We know, We’re Sure

We know, We’re Sure

The great house of paranoia has fallen. What was home to subterfuge, fear and theory – now a dilapidated structure, with big gaping holes in remaining walls.  There’s now light beaming through the building’s carcass. Put an eye to one of the holes in the walls and see elucidate truth rising from the woodworm infected floorboards. Truth, real version of events, no longer sedate on an armchair in the basement of paranoia’s house. Liberated. This was the crux of what the solicitor, Ekow, was saying.

“You’re so repetitive, it’s boring ­– every time.” Kwabena said drinking Super malt and swirling hand in bowl of plantain chips, as if searching for the perfect one. Ekow put an impatient hand into the same bowl, grabbed a handful of chips. He knew this would annoy Kwabena – it would be micro retribution for his thoughts not being taken seriously.

“Hey, wait your turn, man.” Kwabena said, removing his hand fast from bowl as if it hand been bitten.

 

Their hangout had opened a week ago. A small bar opposite Liverpool Street station. Ekow had text Kwabena the link in the morning. Kwabena text back saying they had to go there after work. The bar celebrated their heritage. Ghanaian owners, Ghanaian themed. Elmina Castle enclosed in a bright red frame and hung from one of the bar’s white walls. In other frames were a bright colour print of a food market, artistically shot rolls of Kente cloth, a chop bar on sand by the sea and a print of a waterfall in Volta region. Everyone in Gold Ghana Gold bar was standing, leaning on oak ledges – drinking and indulging in the bar’s street food snacks.

“But I’m right – we’re in a new era.”

“Come on, I’ve been working all day, nothing heavy.”

Ekow nodded, seemingly accepting the request to ease off. He sipped his Guinness export and looked out of the window at commuters making haste. Ekow’s hair was short all around, with a subtle fade at back and sides. His beard permitted the odd grey hair. He was leaning a little awkwardly on the wooden ledge as it was slightly low for his height. Kwabena had no such problem, shorter and broader he had a more sturdy lean. There was a soft sound of highlife music and the two friends gently nodded their heads in appreciation. However, the music wasn’t enough to contain Ekow’s desire to rant some more. He continued to tell Kwabena that in the 21st century the veracity of an event flows in a faster stream than that of its speculation. An inversion of the 20th century. Events snapped and recorded on smartphones belonging to people of various political, socio-economical, ethnic, gender backgrounds – reducing the space for conjecture.

Ekow failed to check if he still had at least a part of his friend’s attention. Kwabena’s face was in a different direction. A group bundled in to the bar. One of the party had a ‘Happy 30th Birthday’ sash across her body and she caught Kwabena’s eye. He thought he’d wait a while before approaching her, study her, see if he could discover her status through body language – study the friends, see if they seemed the type to be receptive to an outsider coming in. He already had stored the ice breaking words he could say to her: ‘Happy Birthday’.

“You listening?” Ekow finally asked, noticing Kwabena’s wandering eyes.

“I’m checking someone.”

Ekow told Kwabena to check what he was saying instead. He continued ranting in his poetic way, saying the nutrients of news were no longer being caught in government, conglomerate or secret service filters. Someone who assassinates a President will be clearly identified by a thousand security cameras, there would be no doubt about the angle of the bullet, where it derived from. The assassin would probably tweet motive in real time. Ekow said the notion of classified papers, locked away with sensitive facts would no longer be of value. He broke for another swig of Guinness. Then declared the digital age gives us more access to the facts – the house of paranoia is now rubble.

“You want more of these plantain chips?” Kwabena said, holding the bowl out to Ekow, but still staring at the Birthday girl.

“No, order me some kelewele and kebab sticks please.”

Kofi Mensah Kramo is an English literature graduate who has studied at the University of Essex and University of York. He is the author of the Novella Modern Mania.

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