If You Become Kevin Costner in the Next Seven Years...
Crispin Best

You will wake up one day and your sheets will be kicked off. You will smack your lips. It will be your 60th birthday.

There will be the sound of slippered footsteps. The door will open. It will be your wife of ten years, former-model and handbag designer Christine Baumgartner. Her blonde hair will be tied back. She will be wearing white pyjamas. Your bedsheets will be white. On the wall will be a white painting in a white frame.

Your wife will be holding a breakfast tray. On the tray will be a glass of orange juice, four slices of toast, butter on a small white platter, miniature jars of quince marmalade and blackcurrant jam, a cafetiere of coffee, a small white jug of cream. This will be the exact same breakfast she made you the morning after you won your second Satellite Award, this one for Best Supporting Actor, for your role in the movie The Point, in which you played a widower dealing with his own terminal disease.

You will prop yourself up with a pillow. You will raise your eyebrows. You will let your robe billow open. It will be your 60th birthday.

'Breakfast in bed,' she will say.

'Breakfast. In bed.'

You will rub your hands together. You will wiggle your fingers at the food. Your wife will put the breakfast tray over your legs. After she has done this, you will not be able to move the bottom half of your body. You will pat her side of the bed and she will gently climb and sit next to you. She will run her hands through your hair as you eat. You will smile and blink. She will dust some crumbs off of your belly. She will pull your robe closed and flatten it.

'Not 59 anymore,' she will say.


There will be a remote control sitting on the dresser. You will press a button and Schubert's Wanderer Fantasy will begin to play. It will be the fourth movement. Your head will bob contentedly. Your wife will smile.

You will lick the tip of your index finger and use it to pick up the last remaining crumbs of toast.


You will make that mouth-closed satisfied sound that people sometimes make. Your wife will stand up and take the tray from your lap. You will look up at her. She will kiss you on the cheek. She will set the tray on the floor. Free, you will kick your legs. You will stretch your arms. You will press another button and 'Born in the USA' will begin to play. You will clear your throat and swing your legs out of bed. You will stand with your eyes half-closed and by the time the drums have kicked in you will already have started dancing, all air-punches and left-right hips.

The sun will be a low circle burning through the curtains. You will think: I love Bruce Springsteen. I love my wife. I'm 60 years old. I'm Kevin Costner.

Crispin Best's work has appeared in Eyeshot, Dogzplot, Titular, Pequin and others. Does he live in Manchester, England? I think I remember reading that. He blogs here.

To link to this story directly: http://wigleaf.com/200902kc.htm

Photo detail on main page courtesy of in da mood.

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