In the UK it is was another day in the Corona virus lock down that started on the 24th of March. I live on a busy road, a few miles south of Manchester city centre which is typically brimming with traffic. It has been wonderful listening to the birds and the rustle of the leaves on the trees, instead of the bustling rush of traffic.
I had gone for my daily run, drank my coffee with ease and pottered around doing tasks round the house and posting curlers at the post office, then settled to figure out furlough calculators. It was actually quite straight forward and I spent more time on the phone with my friend & colleague (2 hr record). It was around 6 pm and I had just finished on the phone in my kitchen-study, my partner had been enjoying the sunshine and suddenly came in saying there was a fight happening on the road.
I went outside and peered through the crack in the gate, to see strapping lads with metal bars, running alongside a car. My partner was adamant that I didn’t go outside. Next thing a bang, followed by another bang and then absolute silence. I had made it outside by this point to only see that there was a car on top of another and a collection of lads ironically wearing masks next to my neighbours. I have never seen as many neighbours standing on the edge of their driveways in crowds. Our neighbours had run round to join me and my partner at the edge of our driveway and they explained their viewing from their windows and shock.
The police arrived (40 plus officers, including tactical units, dressed in riot attire) a few minutes later, the crowd of lads had already dispersed prior to this. The police taped up the area, and cordoned everything off. I jumped on my bike to do the online HMRC PAYE submissions at work now that I had made the application, was sure of figures – going under the tape. I cycled down a sunny peaceful road, thinking of what I had left behind me. When I got to work, I realised I had left my keys behind me so cycled home only to find the police wouldn’t let me enter the area (or go to my home/make contact with my partner). I WAS LOCKED OUT. He waited to give me keys and at the time discussed openly private matters that irritated me with passers – as he was still in a state of shock. In anger, I told him he was a liability.
I meanwhile, spoke to some young lads and realized they were no different from people I knew soo well that used to be friends, they had no idea what their actions would do to them in the long run. When you have seen it and lived it, you cannot close your eyes and heart to the pain. I felt so useless, and also, different at the same time as I have changed so much. Before I would listen to the stories and be in them, now I listened with a different set of ears.
My friend Sam said that every decade, we become a different person.
I then did the spontaneous thing as universe sent a good person to make my acquaintance, and I recommended a book and asked for his mobile number to send him a message (he said that he was having a heavy time in an IT role at work – people and ego bullying). He sent a polite message that evening and I made a new friend amidst the madness.
The next day, as I ran around the neighbourhood when no one was to be seen, I couldn’t help but look at the houses of the lads I had spoken to the day before – such nice boys but they can’t understand what I do through my eyes and as Granddad always said boys will do what they want. I spoke to my neighbour about the occurrence outside our homes, who actually hit home with the analogy, if you speak to a dog – all it will do is bark so you can never really get through to the animal as they are incapable. He referred to intelligence and education being the barrier between the lads and their behaviour. However, I felt more than ever that I had to do more to help others get over that hurdle and conflict they can’t see yet with themselves. I thanked my neighbour as he came from a place of hurt due to his previous dealings and had a truly soft beautiful heart.
The media did not disclose any information about what had happened. During my lockout period, I had spoken to a rime photographer that said that the MEN were using their own photographer instead of him (they do on occasions). An example, during a pandemic that we are not given accurate information.