Now and Then


This time is reminiscent of my long ago past. When I was twelve and for a couple of years after, every Thursday afternoon, I would either go to Regent’s Park Zoo, or I would watch the film Cabaret at the Classic in Baker Street with my truant accomplice; you know who you are.



It was always a choice between viewing animals enslaved by humans and cinematic ‘divine decadence’. Both seductive, in their own way, with an underbelly of darkness.

The very act of presenting the exact same undated letter to my teacher, signed by my mother, week-in and week-out prior to games afternoon, excusing me at lunchtime because I had a phantom appointment with the dentist, appeared to me at the time to be a great act of rebellion. I didn’t see it as an important part of my education.

‘Do you have a cigarette darling? I’m absolutely desperate.’

We smoked cigarettes in cinemas back then and thought it was cool. But the thing is, the feeling both outings gave me is exactly the same one I have constantly now, In the Time of Covid. It’s a sinking feeling that comes with people trying to make out that all is okay in our society when it absolutely isn’t.

Are you with us? Or are you with: The animals? The Jews? The anti-vaxxers?

If you are with us: ‘Wilkommen. Bienvenue. Welcome. To Cabaret…’

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