It’s the last gasp and we need new faces. We need new eyes and freshly sculpted eyebrows. We need shiny new lips and tidier teeth. We need to be able to trust their innocence and rely on their enthusiasm; to know that when we look they’ll be making all the right gestures with their foreheads, and that even in the dark they’ll be pressing close, like party balloons in the back of a police van. It’s the last throw of the dice, though there are no dice and our hands are too weighed down with money to throw anything, so we need new faces to sell to the public and to our friends and colleagues around the world. We need new expressions, like fish discovering that – not in the immediate future, but way down the line after we’ve all gone – they’ll grow their own legs and bicycles may at last become useful. We need new intricacies of non-verbal communication, like frontline responders gluing themselves to motorways, or tumbling restaurants wondering when they became aquaria. It’s one hundred seconds to midnight and we need new faces for when the emergency services fail to arrive.


Oz Hardwick




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