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Suicide - The Risky "Reginald Perrin" Manoeuvre
by Ian Hutson

My Clothes formed a neat cairn just above the dead seagulls, plastic bottles and used condoms of the Kentish high-tide mark, with my Wallet, Watch, Keys and Hubble-Spectacles organs hidden safely from thieves under the top layer. Body, Mind and I wobbled out to the surf and waded in. Neptune and Poseidon could fight over us in the English Channel - after we’d been ground to a paste between shipping traffic.

My Mind is a friendly stray dog. It wanders freely; I don’t keep it on any sort of leash. Whenever I sit down on a park bench Mind comes up to me, tail wagging, nose damp and cold. Mostly we communicate via Frisbee throw and fetch.

Mind and I try to talk to Body, but Body never listens to either of us. Body grew up entirely without us having any say in his configuration. Body, dear benighted, squishy, adult-sized baby Body just issues incessant, gurgling demands: eat; eat more; sneeze; fart; sit down; fall down; sleep through alarm clock; need Aspirin; need haircut; need shower; need sex with a supermodel (but would “make do” with anyone). Body makes promises that it has no intention of keeping: use the stairs to your thirtieth-floor office and we’ll feel fantastic afterwards. Body is never responsible.

We unhappy three totter through life like vaguely acquainted derelicts wandering across a public park. Body roots through life’s bins and vomits alongside trees; Mind picks fights with other strays and chases political or religious joggers. I’m left to do the feeling mortified. We so rarely communicate directly or work simultaneously to the same plan.

I worry about them both. Mind will surely be lost if it keeps wandering off into daydreams and Body hates me like a teenager, vegetates whenever it can and behaves like a dying swan if exercised. I’m not the sum of my parts; I feel quite outnumbered by them. Whenever we’re carpeted in front of some new Government campaign to reduce haemorrhoids, happiness and heart-attacks Body sniggers ‘yeah, that is so not going to happen’ and Mind just waxes lyrical on conspiracy theories.

At this point in my Reginald Perrin-esque suicide my reverie was interrupted by a rare in-body experience. I ceased making my suddenly curiously-ineffectual auto-pilot swimming movements. I was churning sand like a turtle coming ashore.

Mind seemed to be present, but only to say ‘I told you this wouldn’t work’. Body, goose-pimpled and bloated, was complaining of exhaustion and the taste of shipping-diesel and herring-poo. We were all wearing seaweed and a crab for a wig. Damned if I wasn’t lying prone on the beaches of some Hell, shrivelled, naked, sans spectacles and sans legal documentation or so much as a farthing.

Eyes weren’t certain, but the blurred boots of a Gendarme appeared to be tapping the sands next to Nose. Honestly, you wouldn’t believe how easy it is to go viral on Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube and the BBC. Bloody Mind had forgotten to warn me of the Channel currents and Body had never before so much as hinted at cross-channel swimming abilities. Merde!