100 days: 45

03/03/2010

Booth.

‘Hey, hey boy!’ called the man in the booth. Kyle approached cautiously. He assessed the man’s bare emaciated arms, they resembled two clusters of broken knuckles bound together with a thin layer of cheap sausage skin, if you can imagine such a thing. Kyle considered this image and estimated a potential grab/stab/grope radius taking into account the length of the man’s torso and then stood approximately one foot outside of it. He waited silently for the man to justify his bellow, which he did at leisure. ‘You want advice?’ asked the man eventually. Kyle shrugged which served as enough encouragement.

‘Good boy,’ began the boothed stranger, ‘so, what troubles you lad?’

Kyle wiped a fleck of mucus from his nostril and shrugged again.

‘Be creative champ, come on,’ ventured the man to no avail, ‘ok, let me begin the process. This, brother, is a damned heavy world and each man, each man carries his share of the weight, it’s our birthright, we pop out, the doctor spanks our ass and the soul never stops weeping, so, what load are you carrying boy?’

It was a large ineloquently posed question for a small mind to decipher. Kyle swilled it around for a while, pulling his interpretation of a thoughtful expression (puckered lips and scrunched brow) as he tried to locate his as yet unlabelled notion of self.

‘Well,’ Kyle began, ‘I…’

‘Off load, come on, let’s work through this together, come on,’ encouraged the stranger.

‘Well…I lost my Casio driving watch last Saturday,’ began Kyle.

‘I see’ said the man leaning forward empathetically, Kyle recalculated the radius and took a step back.

‘It could go 30 meters underwater, my mum said she’d get me new one but she said she’ll only spend £20 on it, you can only get 20 meters for £20 and all my friends have 30,’ continued Kyle wistfully.

‘I see,’ said the man, ‘now, that is a pickle. It seems to me that you’re at a crossroads in your potential development. While your predicament centres around your ill fated Casio diving watch and the respect of your peers this all speaks to me of a deeper underlying problem. By begrudgingly accepting your mother’s kind offer to replace the watch with an inferior model you are in fact placing more value on the loose materialistic relationship you have with your ‘friends’ than the everlasting paternal bond you have with your mother. By subjecting her offer to scrutiny misses the central point; who lost the watch? Where does the responsibility lay? Where should reparations be sought? Perhaps you should be looking inward. We may be talking about a relatively cheap digital watch here but as your grow up you’ll find the same scenario repeating over and over and you’ll long for the day a simple Casio SGW-100-1VEF was at the centre of your troubles. Choose the right path now and you could spare yourself a lifetime of inaction and servitude.’

Kyle absorbed these words for a little while, then pointedly asked:

‘Why are you purple?’

The man appeared despondent.

‘Amazon.co.uk has got a sale on digital sportswear at the moment, you can get 50 meters for £17.50 for the next month,’ he disdainfully spat out. ‘That’ll be a quid.’

‘Fanks!’ said Kyle and ran off without paying.

‘Fucking kid,’ muttered the man as he lit his 20th cigarette osf the morning, ‘why are you blue? You little bugger.’ Kyle was already out of earshot, tugging his mother’s arm, presumably saying something about Amazon.

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