All entries for Thursday 12 January 2006

January 12, 2006

All the fun of the fair

He entered the internships fair, and he knew this place was his. Thirty seconds down, a smile, a handshake, and he had his first free pen. Another stall, more pleasantries, and this time a pack of mints. Surely with freshened breath nothing could stop him. The room was buzzing and he was working the stalls methodically. “Would you like a brochure sir?” Of course he takes it, but he won’t read it. He’s here for the bounty. More pens, a mug, an alarm clock. In a few days they’ll lie broken and forgotten at the bottom of his wardrobe, but right now they feed him like a drug. Who is he? He’s king of the world, number one, an unstoppable machine. He takes some Pringles but he won’t eat them until later, this is strictly business.

And then he looks up, and the smoke clears. It is as if a dampener has been put over the rest of the room, he hears nobody, he sees nobody, and in a moment of perfect clarity he regards the miniature rugby ball. He knows right at that moment that this is his Everest, his promised land, it must be his. He runs through his action plan, arranging his thoughts as meticulously as a snooker player preparing his shot. But then he locks eyes with her and he knows she is his nemesis. She’s seen a thousand cowboys like him, freebie junkies desperate to feed their habit. Her lips part revealing a row of perfect teeth as she smiles, but make no mistake, she’s not on his side. There’s a voice in the back of his head, “pull back mate, you can take a pen and save face, we’ve got enough toys man.” But he needs the rugby ball. He feels clammy, and he can definitely feel the effects of last nights’ Jack Daniels. “Are all you’re internships in London?” he asks, he’s sticking to his plan, it’s never failed. “Actually they’re in Paris” she replies, “Do you speak French?” She can see on his face that she has him, with a sentence she’s crumpled his dreams, he panics and backs off, knowing that the rugby ball will never be his. Who is he? He’s nobody, nothing, just another guy without the coolest toy at the fair.


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