I woke up suddenly with the alarm sounds, my heart beating faster than normal. I think Jack felt the same way and even before I asked him to, he was already looking at the poll results. “Fuck sake!” he says. “Don’t bullshit me!” I asked. But no, the laugh never came and so it was true, the UK has voted to leave the EU. I froze in bed, wishing I really knew how all this is going to impact my future. In that moment, I admit I didn’t care about anyone else. All I wanted to know was “what will it be of me?”
I drag myself out of bed and run to work.
I work at a detention centre for people that are trying to achieve a safe place to restart the life they had to pause one day in their country. It’s a shitty place.
My job is to stand in front of a line of people that come to me and ask me for things they need. I have to look at them and make a quick decision on whether or not I will give it to them. In between the “I need sandals” and me saying yes or no, I think of how many sandals we have left. how many people are likely to arrive today, how many people will I have to say no to because I gave sandals to this person who has sandals but they are in bad state? But all they hear is the “no”. Some people understand, others simply can’t object because of the language barrier, and then, like today, some people decide to shout at me. Say I’m the most evil person working at this camp. That I don’t like black people. That some others simply refuse to come and ask for things at this location because they don’t want to look at my face. That I have an evil smile. That I take pleasure in seeing people suffering. That everyone else that works at this place is an angel. But not me. I’m pure evil. I smile and hold back tears. I find a place to hide and cry. I do my best, I do what I can. I take three deep breathes, clean the tears and go back to work.
Later in the day I find a friend crying. She was hiding her face in a room and it takes a while for me to meet her eyes. She’s underage, she’s from Afghanistan and usually a cheerful girl. She tries to stop someone telling me why she’s in this state but I persuade her. “No one likes Afghan people. I feel like a dog. People treat us like animals and we live like them. It has been over 3 months since we arrived to this place. I miss going to school. All I have are dreams of becoming someone. To become a doctors, a lawyer, a policewoman. My father is losing his mind. My sister has a heart problem and she cries every night in pain before going to sleep. No one wants Afghan people in their country, we are the bottom of the bottom. What will it be of my family? Where will we go? We have an interview date for our asylum but that’s in 5 months. I don’t know how to keep living here like a dog. I don’t know how long I can go on being treated like an animal.” What can you say to this girl?
I leave work and head off for an ice cream. As I’m eating a kid comes and asks for money. I say no and smile. Another one comes and I do the same thing. A third and forth little girls arrive and as I’m saying no, one of them starts pointing at me and talking Greek. She repeats the word “whore” a lot while she is poking my shoulder. As she’s walking away she spits on me.
I wish I had the mental capacity to analyse this fucking mess of a day. But I was told that writing helps, so dear reader, I’m entrusting you with my thoughts. Maybe someone will be able to look at this and make some sense of it. Borders, no borders, borders, no borders… politics, race, animals, dreams…
I don’t know how many more BREXITS I can take this week and how many more personal insults. Thank god it’s Friday.