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Monday, 10 July 2006

Granola

I hate granola bars. They have to be the closest thing to cardboard while still being considered a food. My mother used to pack them in my lunch every single day for the twelve years I was in school. I will never eat another one for the rest of my life.

Until today.

I ate my lunch on the steps of my office building. Along came the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. Rather than ignoring me completely, she plunked down beside me and said, "I love your tie."

I shrugged. "Got it at Sears."

"Cool," she said. "Wanna swap lunches?"

How could I say no? A beautiful woman couldn't possibly have a bad lunch, or so I thought. Then she opened her bag and pulled out three different kinds of granola bars.

So I'm chewing one, and holding a smile. I wonder if she thinks its a fake smile? I'm betting that my salmon sandwich buys me a phone number. If only I could swallow this cardboard and grin.

Sunday, 9 July 2006

Elephant

I grabbed the elephant's tail and pulled. It was a stupid thing to do, I know, but I was only six years old at the time.

He kicked me straight in the chest, knocking me a good twelve feet into the side of a concrete shed. My back snapped in two.

That's the short version of how I ended up in this wheelchair. I'm used to it now, believe me, after twenty one years, eleven months and twelve days in it. Give or take. But every night I dream that I can walk.

I miss it so much.

The day I first saw the blonde at the mall, she stared past me, like everyone else. Her eyes glanced down once, then flicked away, embarrassed, ashamed. That's the worst part about being a cripple. People are afraid to notice me, as if their mothers will smack them upside the head and complain that they're staring. I wouldn't mind a good stare. It's better than being ignored.

The second time I followed the blonde from stall to stall. She pretended not to notice me trailing her, but she knew. I listened to her haggle over the price of mangos and complain when the guy at the corn stall tried to stuff two bad cobs into her dozen. She was strong, intelligent, and self-confident. I needed to know her name.