Derek Owusu


The Borough of Tottenham has never felt so close to me. Everything around me feels as though it’s been compressed into my head but at the same time is eager to escape. The tumour that is Tottenham is remonstrating for its freedom, but my hubris is unwilling to comply: I want to be “hood” but the Borough and I are not compatible.

The body beneath me keeps talking and throwing its trembling, enfeebled hand upon my cannonball shoulder. I need another shoulder session; my arms are getting smaller. “PLEASE” says the body, “you can do this; just focus. It’s not that time yet.” …What is time? To me it’s a tool as malignant as religion. Time dictates to you; time weakens you; time confuses you; time kills you; time turns an otherwise rational thinker into someone impetuous, someone pathetic; someone… To refuse time is to refuse life, and to accept it is to court death. “I know this is hard” says the body, “but if you don’t concen…” Concentration is one of times first victims. “Derek!” the body cries, “It is Derek isn’t it? Listen. Please. I won’t be able to pull through this without you.” …I’ve never seen so many stars in a sky that Gods eyes never rest upon. I’ve made out eight so far; but three were probably just helicopters looking for the incubi that sit upon London’s chest; the chest that has been crushed into stagnation and is now collapsing in on itself; it’s no wonder she, London, home of the incubi, paramour of Washington, is rebelling—no bitch likes to be fucked while she is sleeping… Now the stars have turned their backs on us too. I’m looking around and can discern no movement or sound: non that interests me. My own thoughts are starting to elude me; what is going on? “Ok Ok. Put your hands around the handle” the body says, “and slowly pull it out as gently as you can; you can do this: I know you can.”…I think Death loves us more than our maker; he is so loyal. “Arghhh”, the body cries. …Everyone trusts death. And although he is not always punctual, he is always on time. Death follows the orders of time, while time obeys what we create to ease the pain. “Good, Good. Keep your shirt there until they arrive”, he says. “Talk to me, Derek. Don’t let me sleep. Heart and mind must agree one day, but I don’t want it to be today. So talk to me, Derek. Talk to me.”

About the author:

Derek Withshire is studying Sport and exercise science and is currently in his 2nd year.
His future aspirations are to teach English literature and write an autobiographical novel.

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