And other works
February 23 - March 22, 2020
Motto: Hard work and persistence will get you anything in the world you want.
Peak fitness took me 5 to 10 years to achieve. When you’ve got a job to do, you’ve got to do it well. My body had been sculpted to the proportions of Michelangelo's David. Muscle atop bone atop muscle was singled out, torn, stretched, rebuilt and later; sculpted. Zero per cent body fat, a thousand crunches a morning as I endured chronic pain. My reflection - a perfection that man had made. I had made that man.
At year 11, I signed up for a marathon and began relentless training. I could take the punishment. I hadn’t a renegades bone in my body. My reflection was a sufficient powerbutton. Fooling around wasn’t something I was into. Seriously, was and remains the only way I take things. I hired a personal trainer who also served as an alarm clock, fuck boy and occasional driver. I am not into men. Nature hath its call as they say.
His motto: Be liked and you will never want. I always thought that that was the most preposterous thing I had ever heard.
I nailed the marathon to the wall. I crossed the finish line with a personal best. Upon completion, I immediately changed into clean, dry clothes. I replaced my running vest with a cotton t-shirt and switched my shorts for some soft joggers. I peeled off my socks, untied the careful knots in the laces of my running shoes and eased into some slides. I kept moving, paced and reached for some snacks: bananas, a cream cheese bagel. Peeling back the bananas skin, I took pause.
I heard a disturbing sound. I heard the sound of a tambourine. I extended my ocular focus, somewhere, was some incessant jingle-jangling. Appearing as if from nowhere a person wrapped my shoulders in a foil blanket “that’s the jingle jangle of a thousand lost souls”. Sharks smell the blood that you’re bleeding. I really try my hardest not to listen to everything people say. Before the welcome disappearance of this creep I responded to their statement with a grimace. I could not locate the tambourines player. Long days and lonely nights would surely be the only motivation for one to pick up a goddamned tambourine?
It was a short enough walk and so I returned home. I was eager to take stock, still that tambourine. It persisted. Upon completing my ablutions, I continued with my skin care routine in the bedroom - applying various deep moisturisers, oils and eaus to the necessitous parts of my body. Eventually, I slid back into my supportive slides and took the elevator to the rooftop bar. Our reliable tender places my ‘usual’, moments upon my taking my pew. Much to my surprise the man sipping on a Ono Champagne cocktail next to me was Jim Carrey the actor and comedian.
A fascinating discussion ensued “can you hear that?” - the tambourine, he could not; and upon finishing my Sapphire Martini he explained “You know, your friends will quit treating you like a guest if you thought about success differently; when personal meaning in this cheer leader society, lies in success; then failure threatens identity itself.”
I bid the man a good night and retired.
His motto: You're nobody 'til somebody loves you.
A dead Jim Carrey is better than anyone else living.
A well-placed seat in the elevator allowed me to sit for a moment and inspect the itching sensation in my feet. Resting my right foot on my left knee, my index finger extended to my large toe nail and the hard curved surface glided off my digit. Got no human grace, not no more. I pushed, peeled, extracted each nail from my toes as people entered and exited the elevator. I gazed at my raw stumps. Yellow plasma oozing from them, my mouth flooded so I decided to seek out another cocktail. This deserved celebrating.
Nature abhors normality. You can’t turn your back on nature or nature will turn her back on you! I had not lived a goddamned day in my life until I prized my manicured toe nails off my plucked toes. I left them on the elevator floor. Confetti. We all know and accept that a beginning is a very delicate time. Know then, that by my estimation this was the moment the casting off began. The next morning, the sound of the tambourine conquered the sounds of my alarm clock.
He soon became known as “the Husk”. By his own admission, indeed by his own volition. The Husk decided that -
Motto: whatever doesn’t kill you simply makes you stranger.
Mere days upon removing his toenails in the elevator, his toes were gone. Bolt cutters. He walked on stumps and folded his socks over the bridge which had once sprouted the only addendum he took any sexual gratification from having touched. Sucked. It was a slope, it is often referred to as a “Snowball Effect” - the nails took the toes which took the legs. He did not “need” them, or so he proclaimed. His lips grew exponentially as he bought self-administering botox kits, and sang his way through the botch job, barely remaining silent. As if he were singing along to something. “You’ll soon know what life that I’m livin’.“ Confined to his wheelchair, clearly the ‘something’ intensified, or he could no longer stand the voice of his Carer. As though completing a garnish, he peppered broken glass into a funnel directly into his ear. It was cut off, and he found someone in the Yellow Pages willing to cast it in crystal clear resin and he wore it around his neck. He was never so good at listening. His enduring visitor was his old personal trainer whose
Motto was: The perfect machine is the one with the fewest parts.
– Angharad Williams