The helicopter has been hovering overhead all afternoon. Dusk is dawning and I still hear its rotors whirring. I walk into the garden, look up and see the full black copter. It’s flying low enough for me to clearly see the words ‘POLICE’ printed on both sides. Nearby I see the main road that leads to the village shops and our new retail shopping centre. Police cars in their bright blue and yellow on white body drive up and down.
I am lazy to fetch the camera from inside. The kid laughs at me and warns me that when they see the glint from the camera lens, the filth will think I am a sniper and shoot me. I laugh; we both laugh and agree that the scenario would better fit the US Police, not in UK.
I need to make a quick visit to the post office. As the village is within walking distance I make my way at a cool walking pace. Light up a B&H, inhale deeply to enjoy that first drag of tobacco smoke. Body reacts immediately to the nicotine rush. A tall soy latte with an extra shot at Starbucks is a welcome thought. The riots have been four days now, far from our village of Elstree and Borehamwood. Our only claim to fame being the Elstree Film Studios where Big Brother was shot. Not by a gun, a 35mm camera.
I am however more aware of what’s happening around me than usual. The disquiet I feel is mainly because of the four blokes I see walking up the high street in red coloured hoodies, the white lettering ‘English Defence League’ on both sides stand out clearly. The word ‘Borehamwood’ in smaller print can be seen on closer inspection. I have to walk by them. Eye contact is carefully avoided. I can feel their eyes boring into me. Subconsciously I have put on one of my Che Guevara tees. Jungle green with the mans face large on the front flanked by two red stars. I smile to myself, managing to see the irony of this all.
Back home I watch BBC News. A quick clip is shown of Manchester City. The news reporter speaks to a young man who condones the recent violence and rioting. He believes that the English have been sold out and their jobs taken by Eastern Europeans, other migrants and asylum seekers from Asia and Africa. He believes that the UKGOV must listen more to the English. That rioting is the only way for the UKGOV to give heed to their complaints. The reporter loses all patience and is screaming ‘so burning all these shops will bring you more jobs?’
It’s proper dusk now. I am home, typing this post. I still hear the helicopter overhead.
Elstree, where the Jewish community prosper. Every driveway a marquee car.
Borehamwood, where the villagers roam. In their WWII town houses with the patch of garden in the back. The newer project tower blocks filled with families, all asylum seekers.
25 minutes to London St. Pancras by train. 15 minutes to West Hampstead. Jubilee Line to Bond Street, London, four stops right Joey?
I smile. I am the invisible migrant.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death; I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
psalm 23 - bible - psalm of david