DOES NOT GET ON WELL WITH OTHERS

WARNING: OBJECT’S IN REARVIEW MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR

AKA: DOES NOT GET ON WELL WITH OTHERS

I woke as she left. She left early. I got up and put the snake down in front of the door. I tried to sleep some more. I think I did. When I woke the second time the snake was no longer in front of the door

I thought about the snake as I went through my morning routine. By the time I’d left the house I had forgotten. I went to the gym and worked on my legs. I worked out so hard that I knew I would not be able to stand in the shower the next day

I pushed my chair down to North Bondi to catch the bus. A determined looking woman walked up to me and asked the time? I’m sorry, I said, I’m not wearing a watch. The woman looked pissed-off. She walked to the other end of the bus stop and folded her arms

There’s a bus driver who knows me in Bondi. They know that if they pull up close enough to the curb and kneels the bus I can just wheel on. I can also flick the three seats up myself. I don’t need their help. That’s the way it should be

My chair has a stability wheel on an arm at the back to stop me falling out of it. It sticks out. Not all buses in Sydney are uniform. The new buses are better. They are bigger. After manoeuvring my chair in place I put the brakes on and folded the third seat down. I offered the third seat. Nobody wanted to sit next to me

I had to get some spinach from the Vegetable Lab. They like me in there. There are no snakes. I’ve gotten so used to pushing up Bondi Rd that I haven’t noticed the strength. A strange woman walked up to me. Andrew Buchanan, she asked? Yes, I said. It’s Barbara Bush, she said, do you remember me? I used to know you way back]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]

I kept looking at her but her but she wasn’t familiar. I remembered the name but I couldn’t find her face. She told me I looked well. Liar, she was a liar. I suddenly remembered her. She was a high-achiever. We talked uncomfortably. I had to ask about Her. She said she no longer has contact with Her. Does Not Get Along Well With Others. I shouldn’t have even asked. Why did I have to ask? I remembered the best of times till the worst started screaming. The worst screamed like blades

Only a woman can remove her love so easily. I need to forget, I just need to forget. Our conversation petered out and she walked away. I pulled out my music and plugged my headphones in. I needed music to take me away. Kim Gordon screamed and I forgot

I pushed myself down Campbell Parade. A blonde woman walked up to me and asked the time. I’m sorry, I said, I’m not wearing a watch. The woman looked pissed off. She walked down to the other side of the bus stop and folded her arms

I looked closely at her arms. I hadn’t noticed but they were covered in scores of small thick scars. She cuts herself, I thought to myself. I looked up at her face and caught her staring at me in my wheelchair. She asked me how I ended up being in a chair? I told her I blamed the snake

Her eyes rolled as she moved a step further away from me. She looked even more pissed. I asked her why she was covered in scars? She told me she blamed the snake as well. I asked her what she meant? She told me she was full of snakes. She said that she cuts herself to get the small ones out. I heard her but didn’t believe what she said

Even not believing her I was jealous that she thought she thought she could expel the snakes. I was jealous that she believed in something. She walked away from the bus stop. She did not want to be near me. I woke as she left

Andrew Stuart Buchanan

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