Adam had always wanted to alter the world.
He wanted to affect how people thought. How they lived. But, to do this he would have to gain empathy. And he knew well enough that empathy was a difficult thing; the thought of untying his big, battered boots and slipping his size 13 feet into Mrs Patel Next Door’s silk slippers made him feel, uncomfortable. However, it was empathy that Adam knew he needed to acquire, and inspire in others, if he were to establish (as he called it) the New and Original Way of Thought.
For if he were to achieve it he would first have to slip perfectly into Mrs Patel's silk slippers, and he would have to let others slide gracefully into his big boots, too.
Now, Adam was a normal person just like you or I, he was no messiah, no higher authority, no leader of men - he was merely a simple man who was bored of routine. But during the first few days he pushed himself and his mind to the absolute limit. He did things he would never have dreamed of doing, in order to see if what he believed in was actually possible.
It started with shock tactics: small, unrelated events that aimed to force people from their comfort zones and pry-off their knock-off sunglasses, just for a second, to really see something unusual.
On the first day he went to his local funeral directors and began to shave. He started with his hair and his beard, then his eyebrows and body hair. He removed all of his pubic hair last, left it in a pile on the floor and set a match to it. This horrified those that witnessed it, especially Dorothy; the moustachioed ninety-something who was flicking through a cremation catalogue at the time.
On the second day he went to a nearby public school and shot heroin in the playground to the bemusement of over-privileged, inexperienced children.
By the third day he had burnt all of his clothes and spent hours wandering around London in the nude, occasionally stopping to masturbate whilst looking through office windows at the private perverts: contemptuous, but secretly aroused. Adam spent most of that night and the next day in a cell where he refused to talk to the police unless he’d had an Arabic translator present.
“I am on a mission from God,” he had said to P.C Brown during the arrest. She was new to the force and Adam knew it, he wanted to make her sweat.
“Suit yourself,” she replied, shifting nervously “I’m an atheist, but I still gotta to take you to the station.” When Adam felt her grip around his forearm he let out a piercing squeal right into her ear, which was enough to make her stumble backwards in shock. Adam had made a break for it but a more experienced P.C Daniels eagerly guided his baton to the back of Adam’s head and sent him crashing to the pavement: Knock Out. He received a caution for indecent exposure and was released the following evening, probably because of the swollen welt on his head and the dried blood all over the holey white plimsolls they gave him.
Adam turned back to the police station when he was outside and removed the borrowed shoes as soon as he could, they didn’t fit him. He threw them into a puddle and walked the long walk home, disheartened and contemplative for the first time since his experiment began. He pondered the events of the last four days, and suddenly felt stupid. How could he, Adam West, without money or influence, alter anything? Who would even want to empathize with a shoeless, idea-less moron? Why bother challenging the system at all?
So, with that, he cast aside his recent ideals and returned home a new man. A cup of tea, a couple of chocolate digestive and the Evening News: he was back to reality - A bus had turned over on the A295, there was a recent spark in the debate over Euthanasia - the usual meandering focal points. But then, in the dieing seconds of the broadcast, up popped Adam, bright as day, naked and glorious on the television screen:
“A man has made the headlines in Central London this morning,” came the reporter’s voice “with a naked salute to office workers. Officials say it was due to the effects of class A drugs, but, after amassing over a million hits on Youtube already, bloggers are calling him a ‘cultural revelation’, his acts ‘masterful’, and one writer went as far as saying ‘Why can’t more people throw off the shackles of society like this? Today this man made a profound political statement. He has truly changed the way I will continue to live my life. ’”
And at that, Adam made a large, humble smile, popped on his size 13 slippers, and switched over to Eastenders on BBC 1. He had achieved, absolutely, N.O.W.T.