Ant Smith
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Slapshot 1 - Shabby

Jacket and trousers are both pinstripe but the one is quite dark and the other too light to ever have belonged to just the same suit. But what really disgusts is that tight covered drum of a hairy pot belly protruding above the totally tight expandable cloth of your waistline. Straining to constrain it your shirt spreads open between buttoneered buttons in a vertical series of leering slits. Revealing a web of purple veins on patches of ruined skin and a grey disappointing treasure trail of matted hairs with sweat baked in.

The shirt is a blue and white checked cheesecloth, the kind I'd donate rather than buy from a charity shop.

But then you've got at the very least, the shiniest shoes upon your feet. I guess you notice those too readily, what with that used up middle aged man's stoop. Your eyes they are bright and your nose it is wet. So although you are altogether undeniably shabby, there's a flickering in you that betrays a sense of humanity. Just some muted subtle clues. As though you were born human.

That camera over your shoulder looks as though it has been through a war.

Top of the range but now like you battered and abused. The rubberised casing has peeled away leaving a webbing of gum that has since picked up layers of grime and dirt and the squashed bodies of occasional bugs. A sign that you work hard, or that you squeeze every drop of life out of the the things that are around you? And of course, your phone is an android. Machines serving purpose. Not bestowed with the love of an enthusiast. Rather, rigorously daily put through their paces. Sunglasses perched atop of your head. Nesting in the thinnest part of a once magnificent mane. Expecting to be on street corners most of the day earning your bread. I'll wager paparazzo.

At Oxford Circus we all squeeze off, a fleshly mass as one with each struggling bumping jostling to break free and take flight up the stairs. But you're more toad than sparrow. Lumbering along, one of your own wide thighs knocks the cap of your camera lens off and it clatters all of the way back down the stairs. I see you weigh up it's relative worth versus the effort of trudging after it against the tide. You're about to turn your considerable bulk when some fey young boy picks it up and passes it back. You take it in awkward stubby fingers and as hand brushes hand a spark of memory ignites.

Of a young a fiercely hopeful man determine to carve out a space and a name for himself. Of a time when you still had ideals and belief. With mean piggy eyes betraying the shock you extrude something close to a smile. "Nice camera", the kid says.