“Nah, there’s no big steps up to my house and anyway I’m going to move in with my friend Sara who will be looking after me for the next three months” I had to tell some lies to get discharged from hospital.
There was no way I was moving in with someone to play the cripple and get things done for me. I’m too proud for that shit. What I will do is rearrange my little flat for a wheelchair and invite someone around for dinner every evening. That way we can have the boozy chats, catch up and I can get the obvious help I need like shopping, cleaning and putting the bins out. Today was the first day I didn’t have someone round and at 5.45 I just realised I had no money, no friend and the post office closed at six. I need that money.
Four minutes later, not really dressed I’m bumping out the front door in the wheelchair. I just launch myself off the door step and brake at the top of the six big steps leading down. Woo! Little skid there!. Ok go. Wriggle out of the chair and down on to the ground. Fold the chair up. Arse down the steps sideways with both arms clinging to the railing whilst scraping the chair down the steps with me. Can’t touch the ground with my feet so ground-is-lava , Ground-Is-Lava ! (I know you used to play it) Ten to Six! Bottom of the steps. I haven’t tried this before but maybe I can crawl on all fours and still keep my feet off the ground. (Totally cheating) Yeah – I can drive the chair in front of me and donk along on my knees. 2 metres. One more 15cm drop to the footpath. A passing man looks at me weird probably because I have a beard and I ask him for help , just to fuck with him for being beardist. So he helps me off the ground and into the chair and drops me down the wee step. Thanks! He heads off the other way trying to make up lost ground and I look down the hill to the Post Office. Six minutes to six.
I should be able to freewheel right down the hill in two minutes – rockin! I didn’t really know till then that my chair bears hard to the left due to the inward slant on the pavement. I never really noticed that every bastard path has a slope so I kinda zigzag like a drunken fucker down the hill stopping every ten human-steps to re-straighten or heading wayy right so i can veer better towards my golden handout. Come on!! -Oh she’s hot! Fuck – She thinks I’m a freak. Oh! She’s hot too! Crap – She thinks I can’t even steer this thing straight! Stop, re-aim, go! Four minutes… The traffic on my road is at a full evening rush hour halt so everyone is just staring out the windows watching my drunken snail-trail down the hill. Me in a wheelchair gives them only mild distraction but my rolled up jeans, big yellow t-shirt and piebald beard definitely brings on this Robinson Crusoe feeling and disdainful looks of Junkie!, Alco!, Fruitcake!, Cripple! That now familiar Born on the Fourth of July feeling… My determination mixes with the paranoia and I reinforce the whole parade with a menacing snarl.
Five Fifty Nine. Automatic doors at Post Office don’t even open fast enough for speedy me. Sweating and narky I join the queue and when the two people there awkwardly try and wave me through the impassable space ahead of them I just look at them with this WTF face until they look away. I roll up to counter which is a foot over my head and for some befuddled reason, the guy at counter thinks it’s more helpful and embarrassing for us both to hand the money to me up over the top of the glass, kneeling on his chair with one arm swinging down over the glass and nearly spilling the coins all over the place. This would really be helpful to some random ten foot giant ….. Twat!.
I did it. I did it myself!! Homewards! I’m knackered.