Uni-cycling clowns and tightrope walking idiots wobbled around me as I approached the troupe “Auntie”.
“Hey, who’s the new chick?”
“That one over there, with legs up to her armpits.”
“Don’t know. She just got here.”
“Another one of his projects?”
Conversation paused while we surveyed the new chick with interest.
“Where’s she from?”
“Melbourne. Some private school.”
“Really? She doesn’t look like a snob.”
“No. I think she tried to kill the headmaster or something.”
“Really? Cool. What’s her speciality?”
“No idea. Probably something to do with having legs up to your armpits.”
“Yeah, probably. So, when’s initiation?”
“Don’t know. Talk to the M&M’s.”
“She looks young.”
“Well, that’s how he likes them, isn’t it? Young and gullible.”
“True. Shit, she’s coming over here.”
“She’s got guts, I’ll give her that much.”
She stood before us.
All bright blue eyes and legs up to her arm pits.
Then she raised her hands and began speaking our language.
“Wow – A private school snob with guts AND shit. And did you know that gullible is spelled wrong in the dictionary? Look it up. I dare you.”
She spoke the last few words with sarcasm dripping from her fingers.
Apparently the new chick speaks Sign.
The nurse picked up a metal tray
Held it out in front of her
And purposefully dropped it on the ground.
The new born in her mother’s arms barely blinked.
“We think your daughter is deaf,” they said.
And they were right.
Fast forward six months
To the day when the father brought home those funny little fluffy toys that moved
“Greg! Come quick! Quickly! Sammi is purring! She can hear! She can hear!”
The mother cried.
The funny little fluffy toy was laying on the daughter’s chest
She could feel it vibrating.
And she tried to imitate the warm rattle coming from the funny little body
The parents listened
Their daughter was indeed purring.
“Go and stand behind her!” said the father to the mother, “And clap your hands or something!”
The mother clapped and yelled and shouted
Until her voice went hoarse and her hands went numb
But their daughter did not notice.
For she could not feel the sound
Like she could the purring
Warm and tickling on her chest.
“We think your daughter is deaf,” they said.
And they were right.
“I don’t like watermelon.”
“Yes you do.”
“No. I don’t.”
“Yes you do Sammi. You do like watermelon.”
“Well I’m not eating it.”
“Because why, Sammi?”
“Because I like my bum the way it is!”
“What on earth does that have to do with watermelon?!”
“Jane says if you eat a watermelon seed one will grow inside your stomach. And those things get HUGE. No way I’m poohing one of those out my bum.”
“Sammi that is ridiculous. Besides, this is seedless watermelon.”
“Alright. But I’m not drinking any water for a week.”
“Just in case.”
“Just in case what?”
“Watermelons need water to grow, don’t they?”
“Nothing. Just eat your watermelon.”
“Fine. But don’t even think about pineapple. No. Way.”
Sun streaming in through dark cream curtains
Giving the room a yellow glow.
Balloons – yellow – hung from every available surface.
Streamers spread from the fan in the centre of the ceiling
To various point around the edges
Giving the impression of a big yellow spiders web.
The table was dressed in yellow
And so was I.
A man entered.
A delivery man.
With a fluorescent yellow high visibility shirt and socks.
His navy shorts were sprinkled with dirt
And a single yellow flower petal.
“THAT’S A PRETTY DRESS!”
He shouted in my face.
Obviously intimidated by the Deaf kid.
I replied, “Yellow.”
His ignorance over took intimidation.
He made a stupid face at me
And backed away.
Maybe he mistook the word “yellow” for something else.
That suited him better, anyway.
He brought them in on a little trolley.
Like the ones they use for shifting crates at supermarkets.
Hundreds of bright yellow daffodils.
After the third trolley load he looked around a moment.
Seeing no one else in the room he rested his eyes on me once more.
“WHERE DO YOU WANT THEM?”
I told him, “In the rubbish bin.”
But in his ignorance he just shrugged his shoulders
And began unloading them on the spot.
As he was leaving his trolley knocked the sideboard.
A bright yellow glass heart that was framing my baby brother’s face fell to the floor.
It shattered on the white tiles and tiny flecks of glass exploded around my ankles.
Mum appeared at the door.
She looked at the delivery man
Who had kept walking
But stopped when she arrived.
He looked at me
Standing with my brother’s shattered heart around my ankles.
I didn’t see what mum said,
But he nodded
She turned on me
Bitterness dripping from her eyes
And anger etched into her face.
“GO TO YOUR ROOM AND DON’T COME OUT. I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN!”
The words hit me in the chest.
They dislodged my heart
And it fell to the floor
Shattering on the tiles.
Bitterness dripped from my eyes
And anger etched itself into my face.
“I wish it was you who died. Then we would have a pile of weeds instead of all these stupid yellow daffodils.”
I ran to my room
And didn’t come out until the next day.
The daffodils were gone.
There was no hint of yellow anywhere in the house.
Just his face
Framed by a heart
Woven from little white flowers
Picked from the weeds in our back garden.
With effort, I reel my thoughts back from outer space
Desperately trying to reconnect my vision with my consciousness.
Her face looks mild.
“Sammi? .. Where do you go?”
I concentrate hard on her mouth,
Her lips slowly forming thoughts in my head.
“When you’re not here.. Where do you go? Take me there, Sam..”
I close my eyes..
The air smells warm here.
I grow tall.
My feet taking root in the sandy soil.
The inner fronds of thought expanding from my mind.
Airing themselves in the breeze.
The water gently pats the edge of my consciousness;
Calm, steady reassurance.
I feel centred here.
My core is strong;
Her eyes are closed too, now.
I feel her feet sinking into the soil beside me.
She grows taller,
Our roots intertwine,
And the edges of our thoughts brush together.
The waves continue to pat the shore of our togetherness.
Calm, steady unison.
And a brand new pair of purple docs.
The men’s shirt could just be seen as lazy.
The holey jeans; careless.
But the purple docs?
I walked outside
Which in itself was a minor miracle-
My knees felt like jelly and my feet felt like they were encased in cement.
I looked around the paved garden.
Where the fuck was the dirt?
In the absence of any actual garden I ventured further outside onto the road.
A few scuff marks along the sides
A couple of attempts at stomping on my own foot;
My lesbian boots look somewhat less new.
And hopefully a lot less fake.
Time to find out if I’ll actually be able to fill them.
I wander casually into the kitchen.
She’s not there.
I stroll nonchalantly into the lounge room.
I turn to meander up the hall
And trip over my cement blocked feet.
The lesbian boots are mocking me.
“Who have you lost?”
She appeared before me
One eyebrow raised as she questions.
“No.. I wasn’t.. No one looking.”
Cement sets in my stomach.
Sammi, you are an idiot.
“Nice shirt,” she says.
She eyes my cleavage.
Jackhammers attack the cement in my gut.
She looks down.
So do I.
Her boobs get in my way.
“NO! No… Had them for ages…………………….. Do you… Like them?”
I try to look at her face but her boobs keep getting in my way.
“If I liked murdering animals for something as shallow as fashion, they’d be ok, I guess.”
She turned and walked off down the hall.
“Stupid fucking lesbian boots! I should never have trusted you!”
Their newness shines in my face.
The image of her boobs is burned into my eyes
And I’m suddenly aware of my nipples
Erect and buzzing.
Kissing the shirt she said she liked..
I vow never to take this shirt off again.
Then I change my mind-
I vow never to take this shirt off unless she is in the room.
I learned two things that day:
Shops don’t let you return boots with big scuff marks.
And it’s not the boots that make the lesbian.