It’s been two weeks. The city is intoxicating with it’s mix of heat, sweet fruit and cool ocean breeze. But I’m on twitter and I can’t stop refreshing. I hear the sounds of waves crashing against the quay wall. Honking horns and trains blast by below. Next stop: Wellawatte Station. I can see the sun setting, tamil songs float into my apartment and the city is just starting to come alive. But I’m on twitter. I can’t stop refreshing.
Anti-Black Lives Matter rhetoric.
Innocent Muslim lives taken.
5 officers shot dead.
I can’t stop refreshing.
A lot of what has happened has happened before and will happen again but this feels different. I read in horror as I watch people I know and respect disguise their anti-Black Lives Matter thoughts in backwards thinking that lacks any notion of intersectionality. I feel angry. I feel upset.
A friend here pointed out to me, Do you think that’s how our parents felt? This helplessness of watching your home start to fray at the edges; it’s hidden turmoil bubbling to the surface. Our parents lived a world away while they watched Sri Lanka descend into chaos. I can remember Amma and Appa glued to the TV, waiting for every bit of news, every update. That same yearning to feel connected, to try and make sense of it, I feel it now. I came here to be productive and help build a stronger country, but I feel pulled in two directions.
It’s morning now and I’m rushing out the door for work. The tuk driver is trying to rip me off. Turn right here! Walking briskly beneath ancient trees, I hear unseen birds coo loudly overhead. I sit down at my desk. Colleagues giggling over morning tea. I’m trying to focus but I’m on twitter and I can’t stop refreshing.