Wednesday, April 15, 2009


There he was walking, the man of the moment, ready to take his prize, bracing for the attack of that suffocating lump in his throat, the spotlight, always shining on him, without his consent.

Now if he was born blind, or with nothing in his heart, he would be fine, walking in confident strides, but that was not to be.

He hated himself this way, it was just about time for him to be himself again. The team rooted for him, the little ones cheered the way they were taught to for Christmas bonfire. The steps were red today with a fine sheath of velvet below, and his black leather shoes left a slight depression in that cushy walk to terror. He reached his pedestal, he couldn't hear what was said before or what will be said now.

It was just a minute he had to hold together and sufficiently satisfy the baying of the crowd. When did adulation become the complete lack of compassion. If only he was born without legs or limbs, if only he wasn't here, perfect as a being could be. He must have opened his mouth and made a noise, a noise the microphone was not trained to catch but they all heard it. He had screamed. It couldn't be anything else. It was a short, high scream, almost like a tyre's screech at the end of the drive way, with a smouldering of rubber and white plastic fumes. But nobody was testimony to the scream. He was their master, their faith, their envy, he did not scream.

He had walked on with his confident stride down the steps, through the strong sun overhead, smiling past the company and fitting in the empty patch, filing himself beautifully with gleaming gold pressed to his chest, burning through the green fabric, smouldering in the June sun, black fumes clogging his nostrils.