Pretending to pee
"The moment I realised the fallacy of race was when my boys and I ran out of the classroom, we didn't ask for permission, we just bunked, skipped the lesson, and were hiding out in the toilets, and we began pretending to pee ... So my closest friend is a guy called Jack, he pretended, then I pretended, then this Chinese boy called Louie, also pretended to pee. He could barely speak English, so lots of our communication was gesture ... and when he finished, he did something which only I did, where he pretended to shiver and I thought, 'Whoa! Wait, wait, wait, that's—like, you have that shiver? That's crazy.'
And he looked as different from me as I thought anyone physically could. He had much paler skin, his hair was long, wispy and dark, and mine was all curly and short, he was skinnier than I am, my skin was pretty dark at the time, I wore glasses, he didn't wear glasses, we dressed differently. I'm just thinking, 'Despite all of these things, you shiver like I do.'"
Inua Ellam's Barber Shop Chronicles plays Sydney Festival from 18 - 28 Jan.