Hallo! – By Ste McCabe


(c) 2016, Ste McCabe

The second that Alex’s underpants drop down to his ankles, the rigidness of his everyday life is discarded along with the cheap cotton he kicks away. A pale, naked Buddha, he sits on a beach towel with his ankles tucked and genitals exposed. This is the same beach where he’d burned his fussy skin into hard red plastic just twelve days earlier, yet there is no way he can resist stripping off in the powerful heat again.

Egg on legs, Alex thinks as he glances at his protruding football belly, but he’s not ashamed of it like he is when he’s back in Liverpool. Nearly forty now, fella, he reasons, slightly detached, as if he were discussing an ageing celebrity in a magazine.

Alex’s ‘real’ life is poisoned with self-consciousness. Passive in almost every situation, he utters ‘sorry’ with an absurd regularity. If strangers spill…

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