London / Psychology Student
Day 23 of lock down, studying in my shed

I’m a father of 3, partner of 2 and friend of psychoanalysis


The beginning is always a mystery, but less so than the content and infinitely less intriguing than the connections which follow.

Elise ( a fellow student) tells me about an event she can no longer attend, advises it’d be right up my street. Dark, gothic, witchcraft (this has happened before). I take the tickets! Nicky (my partner), Vanessa ( an ex-colleague), her boyfriend and I are in a small darkroom with a table in the centre. We stand at each corner and a figure in dramatic dark garb addresses us. He explains that it is March and so we must sacrifice the baby Jesus. That a sacrificial goat will be acquired, upon which a spell would be cast and placing the spirit of Jesus into it, and then the goat would be slain.
We depart following the instruction. Why now, what is this about, Vanessa’s bf asks. I suppose, its 9 months until Christmas and so there’s some symbolism in that! I suggest. Its tenuous but as much sense as I can make of it.

I head home, to Tierney road (childhood home), I see my mum on the otherside of the road and I’m relieved to see her but scared about something. I walk down the road looking out for people I may know. I call Akil (my brother) and ask him to let me in. He asks why I need him to let me in. I tell him he has my keys!

I enter and head straight into my parents bedroom. Its set up as it was when Khari’s cot (My youngest brother) was on the right behind the door and the bed head on the wall straight ahead and the wardrobe on the left wall. I squeeze in and Vanessa and her boyfriend are now Autumn and Neo. My father (Estranged from for 19 years) tells us he will give us our roles in the ceremony, but we must go through pain to acquire our positions.

We must close our eyes, and I’m nervous as I have no idea what he’s going to do to my kids. He gives Nicky a position first, head. Autumn (daughter) and Neo (My eldest) are given positions which don’t correspond to words I understand. He comes to me and stamps on my toes, based on my reaction to the pain I am given the bottom.

I head out the front door, through the neighbours gate into their back garden to play (this has happened before). I’m concerned about how muddy it is. There’s a huge hole in the garden (which a friend and I had dug) but bigger. Tree’s were falling and we were throwing huge rocks aimlessly. Suddenly I’m running back, frustrated that I have to go past the mucky gate again. I go up into my old front-room and open the curtains.
I’m on a bus just about to leave Poinders, Streatham. It’s a 417 single decker toward crystal palace. I’m trying to evaluate where to sit before deciding to stand by the stairs. I go to university, which is a building I don’t know. Large, very long, a building I often return to in dreams. I head into a small looking door and I’m looking for my course mentor Bernard. He’s in room 8 on the 3rd floor. I get to the second floor and head up to what I think is the third floor but it’s a viewing platform. A narrow area in-between the floors where I stand and gaze looking for the room.

I see where to go, and people look up at me. At first, I’m concerned this place is only visited by people by accident and therefore I’ve made a mistake. Then I don’t care as I’ve found where I need to be irrespective of the means. I had backwards down the narrow staircase and head to room 8. I think that every black man walking down the corridor is Bernard, I formulate my question to him as I wait… and wait and then find the answer as I wait and so I leave. I head back to the bus stop considering what the sacrifice will entail. Will I have to place my hands into the bowels of the goat? A picture is sent to me of the animal. Its large, regal, long horned and white coated. I wonder if anyone else will be able to do what is asked of them and what the repercussions will be if they, we don’t… I imagine everyone saying they won’t comply until we are threatened. I remember the small room next to the room with the table and dread the thought of being kept captive in it.

I get back on the bus, and before it arrives in Woodgreen Nicky gets on, I nod to her. I nod again when we get to our stop. We walk toward the next bus stop opposite the cinema and she points at a poster and says look at the queen’s shoes. I stop in my tracks and a man steps across the front of me and steps on something I was about to step on, would have stepped on if Nicky hadn’t grabbed my attention. What have you done?! I ask her, it was my destiny to step on whatever that was! The man who stepped on it runs off celebrating, yelping with joy. I have no idea what it was but I’m certain I missed out. I wonder how this will affect the four of us later…

(Real life) — I find myself watching the Sherlock Holmes movie because Autumn suggests it. The film begins with a black mass affront a table and talk of the order of 4!


© Neptune and Manisha Anjali