Monday, 25 July 2011

White Weak

I'm standing in the crush of people on the central line tube train toward Bond Street. Someone is holding a newspaper in front of them. The headline reads, 'Better to kill too many than not enough.' It relates to the horrific massacre in Norway in which a far-right extremist shot almost 100 people he accused of being 'multiculturalist traitors.' They were teenagers on a Labour Party summer camp.
I turn my head away from the direction of the paper and look through the glass I'm pressed against. A man is sitting on a seat with his little son. The man has gelled blonde hair and wears a yellow checked shirt. He's covered in tattoos, some of which look hand-drawn, which makes me think perhaps he did them in prison. All the tattoos are black outlines, faded to green. On his kneecap is written, 'SEX + DRUGS' with a wonky star underneath it and beneath that is written, 'BEER.' There is a nasty scar on the side of his knee that looks like the result of an accident which has taken some of the muscle there away. I move my eyes to look at his arms, which also have deep, long scars on them. They create spaces between tattoos of skulls and the name 'Maria.' I move my eyes to his neck and spot an England flag. 'Here we go,' I think. There is a large N next to the flag and just as I'm thinking perhaps it stands for 'Nazi,' I spot some writing on his wrist with a symbol which looks as if derived from the Christian fish symbol. 'White power,' it says. I look as his beautiful son, whose skin is untainted and hope that the tattoos on his father are from a past he cannot erase, but has forgotten.