Theophilus Kwek

Fi­nal Cut

The London Magazine - - NEWS -

Four days to leav­ing, he has his hair done, lets her cra­dle his head, turn it from side to side. Be­hind each ear the slow blade moves, re­moves strands that have taken root of their own ac­cord: tena­cious, out of sight, se­cure in knowl­edge of their cho­sen plot.

The pres­sure is just right. So for a while, feet an­gled over the floor, he trav­els all alone in that un­cer­tain room framed by the chair, lights. Find­ing the mir­ror too close, he closes his eyes, ap­prox­i­mates the thir­teen-hour night be­tween to and from,

sun warm­ing the earth enough in sleep to set him on his way. Among the things he’ll never fathom, this con­spir­acy of air – how a cold morn­ing, or un­ex­pected rain (so of­ten mak­ing one city feel like an­other) might, given per­fect con­di­tions, trans­form

into a river high above the rough sur­face of this sea-level, wait­ing to lift or leave us. On cue, a draught en­ters the shop, sends his cut ends into heavy drifts, banks. No-one watches, but he won­ders if it is like a dance. Which are com­ing, which the leav­ing ones.

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