Border Control


Guards in soiled uniforms patrol today’s arbitrary divisions, stamping papers, checking likenesses, and stamping out dissent before it can take a hold. We return to the place you grew up – redeveloped into luxury apartments and empty shops, though lampposts and graffitied benches remain – to find the street roped off and blue lights flashing. The guard tells us that there’s nothing to see, that there’s nothing to recall in tranquillity thirty or more years later, and that we should probably just find a pub or an art gallery, give up smoking, see a bit of the world while we still have time, and maybe even settle down on the south coast and raise a family, but that we should definitely leave before he’s obliged to stamp our hands into useless stumps. The stains on his uniform concur. A little behind him, a clumsy lump of human brain lies awkward as a dropped ice cream, still trying to remember where it parked and whether it turned off all the lights. It’s just one more question that it’s better not to ask.



Oz Hardwick




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