Moody Capeman had just hit the big 3-0. After a long night out with close friends, he noted a strange occurrence behind the wheel of his used Volkswagen party wagon. What remained of his birthday cake was teetering on the brink of self-destruction. This occurred directly atop his giddy girlfriend’s bouncing knee.
As they sung along to the radio, the weightless paper plate began to defy physics. Spinning around wildly like a drunken vinyl album under a percussive playing needle, the groovy, white saucer came to a complete stop. The residual bitefuls of rainbow-colored karma crumble remained intact, which Moody thought little of the next day. However, before long he’d find himself unable to chalk up his infallible good fortune to dumb luck and nothing more.
Yes, Moody was quite a charmer, but there was a reason he was able to score last-minute tickets to sold-out rock shows off the resale market. Not only did his movie star molars do him wonders at will call; he quickly found himself at the slots winking at impossible odds before hitting the jackpot on a single two-dollar bet. Rather than rescue his Panama-grade boardwalk shades from the crown of his glistening alleyway sharp button-down, he’d simply curl both lips above the blazing horizon. Several cut corners would immediately etch themselves into the illegible sky, in turn eclipsing his greatest rival to date. At least until the stars came out of their own accord.
Moody was no stranger to blind adulation, just major celebrity. Everyone wanted an exclusive interview, and that was before he walked into a bank during an armed robbery just to say, “Those won’t work, boss.”
He had been pointing to a subautomatic prayer-ender at the time, but no one bothered to gawk at his actual handsome headspace in the weeks and months to come. Moody’s capital S-rated smile was plastered on not just billboards fronts and transit bus bellies but the goddamn space station! As if the next asteroid on a collision course with Earth never stood a chance against an interminable working definition of public safety.
No matter what Bruce Willis allowed to be reflected on the back of his ever-becoming chrome dome during an expiring decade, Moody was furious. His own Hemsworth-heavenly likeness was ruining his real life. His girlfriend dumped him after learning of his first photo-booth affair with a younger woman. A blonde karaoke queen with better dental structure and a way lower IQ. This was despite her sustained abstinence from taking hard drugs and dating “sweet on grandma” hearty, slim thugs. Surely, she’d eventually save the day alongside the American Fabio of the pop-up selfie studio. At least until Moody moved to Scandinavia in an attempt to disappear from public view without dooming all of humanity in the process.
His new goth friends in Loviisa believed his flowing hair could be traced back past his initial flight to Helsinki. They believed he hadn’t bothered to memorize any written lines during his first Hollywood casting call. They even believed he had punched his old man square in the jaw before settling his nagging debt issues without activating a single bank card bonus first, but no one believed that his ex-girlfriend had started a private dental practice less than a year after they first met.
A long time would pass before Moody took a long, hard look in the mirror. Especially after he started making a living off of everyone else’s simulated solace and post-edit promise at a small portrait studio in-town.
Death glam fans always took the best group pics, but trick photography would remain a state-bound whistle in the wind. At least to the gritted teeth godsend best known as “disguised glee” beyond Moody Capeman’s shoulder-height despair.