your five-year plan

by Crispin Best

year one starts i don’t know some time this week

clip your toenails in a more gentle way and feel beautiful

spend some time following people around the freezer aisles at the supermarket and feel beautiful

grow dahlias or steal dahlias from someone, just make sure you have dahlias to leave around the place and find and feel beautiful

eat cereal in a more gentle way and use the right amount of milk and feel beautiful


year two will start around a year from now

carry and hold things regularly to feel like things rely on you and to feel necessary

open drawers and leave them open and some hours later come back and close them gently and smile and they will be grateful

put bubble gum stickers on your body and peel them off and put them back on your body so they can barely stick but hold them there very tightly and feel necessary

go to a place where there is fruit and put the fruit in a basket and carry the basket to a town square and leave it there and walk away gently and feel necessary


year three happens another year later

wrestle a friend’s new pet and take it too far and feel strong

push against the eastern wall of your house and think of the world turning and feel strong

plant pebbles in the soil and kick the soil and scream a little and feel strong

take the batteries out of clocks and place the clocks on the ground and look down at them and feel strong


year four happens next

visit an aquarium and lift out and cuddle a stingray

gently eat the stingray and look around the aquarium and feel popular

cover your face with a stocking and stand naked at the finishing line of a charity long-distance run and scream and run towards people as they finish and feel popular

set fire to a cuddly toy and do a little dance and feel popular

go to an outdoor swimming pool at the end of spring and take a dump on the end of the lowest diving board and walk away gently and feel popular


and year five

unroll a futon gently for a friend who’s staying but forget and go to sleep there and sleep gently

while sleeping think of diving boards and freezer aisles and picking fruit

and it won’t seem like a happy ending because you’ll think you’ve got another 45 or 50 years or something

it won’t seem like a happy ending but you’ll feel better.

Crispin Best lives in London. He is trying to collect a story for every year since 1400 here. The rest of the time he is here.

Back to Issue Three: Spring 2009