By Angus Ogilvie
Before work he always works out. He approaches the machine and squares up to it, puffing his chest and pulling back his shoulders while inspecting its fine black gloss and copper flashing. Deeming it a worthy adversary he turns straddles it and then lowers himself onto it. He reaches up and takes hold of the cold tubing firmly with both hands. One, two, three… his mind meditates on the number of repetitions; his eyes fixed on nothing in particular.
Having reached a satisfactory level of perspiration, he peels his bare ass from the faux leather seat making a noticeably loud shuurlap. He turns and scorns the apparatus with a furrow of his brow for the indignity of its repose.
The disgustingness of this noise stayed with him throughout his morning routine, echoing from white wall to triple-glazed glass and then torpedoing back to his ear drum, having gained momentum from the stainless steel work surfaces. He leaves the apartment. The fog of noise on the street comes as a welcome distraction but it’s still there, reverberating in some dark recess… shuurlap.
For reasons unbeknown to himself he strayed from the drudge of his usual commute and found himself walking through Trafalgar Square admiring the fine bronze men mounted on fine bronze steeds. An ill-timed glance up at Nelson on his column coupled with an impeccably well-placed banana would be his downfall. His arms and legs whirlwind and the tailored fabric of his suit is made momentarily to look like a rag doll. This seizure is brought to an abrupt halt when the curb deals an unsympathetic blow to the back of his head. Warm red spewed from his skull. Mountains of the offending phallic fruit now begin to appear; they tower above him an Olympus of exotic and severed clones. Anger and humiliation foam up from some dark recess, his eyes reeling in pain, arrive on neon lettering.
He bee-lines for the neon squiggle and arrives at a tramp sat on the steps of the National Portrait Gallery clutching a sign of cardboard and neon light, laughing at the beauty of this banana-split cliché. The frustrated and furious p of his brogue lashed out and connected with the tramp’s chin with balletic accuracy, scattering teeth like confetti . The tramp sent sprawling down the steps drops and shatters his florescent message and then looked up and smiling a gappy crimson smile says, “Got any change, Mister?”
Confused and enraged, the suit picks up what he thinks is half a smashed neon A, lunges at the tramp, misses, and falling awkwardly, inserts the shard through his own right pupil. He sees it… stands, staggers, drops a fifty in the tramp’s hat and then he says it ‘…shuurlap’.