‘So let me get this straight,’ I said, the irony of the word neither lost nor found on me. ‘You’re me and I’m you.’ I thought about this again. Then again. Roughly the same words but reaching a different confusion every time.

‘But then, how can we be in the same place?’

‘You’re not paying attention,’ I snapped. ‘At the expense of giving away the ending—you and I are one and the same.’

‘But you’re fat and bald,’ more observation than discourteous for the sake of being a prick, I hoped. ‘And old.’

‘Let me say it again,’ I said, determined this would be the last time I needed to. ‘I am from a different space and time, but I am you and you are me. Only I have never been you and you have never been me.’

I spun right off whatever axis I thought I was on.

‘Sorry,’ I said, because I was. ‘Who are you again?’

I kicked myself.

‘I am someone who knows who he is,’ I said slowly. Gloves off, time to give myself a good talking to. ‘I do not need to pretend because I do not stray from my purpose in life. My head is never musty for being in the clouds, not sandy through burial. I know that uncaged dreams lead to broken spirit, and to bring them to fruition requires dedication, self-discipline, restraint. That the road of excess leads to the palace of disgrace.’

Really? A lecture? In this state?

‘Look at you,’ I continued. ‘Why are you not content with your own people, where is your racial pride? Why do you feel this need to play this shameful charade for the sake of being tolerated in a world you do not belong in, unbound by morality, free of dogma like the uncouth white man, dancing like a black?’


‘I’d like you to leave please,’ I said in a small voice, wishing it didn’t ring with that quiver of uncertainty.

‘Do you not think I would if I could? Do you for one second imagine I would choose to be here in this degenerate little hole that passes for your mind?’ I was shouting now. ‘You brought me down here. You send me back up!’

I didn’t understand, and admitted so, too readily for my liking.

‘Of course you don’t you retard. But considering I have never ingested anything stronger than a Lemsip Plus and you are currently orbiting around Planet Mongoloid, I think it is safe to deduce that you are the one responsible for this aberration and I am an involuntary captive, a figment of your putrid imagination.’

I thought about this, clearly this time.

‘I don’t mean to be rude,’ my voice firm despite the lie. ‘But I’d sure hate to be a figment of yours.’

For Dave Brabin. By Shihab S Joi
The Prodigy

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