Editor’s Note: This letter was written for us by a former sexiest man alive, and his tragic story should be a warning to us all.
At first, years ago, it was great. Everyday I would check myself in the mirror and say “I’m the sexiest man alive. They chose me, there isn’t a single man in the entire world who is sexier than me. Not my cute neighbour Julie’s husband, not that annoying muscular prick from the gym. No one. I’m the sexiest, and now EVERYONE knows it.”
And I took advantage of it, boy did I ever. They would even show me respect at the queue over at the bank. “Here comes the sexiest man alive”, they would shout, “Let him through, he shouldn’t stand in line”.
And the paparazzi! They would chase me all day long. Everybody wanted a piece of me.
And the letters I would get… Young boys from the suburbs would write and tell me I’m their role model, and how they also want to be the sexiest man alive, and are willing to work hard and take selfies and have sex until it happens.
I particularly remember this moving letter from a boy named Colin. He wrote about his father, who died in the coal mines, and his mother, who now had to work her ass off everyday to provide for her family. “I’ll work real hard until I’m just like you”, he wrote, and attached some drops of his sweat on top of the letter. I sniffed his sweat and my eyes teared up. I knew I had to go and meet this boy.
When I arrived at Colin’s town, they had this whole parade set up for me. It’s not every day that the sexiest man alive comes to visit a place like this. The women danced around me, the men handed me glasses filled with beer and envy. But I ignored all that, and went straight to Colin’s house.
I knocked on the door and his mother opened – a hard-working woman, with the scent of a job better left unspoken of. “Who are you?”, she asked.
“Hello, I’m the sexiest man alive”, I replied, but she was not impressed. She had seen a man or two in her lifetime, and she didn’t really have time to read the papers, so she didn’t know I had been picked, didn’t know I’m sexier than any man who ever threw dollar bills at her.
“I’m here to see Colin”, I said. “The bum’s right here”, she replied and opened the door for me.
I stepped inside into the messy apartment. Colin was sitting there, shirtless, with a small mirror in his hand, checking his body out. When he saw me, his eyes opened wide with amazement. “It’s you!”, he shouted, “The sexiest man in the world!”
“Yes, it’s me”, I said with a smile. “Do you want to go outside with me, to talk to the reporters and TV crews?”. “You bet!”, he screamed and ran outside without even putting his shirt on.
I stepped outside and stood right beside him. The women, the camera crews, the reporters and the cats – they all gathered around us. “I’m the sexiest man in the world”, I declared with a deep voice, “And while Colin here is not as sexy as me, if he works hard enough, he’ll get there. Just like every kid out there in the world, who’s watching this and dreaming he could be as sexy as me.”
The next day, the papers only showed me. They cut Colin out of the frame, which wasn’t really a surprise – come to think of it, he wasn’t all that sexy, with his hunched back and the cigarette burns on his torso, probably from some of his mothers’ clients. So the papers only showed and mentioned me, and the headlines consisted of my moving, inspirational words.
A few months later, I learned Colin had committed suicide. He couldn’t live with the idea of never getting to be the sexiest man in the world. I was sad, but also a bit relieved for him. I knew he had no chance, so what was the point? There can be only one.
Two weeks later, they took away my title. Just like that, they picked a NEW sexiest man alive. Mind you, I was still sexy as hell. To this day, I’m still sexy. I just don’t get all those twitters and facebooks, so they had to choose someone they can #hashtag.
Remember Chris, this thing ain’t forever. Don’t forget Colin, and the rest of the small town lads who look up at you with admiration now. Remember to love every moment of it. And remember I’m still there. The one who used to be the sexiest man alive long before you were chosen. And maybe – just maybe – I still am.