to discover casual heroism: putting out fires in the garden, or setting up sanctuaries to serve sandwiches and soup to the homeless and dispossessed. Our lives were never far from the pattern of disaster. We fought but there was no victory to be won. We knew that only the lives of monsters are recorded. We passed on the struggle to our children and they to their children. All that was left to us was the moments of calm through the confusion, the tender seconds of laughter in a rusted bunker, a kiss before leaving, the first beads of light from the eventual dawn.
Published by Daniel Bennett
I'm a writer and poet. My first novel, All the Dogs, appeared in 2008, and was described by Niall Griffiths as 'a stirring debut, a compellingly written tract on the importance of finding a place on the earth.' My fiction has appeared in London Noir, Crimewave, Black Static and 3AM. I live in London, where, amongst other things, I teach Creative Writing for the Open University. https://absenceclub.com View all posts by Daniel Bennett