Chalk Farm – Monologue (Jamie)

A monologue from the play by Kieran Hurley and AJ Taudevin

Jamie lives with his mother in an apartment complex near Chalk Farm in West London, the recent scene of rioting and looting, which he describes.

Jamie (fourteen)

I’ve got my headphones on and it’s on shuffle and it’s playing this well slow song. This slow cheesy song that my mum likes but turned up well loud. And I’m standing there, in the middle of the street. 

Just watching it all. Watching it all play out. And the music is slow and everything looks slow too you know?

I know it sounds f***ing corny but it’s true. It’s real. It’s like playing out like slow motion, and out the corner of my eye I can see the tube sign like a title caption at the start of a film yeah.

Like the start or maybe more like at the end. Just hovering there above everything big bright white letters: Chalk Farm.

And I can see a smashed window. And I watch kids cycling away from the bike shop on their new wheels. 

And I watch more police arriving. Lines and lines of them. And I’m thinking: It’s not about just wanting a new bike.

It’s not about history like what Junior says. It’s not about all anger at politicians or bankers or any of that sh*t its f*** all to do with any of them cause they’re nowhere to be seen.

They’re not even f***ing there. And it’s not about supermarkets on our streets and overpriced f***ing ham. 

And it’s not about saying listen to me. It’s not about saying this is what I think. And it’s not about just smashing stuff up for fun.

And it’s not about school and it’s not about parents and it’s not about just grabbing a bottle of something quickly cause it’ll make a nice present for your mum.

 And it’s not about black or white. And it’s not about the police being d*ckheads. And it’s not about that boy that was shot.

And it’s not about revenge. And it’s not a cry for help. And. At the same time. It is. It so massively f***ing is.

It’s about all that stuff at once. It’s about everything. Everything and nothing. Right there. A smashed window. 

Just everything, and nothing, all at once.