Short Story: Shallow Waters

There once was a man named Robert Waters, who was not so affectionately known as “Shallow Waters.” He was known by such a moniker because he was, in fact, pretty shallow. There was not a mirror (of which there were many) in his house that he did not stare into multiple times a day. He liked to remark, mainly because he liked the sound of his own voice, that he had a classic chin, to go along with his classic nose and eyelids. His strove to keep his smile radiant, even going as far as to install little Christmas lights into his enamel.

His wardrobe was alternatingly form-fitting and flowing. He never missed a chance to show off his muscles, whether they be biceps, triceps, or glutes. He often boasted, in fact, that he did not have a six-pack of abs, but rather, a wine cellar, to both impress the ladies with his physique and his culturing. He participated in many marathons to keep in shape, but would often quit halfway through the runs, as he felt sweating was below him. In fact, he rarely went to the gym, as he never felt the need to wipe down the machines, as if his presence was never there.

Now, “Shallow Waters” met the end many egotists meet: he reached old age. When the first wrinkle appeared, he freaked out. Surely, a crease in Michelangelo’s David is more allowable than on his face! From there, it only got worse. Gray hairs starting sprouting, a paunch developed, and even his carefully maintained awareness of pop culture started to slip. He no longer knew what was hip, and more importantly, what was about to become hip, so he could be both ahead of, and dismissive of, the curve. They say Father Time is the cruelest bastard on the planet. To “Shallow Waters,” he was a bigger self-centered S.O.B. than he. Because Father Time was not content on being the chief controller of time, no, he had to take the beauty of others. “Shallow Waters” instantly knew why Ponce de Leon wanted to find the Fountain of Youth.

Alas, the man once called more shallow than a one inch kiddie pool became the ugliest shallowest person on Earth. Some of his friend laughed quietly at the development. Others just clucked their tongues. Others still wondered why they were being grouped in as one of his friends. The lesson here, my dear readers, is that beauty fades, but nicknames last forever.

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