Our guide had a kind face. He introduced himself and shook all of our hands before taking us around the perimeter of the Kingdom. Nearly 50ft tall and shimmering gold, its walls were hard to look at, the sun reflecting harshly off of them. I had to shield my eyes as we traced the west wall. It took almost ten-minutes. My arm ached as we rounded the corner. Everyone else had worn hats. The guide told us about the fountains, the springs, and the Lake of Purity at the centre of the Kingdom. He said its waters were always the perfect temperature and no children ever dumped in them. I heard splashing and laughter from within the walls. Apparently no one would be allergic to any food in the Kingdom and you could eat whatever you wanted whenever you wanted. I thought about tiramisu. I thought about a lot of tiramisu.
I don’t know why I asked if my best friend with the severe nut allergy would be okay to eat nuts in the Kingdom since the guide had just told us that he would be. The subsequent look he gave me was somewhere between surprise and pity. He then explained in a kind of condescending way that it was highly unlikely that Stew would make it into the Kingdom. That it was highly unlikely that any of us would either. The lady beside me with the small nose asked why we were even here if we weren’t getting in. “To inspire us.” The guide said there was only 7, 349 available spots in the Kingdom and 7, 253 were already taken. I started to cry. “I don’t think there’s Wifi here anyways.” Small nose said.
Portrait by Andrew Pommier for #POBEshow 2015