”So, I’m looking in the mirror and I realize how futile it all is.”
”Well, my eyebrows are uneven, my hairline recedes, my nose is too big, and you can count the chicken pox scars with two hands. Tom Cruise I ain’t.”
”Tom Cruise has money.”
”And that’s the problem.”
”Perhaps some slow breathing will sort you out.”
”That’s how I’ll find wealth?”
”Um… yeah, sure.”
On the bus home I tried slow breathing until the girl next to me told me to stop. A teenager in front agreed, and I held my breath as the two exchanged numbers.
A group of photographers where outside my flat, snapping and chatting away about something. That something happened to be a large sink-hole discovered in front of my door, large enough to swallow the group whole. When I tried to get in they asked if I was press, so I sat for an hour in the corner till they left. It didn’t even end up in the papers.
Nor did anyone even come to fix the hole up, to my dismay and no one else’s. The council would often leave me listening to Coldplay, though in the end they called me the ‘hole guy’, assuring that someone would come and fill my hole in due time. In the background I heard ‘fucking pervert’ before hanging up, leaving me with a bus of people staring my way. Loudspeaker is so easy to turn on.
That night I found myself staring at my own handmade holes scattered across the walls in my room, listening to my flatmate fucking. Each groan, each gasp, each knock was distinct, and I found myself cursing at my own hardened penis, envisioning bus passengers peeking through the holes and calling me that’ fucking pervert.’
”Hey, why don’t you move in?” he asked post fucking.
”That would be something, what about him?”
”He’ll be fine, I imagine he gets off to this sort of thing anyway.”
That’s the point in which I heard the ice cream van jingle coming from the outside. A jingle from my past.
As I walked downstairs the jingle shifted to the sound of a fairground, a fairground in which my four-year old self won a giant soft toy at a coconut game. When I opened the door, the sounds grew more distinct, the sink-hole glowing in front of my feet.
Dangling them into the hole I felt the 1997 California sea wash against my feet, climbing down brought the sensation of my graduation cap landing onto my head.
Each step down, the past came back as the present. I saw an ex sitting on a windowsill blowing smoke out into the street as I lay naked covered in sweat, listening to De La Soul. I heard my six-year-old self talk about dream jobs, my seventeen year old self dancing in a bar to Huey Lewis and the News.
At the bottom I saw myself surrounded by every hope and aspiration I once had. Stroking his chin I watched my past self decompose, leaving behind a spot for me, a spot down the sink-hole with everything I once had.
As I consumed each thought within the sink-hole, the hole began to fill in, removing a present I never could unwrap.