From the Monkey Bars

It’s hard to believe I won’t be everything someday. That I don’t get to work my way through all the levels, save, come back, try again. I think, okay, I’ll work on my confidence. It takes years, decades. It’s not that I expect to ever become a stage performer but, yes, I am singing in the bathroom. Yes, I am turning the speaker on my laptop up louder so that I too can sing louder, hit some notes. Yes, I am still cupping my hand over my ear and around to my mouth, so that I can hear my own voice from a place slightly other, be my own approximate recording studio. Sometimes I perform a posture that a model might perform, a flick of the neck or a kind of half-twirl. It’s not that I expect to ever become a model but, yes, I do look at the shape of my bottom in a pair of tight trousers and kick my heel up to my thigh. Sometimes when I’m caught off-guard — reflective surfaces: rebooting computer screens, toilet-roll holders, the sides of cars — I see myself as I really might be: old and wide. A hollowness to the cheekbones, a droop to the jaw, a shadow by the eyes. Life is actually a bypass, rows of speeding traffic storming by. But because the centre is always the same distance from the ring-road, you don’t notice the future die. And when I’m playing on the park at midnight, climbing the nets and swinging from the monkey bars, it’s not that I think everything is still before me, but that seems to be the only way one can go.