Charlie sat on his swivel chair in the middle of his bedroom, staring at a spot above his eyebrow so honestly framed in his mirror. The new silence that hung viscously in the air was ruined by a fresh wheeze from the fan of his laptop, trying (in vain) to prevent it’s owners lap from being scolded. Empathising with the exasperated machine, Charlie focussed his fresh eyes on the titles of the three tabs he had open: Facebook (2), Good Exercises to Burn Bum Fat, Student Finance Calculator.
He sighed. Any remnants of the frustration that had spat like fire three minutes earlier were extinguished, replaced by a vacuum of feeling. Then, with the ease and instinct of blinking, Charlie placed the laptop on his bed, took off his trousers and one sock, moved into the press-up position and began to carefully edge his buttocks into the air, one baby-step at a time.
Once his bottom had reached it’s peak, a small force was exerted from Charlie’s toes against the floor as he pushed the top of his head against the carpet. As soon as he had straightened his legs, Charlie could be found standing on his head, half-naked, alone, in his bedroom.
“Bogies,” he whispered, and sniggered.
“Stinky poo,” he announced, and laughed.
“I can’t sing,” he sung, “but that don’t mean a thing because I’m king of the castle and you’re the dirty rascals!”
Feeling like a bird released from it’s cage, Charlie gleefully giggled, hooted and shrieked with the innocent joy of childhood.
Charlie allowed himself to overwhelmed in the ecstatic rebellion of the moment, unable to move apart from the hysterical convulsion of his diaphragm, unable to smell the salt of his evaporating tears, unable to recall the meaning of words like “fat” or “stupid” or “poor”.
The present eventually disintegrated away to be resumed again by the past and future. Charlie dismantled his now ridiculous structure and retook his position on the swivel chair, turning on his laptop.
The scene we’re left with was much the same as it had been 10 minutes prior. Now, however, we could see our man sat with poise, engaging with the pressures of this world, rejuvenated and focussed.