Actors – Garth Simmons

He arches forward and looks down at the city. He grips the handrail (sternly) positions his leg (loosely) and he narrows his eyes (thoughtfully).

It is a good pose.  

He is a foreigner to the city but he's brought his habits with him.

He collects figurines and paints them.  

He collects magazines and frames them.  

He likes his shoes to be arranged and proper whilst he, himself, is only one of those things.


He poses.  

He writes in neat, tiny handwriting.  

Writes little.  

He fails to write anything with honesty or content.  

Fails small.  

He has no content or honesty.  

He is a colony (here).  

No honesty in Colonialism.  

No content(ment).


He wears pre-ripped jeans and t-shirts with rock bands on them. He has a tattoo on his neck; a quote from a book he read.  

from now on I'm only thinking of me

He goes up a tall mountain with another fooled woman on his arm. He doesn't see the landscape. He doesn't see her. He sees his pose but he doesn't see himself. If he saw himself truly he would die.

A few months later, the tricked woman's father threatens to skin him alive if he doesn't give her money back.  

He lies to himself and others.

'I'm sincerely sorry,' he says.  


He spent her money on figurines, magazines and also clothes.


He feels that he is clever and they are all stupid (fools).  

He thinks he is a good actor (the best).  

He has an eye for the vulnerable; those who need a performance (hope).  

It is how he selects.  

He likes women or girls.




A new target in the ruins. A good target. The best target. He has seen her looking at him. The women and girls always look at him (here) because he is from a richer place.

'Can I sit next to you?' he asks her.  

She feels lucky.

He eats his toast and she talks to him in not very good English. He listens like he cares and gives her what she thinks she wants.  

'You are very wise,' he says, eventually.  

'I am,' she says. 'Yes.'

It is good that someone has finally noticed.

She likes him. He is thin, quirky and foreign (WHITE & WESTERN) just like a rock star.  

Thoughtful and distant. Ethereal but tangible.  

Strange mystery man.  

'My past is dark,' he tells her. 'I'm very complicated and I know, I know, you are complicated too.'

'I am,' she says.  

'I'm not ashamed of who I am,' he says.  

'Me also.'

'We are who we say we are.'

'We are.'

'I need neither God nor man to define me,' he says. 'I'm an Atheist with a capital A.'  

'I am a Buddhist,' she says.

'I respect your choice. Buddhism is a thoughtful and conscientious religion.'

'It is more of a spirituality to me than a religion.'

'Despite being an Atheist, I consider myself to be spiritual.'  

There is truth in damage, she thinks.  

There's damage in him.

There is attraction in damage, she knows.  

She connects to damage because she is damaged.  

They are both weird.  

He seems sweet and he looks good.  

Children love him. They always laugh. He is so engaging.

'Children love you,' she says.  

'Yes,' he says. 'I put on a good performance.'



In a restaurant at the top of a tower:  

'You don't mind about it?' she says.

'About what?'

'That we can't have sex yet,' she says.  

'I understand,' he says.  

'I would like to,' she says.  

'It's fine,' he says.  

'Don't you want to?' she says.  

'I understand that you would prefer to be married first, and I'm willing to show you commitment.'



The waiter brings the bill.  

'I left my credit card at home,' he says. 'Can you pay?'  

She nods. It is only money after all.  

He will be her husband. He isn't a sex tourist.  



She's been married before. He made good money so her family loved him. When they got divorced her family were upset; they didn't believe the terrible things that she said he did to her. She felt like a dirty liar and maybe she is.  

'He wasn't a good man,' she cries.  

'Tell me all about it if it makes you feel better,' he says.

'Do you mind?'  

'Of course not, I love you.'

She tells him about it and he held her.  

'You had the strength to leave him behind,' he says. 'You are an independent person and free as the wind.'

He has such a way with words.  

'Yes,' she says.

He puts fingers in her and he does what he read on a website.

'Yes,' she says.

She gives him a new pair of trainers that cost a lot of money.

'Thank you,' he says.  

They are what he asked for.  

She cuddles him but he doesn't cuddle her back.  

'Is something wrong?' she says.  

He cries (fake).  

'I haven't had anyone care about me like you do,' he says. 'Not for a long time.'

Poor man.

'How long?'

He tells her of his home country and of a woman he claims is dead.

'How did she die?'  


'I'm sorry.'

'Don't be,' he says. 'You didn't kill her. She is the only girl, the only person, that has fully understood me.'

'That can't be true!'

'Oh, but it is true,' he says. 'I'm a lone wolf. I'm a foreigner, and not just here, but in my own country and even to myself! A foreigner.'

'Oh no!'

'I am the black sheep of my family.'

'You poor thing!'

Beautiful, exotic and damaged white man.  

He lets her move into his place as long as she pays half of the rent.  

'Do you like your new figurine?' she asks.  

'Yes,' he says. 'Thank you.'  

'You are welcome, my fiance.'

She cuddles him and he doesn't cuddle her.  

She is happy, she thinks.  

A figurine.  

'Are you looking forward to our wedding day?' she asks.  

He doesn't say anything.  

'What's wrong?' she asks. 'Don't you want to be married anymore?'

'It's not that,' he says.  

'Then what? What is wrong, my fiance?'

He doesn't say anything.  

'Please tell me,' she says.  

He sighs.  

'Alright,' he says. 'But promise me you won't be upset.'

'I promise.'

'You are putting on weight,' he says.  


'You need to go to the gym,' he says.  

'Why?' she asks. 'Don't you love me for who I am?'

'You promised me you wouldn't be upset,' he says.

'Yes, I did promise, it just makes me feel sad you think I am fat.'

'I'm being honest.'  

'Yes,' she says. 'Of course you are.'

Of course he is.  

'Don't start crying,' he says.  

She is breaking her promise.  

'I won't,' she says.  

'You are.'

'I'll stop soon.'

'Go. To. The. Gym.'  

'You are right.'


She pays for their wedding at the government building.

A week later he is forty-one years old.  

'Happy birthday husband,' she says.

'I'm sincerely sorry,' he says.

She gives him a kiss on his bald spot.