(inspired by this iconic video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moIOVVEIffQ)

I have never been brave enough to wear white pants. My mouth is melodramatic on the best days. Has a habit of spilling whatever I am trying to keep inside. Yet, Harry manages both aesthetics and emotions. Splits his secrets into segments like ripe mandarins. Their juice does not spit. Their pips do not shoot. Even fruit obeys his wishes. He wears pristine pants beside the beach. Speaks about his upbringing. Ponders whether this confidence is something he wanted, or something he inherited without asking. Says, ‘my gut … is the only thing I do trust’. In the comments section, strangers categorise this as free counselling. Praise his magnetism. Construct commandments from body language. Even Harry has gone to therapy. He toes a tightrope of humanity, balancing between fantasy and possibility. Sonic waves syncopate with his breath. Unshaven enough that you can imagine him visiting a supermarket, grasping a tomato, squeezing for ripeness, feeling it slip from his grasp. Then flinching as it falls to the shoe-scuffed floor and rolls towards a stranger. She retrieves it, smiles at a fandom’s favourite face, yet does not recognise him. I imagine Harry accepting the tomato. I wonder if he’d place it back on the pile, or if he’d take his mistakes home and make a meal of them. Maybe wear white pants while he ate. In the interview, Harry rolls his eyes towards a colour-corrected horizon. Somewhere; a piano is perfectly in tune. Someone tries on a shoe that fits just right. A car approaches an empty country road. Maybe Harry owns multiple pairs of white pants. Swaps out the stained ones. Convinces us that we can be immaculate.

Maddie Godfrey is a writer, educator, editor and the 2020 Kat Muscat Fellow. They live on Whadjuk Noongar land with a rescue cat named Sylvia. Their debut collection ‘How To Be Held’ (Burning Eye Books, 2018) is a manifesto to tenderness. Currently, Maddie is completing a PhD on girlhood, teaching creative writing at Curtin University and drinking soy cappuccinos. 

Maeve Baker is a Brisbane-based animator, illustrator and comic artist. Maeve has a penchant for subtle storytelling, abstract visuals and bright colours. You can find Maeve’s work published in Voiceworks and QPAC Storytime Magazine, and in comic book shops around Brisbane and Melbourne.