A FEATURE presentation from themanwhofellasleep:

Michael Fish


Michael Fish stands naked on his hotel balcony. The air is heavy and charged, the smell of electricity ticking his nostrils. A storm is coming. He feels the hot, dull raindrops thud into his naked body, trickling down his legs. He hardly notices them. A sluggish wind cannot quite find the energy to rustle the curtains. He look out over Tokyo, a maze of steel and concrete, of neon and night. The lightning cracks, once, twice, three times. He counts under his breath, swallowing whiskey. The thunder comes, a deep satisfying rumble. The rain intensifies.

He looks in at the room. The corpses of champagne bottles clink. On the bed, Rukia and Natsuki lie sleeping. They ought to sleep soundly, he thinks, after the fucking he gave them. He steps over discarded dresses towards the table, and snorts the last of the coke. There is a popping of lightbulbs in his head, before the rush whispers down the back of his throat and hits his belly. He slips on a pair of slippers and sits on the chaise-longue.

He is in Tokyo for the World Weather Awards that were held last night in the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. As predicted, he won both his nominations, for Best Weather Prediction and Most Popular Weather Personality. The trophies are somewhere on the floor, beneath wine or drugs or clothes. He'll speak to Bruno tomorrow and organise for them to be shipped home. More fucking awards. He thinks of Suzanne Charlton and lets out a snigger. Poor, sad Suzanne.

Michael Fish is 66-years-old. He is the most famous Weatherman in the world ("I'm not a fucking meteorologist," he tells a journalist. "I'm a weatherman. Got it?"). His face is on T-shirts, soft-drinks and dildos across the globe. He's expanding into Africa with his Weather-Doctor range. He's the man behind the FishWorld theme parks in London, New York, Paris and Sydney. He's worth 2.3 billion pounds. He fucks whoever he wants to fuck and he eats whatever he wants to eat.



Michael Fish thinks back to his childhood. He doesn't want to remember, but he can't help it. He grinds his teeth and shifts his weight but the memories still come. Michael is a child, walking along a beach in Eastbourne. He is collecting shells in a clear plastic bag. The sand is sticky beneath his feet. His mother walks ten paces behind him, smoking a Benson and Hedges and eating a pickled onion. Even now he can smell that onion, sour and sharp, mixed with tobacco. He walks towards the sea and stands on something hard and unpleasant. He looks down and his stomach flips into his mouth. He is standing on a starfish. It is still alive and slowly twitches in dismay. He is horrified. Something evil and primal in him wants to stamp and smash the starfish into a pulp, but he is too disgusted. He runs to his mother, crying. He stares at him with faraway eyes and then pulls him up to her bosom.

Michael Fish is 66-years-old. He thinks back to last night in the hotel bar, knocking back the Chivas Regal. This American guy, looking like a hobo with his shaggy grey beard and straggly ponytail, approaches him, wanting to shake his hand. He is wearing a dishevelled "Michael Fish, American Tour 1989" Tshirt. He is smiling. Michael shakes his hand with disdain and turns back to face his glass of whiskey. The man wants to continue talking, about clouds, about storm fronts, about cyclones. Michael puts a hand on the man's shoulder and tells him to go to his bed. The man shakes his bed and swallows bitterly. He shouts at Michael: "You've changed, man. You've changed. It used to be about the weather, man. It used to be about the weather!"

Michael is sitting on the chaise-longue. He smiles to himself. A lesser man would be crying now, but Michael's eyes remain dry: "It used to be about the weather."