(somebody told me off and said I was always writing about being in a wheelchair. landing in a wheelchair is the defining moment of my life. everything else is just half-forgotten memories. i have met people born disabled and they have it differently. i’m not terribly bitter. only i observe)







I woke up with a hangover and started coughing. Shit. I must have smoked three hundred cigarettes last night. I’d fallen asleep fully dressed with my shoes on. I looked in the mirror and saw a huge bruise on the bicep of my right arm. Shit. How did I get that? I looked at a large stain on the front of my trousers and realised I had pissed myself. My head thumped and pounded and my mouth tasted like shit. I asked why I did it to myself? I pushed to the fridge. I found another beer and remembered why


I gag on the toothbrush as I brush my teeth. I brush my tongue and gag again. I swallow a bit before I look in the mirror. I see the toothpaste has run from my mouth down my chin and looks like a moko. My head shakes involuntarily as I taste bile rising up to my mouth. The bile and the toothpaste make me vomit and I can’t stop it. Tears well in my eyes and they overflow on the right-hand side. I feel my stomach is empty. I look down at the sink and see my vomit is yellow with flecks of blood in it. Oh well, it least it was over the sink


She was hot so I acted interested. Well she wasn’t smoking hot but a desperate man has no taste. It’s been so long that I haven’t had a partner that I now look for different qualities. I’ll say to myself, oh she has nice tits or she has a nice bum and I will imagine spending my life with her. Tits and bum’s aren’t enough though are they? Are they? She asked me if I had ever heard of Light Therapy? I shook my head and pulled my best inquisitive face and said no, I’ve don’t think I’ve ever heard of that. Is that where they tie Christmas-tree lights to your genitals? Are you on something, she asked? I thought you switched them on when they were tied to you, I replied. She shook her head and sighed as I laughed. She turned around and walked off. I smiled as I realised I’d learned something. I had learnt how to keep them away


She asked if I could walk and I said, kind of. I got up on my frame to show her. She looked suitably unimpressed. Gee, she said, you walk kind of funny. You don’t walk very well. No shit. Teasing a paraplegic about the way that they walk is like pulling the wings off the fly. By that I mean it does nothing for either party. I told her I would walk all over her face one day. She said, just try it buster


There was somebody in the disabled toilet so I banged on the door. I heard a woman’s voice but couldn’t hear what she said. I waited a little longer. I had to wait. That would have to be one of the most abused disabled toilets in Sydney. The sliding glass door finally opened and a beautiful Malaysian woman in a wheelchair hurried out. I’m sorry, I said. I didn’t know… The woman had looked flustered and pissed off being made to leave the bathroom and sped past me. She would not look me in the eye. She may have been doing her makeup or she may have just been using the inordinate amount of time it takes for us people in a wheelchair to use the toilet. I finished mine and went back outside and looked for her. I needed to apologise again. I couldn’t find her


I know somebody who once said that the only woman I would probably find would also be in a wheelchair. I was offended as she said it. I have now spent so long by myself that I could believe her. I knew another woman who told me I might have used up all my chances with women. I smile and I flirt but the good ones ignore me. I now masturbate too frequently because I can’t find a chance


I asked if she had done it? She said no. She was lying. I knew she was lying because somebody had shown me a photo of her doing it. The war between the sexes was won a long time ago. One of my mates has a blog called All Men Are Liars. This is a point few can refute. At least a man is honest enough to admit this. A woman can tell a lie with such conviction as to make it a truth. She was going behind my back right in front of my face. Women lie with such a casual familiarity that most men are left disarmed. Men lie all the time but even another man can tell. A man will tell a lie with that shit-eating grin that gives it away. Men lie wanting to be caught while a woman lies wanting to get away with it. I didn’t confront her even though I knew she was lying. I’ll keep that card up my sleeve


I stopped in at the tobacconist. Well I didn’t really stop in because there is a huge step that I cannot get up. I waved in at the owner and he came out to serve me. I had to get a packet of filters for my **** ***** tobacco. The man handed me the packet of ultra-slims. There were 180 in the packet and they were all wrapped in bundles of five in plastic sheafs and half of them were in a small cardboard packet like they were Space Man cigarettes. That’s just what this planet needs (don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to act all sanctimonious, I only recycle when I remember and I have artificial bits in my body right now as we (I) speak that will last longer than the Dodo did on this planet but as a visual person I hate seeing senseless waste)


I pushed the wheelchair (fuck it) back up the hill home. A woman walking past said that I had strong shoulders. I smiled and told her I had no choice. She didn’t stop to talk to me so I couldn’t stop for her. I do not know. I got home and rolled a fag and went outside to smoke it. My back was so sore. If you smile then they don’t know. They will never know. I wanted to forget. To forget is bliss. I stubbed it out and pushed into the kitchen to the fridge. There was no beer left. I’d forgotten to get more. I had my last one for breakfast




Andrew Stuart Buchanan

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