Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Photo by John Marsh and Thom Kofoed

Photo by John Murray and Thom Kofoed

Lauren by Thom Kofoed

This piece of writing is part of Thom Kofoed’s exhibition in the crypt at St Mary in the Castle, ‘untitled (Miss. Ms. Other)’. HOT’s Chandra Masoliver felt it was such a real, well written and heartfelt piece that we should publish it here.

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I suppose I am in with love Lauren Conrad. It is an unsettling sort of in love that brings with it a knot of confused feelings that I am often blindsided by when I’m doing something boring like counting change in my hand. It is unsettling I guess because the concept is alien. I have not met Lauren Conrad. I was once in a place she had been a day or two before. I don’t know where she was when I was there. In fact I don’t remember knowing she had been there at all. I saw it in a magazine after the fact maybe. It isn’t important.

It’s an expanding sort of in love that rises like dough in my chest, and it is light like dough too and sometimes it feels like I’m flying. Other times it is a lead weight. Sometimes it is feverishly hot. Often I cannot recognise myself inside of it. It has grown beyond me into someplace else, you see.

When I was seventeen Lauren was eighteen. I am twenty eight now and she is twenty nine now and she is married and sometimes on her Instagram account she posts pictures of her dogs or her husband. Once, she posted a picture of her sitting in a doorway with an effortless ponytail that was bleached in a salon to make it look like it was bleached by the Californian sun. My hair has been bleached by the Californian sun before, but my hair looked uneasy there and I looked uneasy there too. I was a square peg trying not to be a square peg. She is breezy and shaped liked the Pacific and her teeth are white and they are probably bleached too.

That Californian sun has somehow made its way inside of her and she glows that light that happens right before the sun sets. That sudden burst of gold. She is a sudden burst of gold, and it must follow then that I am filled with rain.

I am a cupboard beneath the stairs and she is a roof terrace where people come to throw parties to celebrate getting good news. We’re having a baby. I got a new job. The cancer is gone.

Once, she chose a boy instead of a summer in Paris. Maybe she wants to forget that now. Perhaps she already has. Or perhaps everything she has done since has been stepping stones to get her further away from the girl who would choose a boy instead of a summer in Paris, but probably not. I wonder if she ever thinks about him. Jason. Ever looks him up on Facebook, or lets herself imagine, just for a second what it all would have been if that summer hadn’t collapsed under its own weight. Maybe she does, but most likely she doesn’t. She is too happy for the frivolities of her early twenties now. And besides, so much has changed, so much of herself is already different.

I have often wondered if she would like me were we to meet. She is prissy and private and I am prone to crying in the gym. My clothes have holes in them. I am difficult and loud and sometimes I am quiet, and recently I swore in a church without meaning to because also I swear but not because I think it’s clever. I am needy if I don’t get attention, and I am needy when I am getting attention because I am frightened of not having it again. I don’t always want it though, but you won’t know that because I am not always good at explaining how I feel. I have spent most of my time on the outside of most things and even if she liked me I wouldn’t believe her when she said she did. I am deeply flawed and she is breezy and shaped like the Pacific.

But I am kind and I try my best to be good, except for when I can’t because my stomach is filled with the giant-ness of the world and I feel too small. Recently, I’ve felt too small more often than I haven’t and that can be disappointing. Lauren Conrad makes me feel small sometimes but really it isn’t her, it is me reflected back on myself.

She is just a girl in California making the most of things after all, and I am just a boy filled with bad weather trying to figure out why he’s not doing the same.

* * *

Link to HOT article about Thom Kofoed’s exhibition: ‘untitled (Miss. Ms. Other)’.

Posted 13:28 Monday, Apr 24, 2017 In: Literature

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