DARWINIAN // Wonky Vision

So, I’m waiting at the lights for the little green man to stutter. That’ll be my signal to cross.

I’m late for the bus again, and my back is sloughing into the seat of my pants via a river of sweat. Sizzling in this heat and humidity like a piece of rump steak is no fun, and the light is searing its bad self into every cranny of my awareness so there’s nothing but blank canvas everywhere I look. Yup, I’m a squinting Mr Magoo at the Seeing Eye Olympics. On the face of the sun. Being spit roasted by Satan himself. Or I may as well be. Summer sure loves to make me its inelegant, sweaty bitch.

I can barely make out the couple in front of me. They happen, as it turns out, to be making out—I can make that much out. Oh, hang on, they’re not actually making out. They’re just holding hands, sharing adoration and kisses despite the sun’s brutal, disapproving efforts. How sweet! I can’t help but smile. Not that you’d know it was a smile. It’s more like a scrunched up, mortified towel really—one that’s been used to exfoliate Donald Trump’s junk. Well, abused more like.

We’re hearing the green man now, so we all step out onto the road. The couple are still hand-in-hand, swinging their arms in time with the endearing skip in their gaits and hearts. We’re halfway across when a horrible realisation hits me. It’s two men! Shit! TWO MEN! I immediately begin to panic. The squinting has to stop. Like. Now. What if they see my expression—the grimacey scrunch that reads nothing like a smile—and come to the conclusion that I’m hating on their public display of affection? God almighty!

I try to unsquint as much as I humanly can, only to be blinded even more. Jesus! Fuck! The pain! The light is so fucking aggressive… and, holy fuck, the tears! My face is contorting all over the place like an epileptic cow with a cattle prod up its arse. It’s a wonder I’m not staggering into oncoming traffic. Still, I’m certain there’ll somehow be blood and recriminations next.

We reach the other side, and it’s only at that point when I realise something. Not only has this couple failed to notice my wank-walk of over the top social maladjustment, they clearly wouldn’t give a damn even if they did. They’re so besotted with one another, and so at ease within themselves and their immediate surroundings that… well, so what if I existed? Hell, it’s not even remotely about me. Or about what I think, for good or ill.

I’m just lucky to have witnessed this unabashed display of affection without getting smeared up the road by a Mack Truck—you know, like red jam over toast. Gaydom’s so normal that I should be considering it a bore really, not something to be noticed and having judgements formed about. Yup, nothing to see here. Just two folks very much in love. All’s right with the world.

And that’s enough for now.

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

DARWINIAN // Body Shamer vs. Potty Mind

“Fuck. That’s put me off me dinner.”

I look up in time to see him and his cronies turn away in laughter. And then he takes another bite of hamburger anyway. And then they continue to laugh and laugh and laugh beyond any reasonable point of cruelty. What grade A cunts.

No. I’ve got that wrong.

At least a cunt is warm and inviting, and is usually possessed by somebody who’s glad you’re in the room. And they’ve willingly let you in. Why? Because you’re you, and they like that, and that’s okay. Makes me wonder why cunt has ever been used as a pejorative in the first place.

I wish I was with a cunt right now. Anywhere but here.

So, who’s the tool two tables over? Well, he’s the complete opposite of a cunt, that’s for goddam sure. In fact, I’d call him a dick. No, hang on… I like dicks! I mean, sure, not other dicks. Just mine. It’s not like I go around sucking random dicks or anything. And I’m not saying mine’s the best dick out there either. Dicks, by and large, are simple, unassuming things. In short, a dick’s a dick, and just as there’s nothing inherently wrong with cunts, so too with dicks.

Okay, so he’s not a dick or a cunt. Maybe he’s just not very nice. I’ll have to settle for that.

Note to self: Whenever in public food court, sit with cauliflower ear facing wall. Preferably mirrorless kind. That way, no one sees and laughs. Or sees and comments. Or worse still, sees then completely looks away.

I think my heart is going to kill me.

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

DARWINIAN // Circle of Life

Look, I get it. A bus timetable isn’t a binding contract or anything but I’d dearly appreciate it if the sodding drivers would stop fart-arsing me around. I’m convinced they’ve all conspired against me. How else would you explain what’s happening here?

Seriously, whenever I’m early, they’re late. Whenever I’m on time, they’re early. Whenever I’m late, they’re on time. Is this some kind of joke? Are their contrary little minds jacked into one central hive mentality decreeing that this Darwin chap mustn’t be allowed to get anywhere stress-free ever? How do they even know when I’m at the damn stop? CCTV? No, there isn’t any CCTV. Well, as far as I can see anyway…

I feel like a right goose as I stand here trying to type on my mobile phone, the cars whizzing past my self-conscious self. This godawful touch keyboard! Was it made for human beings or fucking pixies? Wouldn’t you think the manufacturer could have included a stylus or something? Of course you would. So would I. But they’re not us. They don’t consider the needs of us mere mortals. That’s not what they do. We pay for what we get and nothing more. Frankly, it’s a First World privilege to be using our giant, stubby forefingers to thwack clumsy smears of not-quite-predictive text all over our tiny screens, and they know it. We all know it. My white middle-class guilt is quite adept at making me shut up and put up with all kinds of shit.

How the hell is ‘contrary’ anything like ‘dairy’?

And suddenly I’m off thinking about American highways. The other day, Calix was telling me that they’re paved with an odd mix of stuff: asphalt, recycled tyres, and hospital waste. Why is that factoid popping into my head unbidden? Is it because I’m standing on the side of a busy road, watching a Vespa narrowly miss a Bond lookalike? She loves bringing up weird shit like this. I usually do my best bobblehead impression, nodding along to whatever Calix says, and wondering if these alleged factoids are even halfway true.

I should text her. Let her know I’m going to be late. Ah, sod it. She’ll find out I’m late when I get there. Tumours, severed limbs, other bodily organs… bus. I guess a lot of Americans splat on highways at any given opportunity, eager to donate their good selves to the advancement of the automobile. It’s the circle of life, baby. All terribly pointless and wasteful. Thank god for America. Thank god I don’t live there.

Oh, shit! Was that the bus? Fuck! Shit!

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

DARWINIAN // Woke at the Coalface

‘Eat. Sleep. Sprint. Repeat.’

At no other time in history could I wear this summation of existence on an article of clothing and not be thought of as odd. But nearly everyone’s doing it nowadays, so I guess that makes me somewhat normal — or at least someone somewhere’s definition of ‘normal’. It’s funny how society bolted from the t-shirt as an undergarment in the nineteenth century to being worn as outerwear in the mid-twentieth century. Quite the transition, no? We shrugged from ‘shock of the new’ territory into the realm of blind acceptance in one quick, easy, costume change.

So, what does this actually mean? It means that t-shirts are in. It means that catchy sayings in bold typeface beneath cartoon pics of hollow, burnt up earths with factory stacks belching out poison are in. And it means that the combination of all these things is in. I guess the t-shirt is what society now deems ‘social convention’. Yup. And the only constant is change.

Frankly, I’ve never understood the appeal of t-shirts. To me they’re just walking billboards littered with guache advertising for untruths mixed with half-truths dressed up as ‘The Truth’ that you absolutely cannot live without… so buy today. And I happen to live at the fraying edge of all of that. Oh, damn, I don’t know what to do! Should I wear this shirt and risk exposing my unmanly physique for all to snort in derision at? I’m barely hanging on here, trying not to be the wonky thread that makes my carefully insulated life come undone. My face is already unacceptable by society’s standards. Now my body too?

Is this irony? The fact that I can be shamed for my pear-shaped body rather than the trite maxim on my overstretched top doesn’t seem right to me. Maybe I’m overthinking this. Maybe I shouldn’t be perturbed that not only is this the uniform that must be worn if I want to be part of society’s cabal of acceptance but that I can also be rejected if I fail to squeeze into it in the prescribed manner. No, I should just push these thoughts out of my mind…

The earth coughs up flowers for no one to notice.  The mighty dig past said flowers for coal to burn to make loot. Said mighty diligently practice their brand of self care, amassing said loot to the neglect of everyone else. And here I am, trying to decide whether what I’m feeling is mere vanity or the emergence of some awful realisation.

God. What possessed me to buy this stupid shirt anyway?

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018