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  • Simon Howard

WHAT TO DO IN JERICHO DURING LOCKDOWN

Updated: Jul 31, 2020


It starts with an unseen kid crossing out the ‘C’ on the Canal Street sign.

Indoors, there’s no need to iron because there’s no-one to witness the un-ironed. Or the un-hoovered, the un-dusted and the un-scrubbed. The would-be witnesses are all on Zoom and Facetime and WhatsApp and Skype, on Houseparty and Kast and Messenger and Safari, so the unfinished can be censored by a lens or a key. The unbelieved can be monitored by you and me – again and again, as the waiting goes on. The cushions lie un-patted, the beds unmade, the washed unfolded. The waiting repeats and repeats. The living witnesses hold off, trapped in cells with their own un-ironed, un-dusted and unmade, unseen. They live in fear of being un-Skyped, un-Zoomed, unable to withstand the pain, the unknown…

Meanwhile, on one of many balconies, a frightened adult is too unhinged to offer the kiss of life to a fading, fevered old neighbour in the untended garden below. The sad old man fades further – unloved, un-helped, unaided – on his unkempt, unhallowed ground.

In the night, the kid crosses out the 'S' in 'Street' and writes ‘obseen’ on a darkened wall.



*****
















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