I had been banished from my homeland by them and forced to live the rest of my days on an island of disused electrical appliances. The accumulation of these disused electrical appliances had formed a conventional geographical landscape, there were mountains, dunes, hills, caves and valleys all consisting almost entirely of discarded electrical equipment, ranging from microwaves, right the way through to scanners and other forms of basic printing equipment. It was a nasty place, and a stark reminder of the sub-standard technological endeavours of the past. I had been alone on the Island for twelve years, all the while desperately trying to escape. The place was starting to have its wicked way with me-I kept hearing this track. I don’t know whether I was actually hearing it coming from a bassy sound system or whether it was all a figment of my cursed imagination. It sounded wonky and agonisingly repetitive.
For twelve years, with my gigantic legs like ostentatious Roman columns I clambered and scrambled over obsolete P.C monitors and waded through mires of unidentifiable cables and wires until finally I discovered a beach. One would expect, being an island, that there would be beaches everywhere and I would stumble upon one without much trouble. But this was far from the truth. I can only suggest either that they have cast a spell on me (hampering my sense of direction) or that the Island is of continental proportion, the size of Australia probably. Though infinitely more horrideous to inhabit.
One of the troubles of such an Island is the continuous electrical shocks from misplaced plugs and battery packs. I found myself being given a good old zapping almost daily, sometimes multiple times. It really is terrifying, and impossible to get used to. I believe I might actually be beginning to develop my own electrical current, possibly something to do with my braces (which I’ve worn for fourteen years now, twelve of which have been without any orthodontic treatment). But that doesn’t even bear thinking about. I hadn’t been zapped all day today and along with my discovery of this preposterous beach I was beginning to think it might be my lucky day.
As I walked, breaking metal and plastic with my legs etc… it became apparent to me that there was life around. I would notice crabs quickly crawling sideways into old Playstation disk-drives as they saw me approach. Seagulls sporadically flew overhead with USB sticks and memory cards clutched in their horny beaks.
Since the first day of my banishment on this isle, when they had whisked me off when I was twenty two, and hopeful and just coming out of university, I always knew that the only way I could escape this place was by building a boat and sailing off into the sea. My whole exiled life was in hope and prayer for the one moment when I reached a beach, but it was a dreadful anti-climax when I finally got there. But then again everything in life is an anti-climax, if you anticipate it positively.
Why do we even bother?
Why are my legs so massive?
I tried not to think too much because my thoughts always end up like this and I go round and round in the same circles. I try and tell myself one thing, over and over again -It will happen Jamo, one day it will happen.
It will happen. Anyway- I figured the best method would be by using a large fridge freezer that I’d picked up earlier on my travels, and add a couple of other boat-necessities to it. A sail basically. All I had to do was find something to use as a sail, and then there was hope. It will happen.
(But what if it doesn’t?)
As I walked further down the beach the music stayed in my head, getting louder at irregular intervals. I heard a voice shouting “HDMI Cable!”, then “Ear-Phones!” I noticed that the voice was that of a penguin, standing by a large pile of dilapidated extension leads, plugs and sockets. He was desperately trying to get my attention. I noticed he was smoking the remnants of a roll-up, and as I got closer to him I realised he looked rough. His feathers were grey, and there were patches of bare skin developing over his body. I’d never seen penguin skin before. I pretended that he wasn’t there. His voice sounded soft like gravel; “Sir, come from a long way have you? VHS?” he began to cough violently after this pitiful attempt at a conversation starter.
As I walked straight past him I was thinking to myself, what the fuck would I want with a VHS? Jesus Christ. He can’t have long left. Absolutely fucked.
Then I skulked away, sliding down a slope of unidentifiable digital boxes and keyboards on my side when I heard the words being shouted to me.
“It’ll never happen you know!”cough, cough, cough.
Don’t ever listen to a penguin. Ever.
A few miles further up I saw a beige coloured fabric nestled into the side of a little ledge at the back of the beach. I thought this would be perfect to put on my fridge, and I could maybe use a robust old television aerial as a mast, but I would address that issue later. On closer inspection I realised that the curtain was already being used by a family of otters who were watching television. They were using it as a carpet, or a bed or both.
“Hi, sorry to interrupt. I’m in a bit of a mess…” they were watching a documentary about the dangers of alcoholism. They had a really large HD-ready LCD screen complete with Sky Plus. One of the otters in a floppy hat and with effeminate whiskers, presumably his wife, was quite displeased to have her programme viewing interrupted and sharply pressed pause on the Sky box, leaving the television with a still of Louis Theroux looking compassionately distressed whilst talking to a slovenly man on a park bench clutching a can of Zubr. They all looked at me at once. A butch, masculine otter, presumably the father, looked shocked and then exclaimed in a west-country accent “Man, why so big in leg?”
I smirked, acting as if it was a joke. “I’m building a boat and I need a sail-”
“They’re gargantuan! Whopping great mammoth- legs!” he continued to stare at them in a daze. There was a pause.
“Any chance I could have that curtain please?” I continued.
The otter turned back to his family, still flummoxed “How does the man get from A to B?” then he snapped out of it and looked at me again. “Sorry there, I was distracted. What was it you were after again?”
“Oh right. For a sail or something you said?”
“Oh okay. That for the Detritus Beach sailing competition this Saturday?”
“No. I’m trying to get away from this Island. For good.”
“Why’s that? Not good enough for you is it?”
“No it’s not that. I just…”
“You humans. Always asking for a bit more aren’t you? It’s never good enough for man is it?” A rat’s head emerged over the side of the curtain. The otter then quickly tried to leap on top of it but it scurried away and giggled to itself. They clearly had a problem with beach-vermin.
“Anyways, I can’t give you the curtain if you aren’t going to give it back, but I can lend you it if you want to enter the competition, ten quid per boat and it’s all for the Underprivileged Otter’s Foundation, so it’s all for a good cause, we always go down to the Raft afterwards for a few drinks. Great day out if ya fancy it?”
“No thanks, I’m out of here man. Is there anything else you recommend I use to build my boat?”
“Typical. Errrm what to use? Refrigerator usually does the trick. The one you’ve got there looks perfect for the job. Anyway be gone man, I’m trying to watch a documentary with my family, ” the wife pressed the play button and Louis Theroux’s face became reanimated.
I staggered off.
“Oh and competition starts at eleven o’clock!”
I then heard the otters laughing sinisterly, and the music began to play again. It will happen. It should do. It might. It could.
After the shock I was catapulted five feet into the air and landed half-inside a washing machine.
It quite possibly never will.