A Story About Me
I am going to start by remembering our trip to Blackpool which was very special because we don’t go on trips often because usually I am sick in the car. Though this was the one time I wasn’t sick. Dad was still with us and he was driving. He always knew how to make me not be sick. He’d say “Mark, look at the things outside the window and imagine you are there and not in the car”. And what I saw in the field by the road was three giant grains of white rice moving round a circle like the arms of a daisy; a daisy that was a fan and a daisy at the same time. I was not in the car any more, but sitting on the giant rice waving my arms and legs in the air, which is impossible because of a thing called gravity and because my legs don’t move. But it was a fun thought.
I heard shouting from the front and realised that mum was angry at dad and maybe this is why he has told me to look out of the window to start with and not just because I was feeling sick. The dream of the wind farm got further and further away and the sickness was coming more and more. I started to moan and mum said “now you’ve done it” and looked at dad very cross. Until Adam, who is my younger brother, held my hand and started telling me that what I’m looking at is a wind farm, where they make power and use it to make light bulbs glow in loads of houses. He tells me about how the farm works as he’s learned it in school. All about dynamos and electromagnets and how energy doesn’t die it’s just transferred. Kind of like when food is grown and I eat it and it goes through me and comes out the bottom and then goes into the ground and makes more things grow.
I like this idea because it means that even though the doctors say that I’m not going to live as long as everyone else I know that I won’t really die but that one day a bit of my power will be turning the petals of the wind farm and that makes me smile. I got quite tired thinking about all the connections between the biggest battery, which is the sun, but I like listening to my brother talk. Adam is really very clever and it makes me happy that he is my brother and doesn’t belong to someone else. Then I fell asleep and when I woke up we were in Blackpool. But I didn’t like Blackpool very much because it is full of really ugly things that shine in your face and flash in your eyes and after about 10 minutes on the pier (just enough time for Adam to go on at least one ride and not hate me forever) I threw up and we went back to the hotel. I had to do my special power for a whole afternoon before Dad agreed we could go home but I got to see the wind farm on the way back so it was worth it.
My special power is this. I do an empty face where it looks like no one is there but actually I am listening hard to hear everything. This makes me look much more sick than I actually am. This is useful for many things but I use it most to get out of places I don’t like to be and to listen to other people’s secrets. It works like this. I try to fix my eyes on a plane in the sky or a cloud through a window then I feel far away although really I am not. If I’m being extra clever I let a bit of dribble fall on my t-shirt to convince them I’m really somewhere else. This works really well when we’re in Mr Khan’s and I want a chocolate bar but mum won’t buy me one. I dribble a lot so the front of my shirt gets really damp and Mr Khan looks away embarrassed and I take whichever chocolate bar I want. But when I use this special power for listening I have to concentrate really hard or I will go to the cloud in my mind or just get lost in the thought. If I stop staring at the plane or the cloud Adam will see me looking and push my chair in front of the television or just talk about something else very quickly and then I won’t get to hear any secrets.
I have found out several things using my special power.
1) Adam’s friend Jason broke mum’s favourite lady figure and they blamed me because he knows that mum will not get as upset if it was me even though it wasn’t. Adam said it fell off the sideboard top and that I accidentally ran over it in my chair and that’s how it got smashed and the little bits got crushed into the carpet. What actually happened is Jason sat on it. He stuck the lady figure down his pants because he’s a show-off and they were drinking the White Lightning which tastes disgusting and just makes them act really silly even though I know Adam is not. It doesn’t make me silly but makes me need to wee lots so I don’t drink it even when my brother and his friends offer it to me. Anyway, Jason had a bruise on his bum for ages (he kept showing Adam) so I felt he had got what he deserved in the end.
2) Adam is having it off with his friend Janine. She comes round when mum is out and he is meant to be looking after me. They go into his bedroom and make noises. They are the same noises that come from the TV when Jason comes round to drink the White Lightning. I sit in the corner using my special power so it looks like I am dribbling everywhere again but actually I am listening to the noises from the woman with the massive jugs who I can see out of the corner of my eye. Jason likes to watch videos about having it off. He brings new ones round a lot which he borrows from his dad when he isn’t looking. He prefers to watch women with mostly yellow hair though sometimes the top of it is brown. But the woman is always moaning in the same way, even if she has different coloured hair. I find it really boring, even if they do bend in different ways a lot. I suppose I’m a bit jealous because I can’t bend my legs like that at all but that still wouldn’t make me want to watch it as much as Jason does.
3) You are worried about me and that’s why you wanted me to write a story about myself. Because you want to know if everything is okay but also because you are kind. You were talking to mum when she came to pick me up from The Centre and I was doing my special power to listen hard though it looked like I was staring at Megan’s painting on the wall, which I was a bit, because it is good. I know I am not getting any better, but it’s okay because I know what Adam told me about the wind farms is true, because Adam is clever and because he is my brother. Bodies don’t really die, our power just goes somewhere else. And one day there will be a wind farm that looks like it is just an empty wind farm with its daisy arms, but actually it will be listening to all the secrets in the air, because it will be me.
Picture by Tai Moolman, aged 5