Micrograffiti: It’s the first person you fell in love with by Shams Pirani


It's the first person you fell in love with by Shams Pirani

Bite. Not enough to chew at first. Just checking the nails are there. While you avoid doing what you would do if you were who you wanted to be.

It’s the date where things started to go badly, and instead of making them go the other way, you got pulled under by the negativity.

It’s the job where they raised your targets because they realised they’d have to pay you what they said they would, in commissions, and they had been planning to exploit you. You just ran away.

It’s when you stood in the tube station and looked too much like a terrorist to them, so they were scared and cold toward you. Instead of drawing from your well of wit, you felt angry at them, and they saw and felt even more scared.

It’s every moment of joy you could bring your grandparent, grandchild, but because you hide inside a cocoon,  letting fear close the door before you go through it, they’ll just have to get their joy in spite of you, instead of because of you.

It’s you. Not her. Or him. It’s you, not the system. It’s you. You bite your nails. So you lose.


Shams Pirani has not bitten his nails in many years and comes from South London.


Micrograffiti is a project edited by Stacey Swann. The writers were asked to respond with fiction to Ben Walters’ photographs of the South London graffiti tunnel. Click here to read more >>



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