Eddie the Kid
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Eddie Bereskin wants to change the world and stop the war, instead his life unravels after he is arrested on a Halloween protest in 2002. An incredible story about loss and hope set in London, Eddie the Kid takes us to the anti-war movement and two generations of activists, where, amid rioting and arrests, the destinies of Eddie and his sister Esther have been shaped.
‘Thanks. I’ll pick it up later. Just leave it by the computer.’ ‘I’ve already opened it,’ she answered. ‘Why?’ ‘It just had Bereskin on it. It’s a newsletter from a local anti-war group. It’s about you. The headline reads—’ I could picture her dropping her glasses further down her nose, stretching out the news-sheet. ‘It reads, “Anti-war activists arrested on Halloween protest. Eddie Bereskin, an anti-war anarchist, was arrested on 31 October and charged with public disorder. This is a
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wingless flight towards us. We lay on each other in our mound, too drunk to feel inhibited. Slowly the layers of men started to peel off until there were just three of us in our own private pile on the marshy ground. Finally Mark stood up, unfolding his hulking frame limb by limb. When he was fully and painfully upright he rubbed his side and said, ‘Next time can we just have a group hug?’ I had fractured four of Mark’s ribs. For two months he couldn’t walk, breathe or demonstrate. I nursed him
still had her arm in Rebecca’s. The illness had turned her into an old woman: into Jessica. She shuffled around the linoleum floors of the hospital without raising her feet and walked leaning against the wall. I thought about how Esther always lost her modesty when she was sick. How she would have pulled up her nightdress in the toilet with Rebecca in the room, perhaps still attached to her arm. I cringed. I shouldn’t have let Rebecca come. ‘Coats,’ I said loudly, approaching them with fake
voice stuttering slightly on the title. Every week he told us a new secret: “We are going to live forever.” “I can remove my head.” “I love you more than all the little girls and boys.” I wrote mine down IN CAPITALS on the back of sweet papers The smell of sesame seed bars and Opal Fruits And his promises. I hid them in my books And read them when I was lost. With broken promises The past has made my future. Rebecca finished the poem and held the paper in her hand. ‘Fuck,’ I said.