Wednesday, July 9, 2008


It's the view you see when you're lying on the surprisingly cold floor of a television studio, among the garish accoutrements of a high-octane gameshow; halogen burners are laser-fixed just inches from your face, but because you're on the floor, because you're in a position no one on television is ever supposed to be in, you can safely avoid, and see through, the spotlights. You can see what no one else can. The unadorned ceiling of an ageing TV studio, the strange post-waste lattice of lighting rigs, the cracked runners and dirty concrete roof. And up there, balloons. So many balloons.

Behind you, in front of you, is a silence made more awful by an atmosphere's instant absence. An audience of swallowed cheers and stifled handclaps. The elaborate artifice of a television performance suddenly and violently yanked from its mock reality, its participants left ridiculous and fragile. And you, and your precious valuable brain, seeping vitality and entertainment value onto the black shiny buff of the studio floor.

You were one night from the jackpot. You played on; you risked it all.

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