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IF WE STOP (9) // Zahra Dallilah & Julie Tomlin

In a series of numbered written dialogues Call Centre correspondents Zahra Dallilah and Julie Tomlin respond to their own prompt: If we stop: Flourishing. Nourishment. Lockdown.



thriving, nourishment & lockdown

What does it take to get a body out of bed in the morning? Does it require a quality of time spent in that bed to have peaked, to have nourished and rested a body whose muscles feel nurtured, whose bones are getting stiff and need a stretch as the mouth needs a yawn and before you know it you're stood, stood stock still stretching, twisting, squealing and shaking ready for the day.

Is it the boredom of having been there too long, after a lazy reach for a tool to keep the semi-conscious mind occupied, scrolling, scrolling, tapping, tapping, type, pause, type, type, type, type.

Stop. Listen. A voice, the voice of a loved one. Silence. Silence. Breath. Silence, but the birds and the low rumble of traffic (why is anyone even on the roads). Scroll, scroll. The magic's gone. The moment's passed. All that's left is to get up.

On an even better morning, there can be more. A lover's kiss coaxing you into the kitchen, your company all they've been missing all morning. A sudden reminder that a birthday, an event, the excited butterflies of a Big Day. The simple whiff of coffee, jolting the memory of what an alert mind might do today, on the other side of getting up.

Or: an alarm. An obligation. A train leaving the main station 90minutes from now with you on it. The will you have to find first. The crawl, no stretch, no anticipation, just the dull obligation of work. Because if you miss that train, you miss that meeting and if you miss that meeting, someone else will have to do your job. And if someone else is doing your job, that means you're not. And if you're not doing your job, sooner or later you won't have one.

[if you don’t make it into work then someone else could get your job]

And if you don't have a job you can't pay rent. Water, leccy, gas, council tax, TV, Wi-Fi, phone bill. Can't afford the hairdresser, fresh garms, manicured nails, hands and feet.

No cash for food out, not enough for food in. No gigs, no bevs. No friends basically and a family always afraid you're gonna ask them for money again.

Image: Andrew Wilson


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