A short report on knife crimes


cutlery arranged around a particle diagram

1 | Squeeze and chop a clove of garlic and sweat in olive oil. It being impossible to prepare food without the radio, my hand reaching for the controls is an involuntary action, releasing the sounds of the evening bulletin. The children involved in these crimes are not to blame, she says, so much as the society that allowed them to happen.

2 | Thinly slice a courgette into soft rounds on the chopping board, the neighbours taking in the washing. We have normalised their violence, that's the issue. Beyond the fences, down the street and around the corner, in lamp-lit roads, reclining on paving stones.

3 | Pour in the rice and let it fry, before adding some of the stock. More and more young people carry knives for their own defence, they have no choice and, if you look closely enough, every event in the universe is defined by interactions between subatomic particles.

4 | Stir the mixture and keep stirring, gradually feeding it more of the liquid. This situation cannot be handled in isolation, being merely the expression of a complex web of labour relations, substances and addictions, words and music, hairstyles and pizza and arteries choking with traffic as dusk falls.

5 | Only when the rice is nearly cooked, add the courgette segments, turning the risotto gently in the pan, not allowing it to settle. The same is also true, naturally, of war, terrorism, jealousy, financial misconduct, all of their engines bound in the same shivering strings. A problem can never be solved in isolation. All must be tackled at once, mopping droplets of condensation from the windows and blurring the signals on the railway embankment.

6 | Scatter some parsley, crumble in the cheese, season to taste and serve hot, pressing the switch to begin the silence.