Stood there looking at myself in the mirror above the fireplace as the sun was coming down, everything outside seemed so cool and sublime. Shifting from one foot to the other, I was inspecting the shape of my balls, which for the time being at least appear to be cancer free. Belly’s a bit bigger than I’d like, but for the most part, I’m doing good for my age. Out of shape, though, that’s for sure. How many hangovers have I had since I discovered alcohol back at the tail-end of my teenage years? And how many cigarettes have been smoked since my days at University when a cup of tea and a smoke on the balcony overlooking town went hand-in-hand along with conversation about all those things we were searching for that remained unseen and still do to this very day? Far too many, but with age I’ve cut down, so that’s something, at least. Since investing my efforts into writing a few years ago, my appearance hasn’t faltered, but my state of mind has shifted far from what it once resembled. Was I pretending all those years, or has it been the constant picking away that has caused me to grow weary of life in general? For a while, I thought my increasing sense of displeasure was that I didn’t enjoy growing old, but I think it’s more to do with being human. As a writer, or failed painter, or artist, or just all-around bum, the human condition is my bread and butter, and yet the more I scrutinise, the more it sucks the life out of me. Taking a pair of scissors and clipping away at my pubic hair, I peel back my foreskin and frown at myself for being so ordinary. You can have such a rich fantasy life, and yet these humdrum realities never seem to shift. You can experience so many incredible impulses, and yet they are not yours as they are the same for everyone. You think that you’ve known intimacy and that the memories in your head are yours and yours alone, but they are not. We exist in a hive. We are mirrored over and over again. For some, this doesn’t seem much of a problem, but for me, there’s no getting over the fact that I am nothing more than a copy.