work with the camera, originally uploaded by benaston.

This is an academic piece, based on purely fictitious-ish characters, imagining what life would be like for me if I’d have continued my walk with academia. Credit to Dr Aston for the inspiration.

Kevin should be finishing his thesis soon. Glasses. A wiry man with a neatly shaven head.  Wild, black hair frongs extravagantly from his ears and nose. There is something ageless about him, he’s in his 40s – been around for a while, perhaps too long.

Kevin is clever. Very clever. When you say anything to him he’ll wince and pull a funny face that says with absolute clarity; ‘You’re an idiot’. If you have the audacity to ask him a question he’ll tell you so many clever things in response that you’ll be completely befuddled and forget what you asked him in the first place.

Rosemary hasn’t been around long. She is bitter. Bitter because I got the funding she applied for. She started in October just before me so she’ll be here most the time I am. There will be no reprieve. I’m a constant reminder to her of the price she’s paying.  She had to sell her business to be here.

She is weird. Sits to my left. She mutters continuously to herself. Unintelligible.

It’s 9.45 on Tuesday morning. Rosemary is feeling cheerful. Kevin looks funny. He has come in from the rain and has the appearance of someone who’s been swimming with his clothes on.

Rosemary: “You look as lovely as ever this morning!”

An awkward silence is punctuated only by Rosemary’s muttering. Kevin pulls that face of confusion; someone’s said something that is very clearly incorrect. Perplexed. Annoyed. Kevin finally speaks.

Kevin: “Right. I’m not really sure how to respond to that.”

Rosemary doesn’t realise it’s mean to make fun of how people look, especially when they are people who don’t understand jokes. Kevin doesn’t understand jokes.


I don’t belong here. I’m a creep.

Ben Aston

Ben Aston

Ben Aston is a digital project manager and online entrepreneur. He's the founder of Black + White Zebra, an indie media company on a mission to help people and organizations succeed. Ben brings over 15 years of experience in both strategic thinking and tactical implementation from a career at top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, and DDB.

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