Liverpool The Golden City
Sunrise in Liverpool is a beautiful thing. The apartment, a swish habitat city pad looks over the back of the Youth Courts. “Are they cells?” said Pete the producer as we stood drinking tea by the window. The view is of the dark roof tops and grand buildings of Liverpool gradually becoming golden under the rising sun. Liverpool – The Golden City.
Pete Moser and myself spend the morning revising scripts and yesterdays work for TheLong Walk an extraordinary event to be performed in Liverpol in March 08. Then we Visit Fiona Gasper Artistic Project Manager, and old friend, for Liverpool City of Culture 08. Fiona introduces us to Phil Redmond who pops into and then back out of her office and then it’s off to the train station.
I’m punching in my number for my cash point and a voice comes from over my shoulder “excuse me”. I don’t even turn around “I’m busy”. Maybe it’s living in London but a conversation with a stranger while drawing out cash is not cool. I finish my business and turn to see a tall latte coloured dreadlocked man with a Liverpool lilt of an accent.
“Are you lemn Sissay” he says. I confirm his speculation. And he thanks me for being open about my experiences in my writing and asks me for a hug. He is chaplain at a prison, a Buddhist who was brought up in care himself. After a short conversation he says “we survived it, we did okay”.
Sometimes meeting people who have been in care is like being a vietnam vet. But we weren’t old enough to be veterans, our wars were in our childhoods. Stop the action,in the middle of this busy station there are two black men hugging. Look again. Two children, hug in a storm.