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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
A young, moneyed man reflects on romance.

Submitted: December 21, 2011

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Submitted: December 21, 2011



My easy, flippant nihilism is the daughter of an even couple: misery and apathy. Obviously a pretty girl had something to do with it. And the guy who banged her. The guy she was banging. The other half of the banging pair. In a looking glass, I see rectangular outlines in my pockets. I see my wallet. I see my phone. Suffocating under tight denim. It's like ninety eight percent cotton, two percent elastin and it shrunk in the wash. Actually in the dryer, but when you say shrunk in the wash people just like it more. They swallow it easier because it's wet, maybe? Pointless parallel between reality and metaphor, sorry. I see the shape of my head under my too-short hair. My scalp itches, begging to be separated - all the layers of my head want to be separated. You know just back then, I wanted to call my head ugly, but the truth is it's just a head, you know?

Binary opposition is this thing that people do. It's like you say that guy's rich, that guy's poor. That guy's smart, that guy's dumb. You know? You pick these extremes, but you don't really think they're extremes. This guy's happy, this guy's sad. This girl's sane, this girl's mad.

How much does a loaf of bread cost? I literally have no idea. Like, who even cares? Surely less than five pounds? Credit card, debit card: I call them bank cards. I don't care what the difference is but I kind of found out passively and against my will after I turned twenty. I use them to pay for food, clothes, music, magazines. Aftershave. Books. Toothpaste. Metal stationery.

The wind blows so cold that it makes you want to die. Just to escape the cold. Suicidal ideation is common. That stupid little thing, "quiet desperation", that thing that most "men" live their lives in? It's real. From the outside, I must appear to be really cool. I'm fashionable. I colour co-ordinate. My hobbies are splattered 70-30 between timeless and trendy. Like you shot a full jam jar and it burst (or shattered, depending on something like "has your heart been broken recently or not?" or maybe "did you get into your first choice uni?") fortuitously into just the right distribution.

A sequence of unpromising events and then a few bad, well, really bad ones will push you away from your centre forever. Then you make a new centre. The new centre is you are a monster, you don't care about things. People still think you do because they project so heavily. People love to project. They weigh you down. Hang their dreams on you like laundry on a clothes horse. Laundry that someone you thought was your friend pissed on because you're a prick and they're a prick. Two pricks activating each other. Bringing out the best, which equals the worst, in each other. Brilliant.

Anyway I've got a cold or a cough or something, and I've just cut my hair. I mean I just had my hair cut. It's like a fashion statement or something now; I used to get the same thing - number four all over - when I was like sixteen but now it means something different because I dress really well and colour co-ordinate and everything. And girls think I'm good-looking. Something to do with my bones and my teeth and stuff. And some of them talk about my skin. But they won't bang me. To get them to do that, you have to touch them and stuff. Hug them, try to kiss them a few times, kiss them, bang them. Or they bang you. I don't remember which way round it is. Why would I remember? It's nothing to do with me. I step outside and it's really cold, obviously. In a fleeting moment that's pleasantly pure - I mean free of irony or self-censorship or anything like that - I feel so physically cold that I want to die. But you knew I was going to say that. So did everyone. This guy used to be unfashionable and now he's fashionable, like if you could flip a coin really slowly so it turned only once. This guy's bad.

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