January 13, 2006


By Colin Cameron

Tuesday morning. Second period. Ten o'clock to ten thirty-five. Maths first. Biology next. Now this. I hate Tuesday mornings. I hate Tuesday mornings. Across from the new block. Into the old block. Into the changing room. Shoes off. Tie off. Blazer off. Jumper off. Shirt off. Trousers off. Pants off. Pants off, gentlemen. That's what Malcolm says. Hasn't Ashton got a lot of hair around his cock? He's got more hair around his cock than any of us. I've hardly got any. Compared to him. But at least I've got some. Not like Pratt. I bet he hasn't got any yet. Look at him. He keeps his pants on. Underneath his shorts. Better not let Malcolm catch him like that.

Into my shorts. Trainers. Rugby shirt. Why am I wearing a rugby shirt? I don't play rugby. I can't play rugby. I'm excused games. But not this. Last one out. Always the last one out. It takes me longer getting changed. All the others have started . They'll be miles ahead by now. Ashton will almost be back. It's cold out here, and grey, sunless autumn. School gates.

There he stands. Malcolm. Warm in his track suit. Encouraging wave and a smile. Good luck son. What does he expect? At the top of the hill now. Into Green Hill Woods. Beech trees mostly. Look, there he is now. Up ahead. Fatty Clark. I can still just see him. But I can't see any of the others. They'll be miles ahead. They'll be making the turn. Up the short path. Behind the houses on Abercrombie Road. Ashton will almost be back. And I can't even run as fast as Fatty Clark. 

Very hard 
In spite of 
His obvious 
That's what 
Malcolm wrote. 
On the last report. 
At least I'm trying. 
That's the main thing. 
I'm making an effort. 
If I just keep on trying 
And making an effort 
I'm bound to get better. 
I'm getting better every day. 
If I keep on trying 
And making an effort 
I'm bound to get better 
The doctors told me 
That if I keep on trying 
And making an effort 
Then one day 
Nobody will be able to tell. 

It's freezing out here, and grey, sunless autumn. Sunken old path. Steep banks. Damp leaves everywhere. At least this bit's downhill. I wonder if the Stranglers will get to number one. No More Heroes. I'll have to get it. I can see into back gardens. See the washing on the clothes lines. See the little garden sheds. Only six weeks till we break up for Christmas. Six more weeks. Six more runs. Six more Tuesday mornings. Single biology on Tuesdays. Double biology on Fridays. Only eighteen more biology lessons. At forty minutes each. That's, that's, that's two hundred and eighty minutes of biology. That's, that's, that's four hours and forty minutes. Plus homework. What a waste of time. I can't even see Fatty Clark now. 

It could all have been different. 
If I hadn't stepped in front of the car. 
If the car hadn't been going so fast. 
I wish I hadn't stepped in front of the car. 
If I keep on trying and making an effort 
One day I'm going to beat Fatty Clark. 
Every day I'm getting better. 

Nicky Turner lives up there. I really fancy Nicky Turner. But she's going out with Russell. He said he French kissed her. And that she let him feel her tits. I wonder how you do French kissing. I'll see her at church on Sunday. She's getting baptised next month. It's Taylor's birthday next week. He's having a party on Friday. A disco. There'll be loads of girls there. I wonder if any will let me French kiss them. I doubt it. But you never know. 

I wonder how long it will take
Before I am better. 
Really better. 
It's taking a long time. 
Three years. Three years is a long time. 

I wish I could stop wanking. I really wish I could stop wanking. I haven't done it for three days now. There he is. Up ahead. He's just reached the turn. Fatty Clark's just reached the turn. 

When I am better 
Really better 
I'll catch up then. 
It won't be 
This is Cameron 
And he had an accident. 
It'll just be 
This is Cameron. 
When my knee is better. 
When my hand is better. 
When my speech is better. 
People won't wonder. 
Won't stare. 
Won't talk to me 
As if I'm stupid. 

photo of woodland track Here's the turn. Not that far to go now. Can't see Fatty Clark, though. He must have put on speed. He'll be wobbling up the hill. At least I don't wobble. I was hit by a car but at least I don't wobble. End of the short path. Behind the houses on Abercrombie Road. Then back up the hill. Back up the hill. This is the difficult bit. I'll be late for biology. I'll be late for biology. I'll be last back to the changing room. And I'll take longer to get changed. I'll be late for biology as usual. And he'll have started already. And he'll ask why can't I get a move on. And I won't know what page they're on. I hate biology. I hate Tuesday mornings. Four hours and forty minutes. And how many minutes of maths? Forty minutes of maths every day. Minus yesterday. Five days a week. Two hundred minutes of maths a week. That's, that's, that's one thousand one hundred and sixty minutes of maths. That's, that's, that's twenty hours nearly. Nearly twenty hours. And homework. What a waste of time. This hill goes on for ever. 

One day I'll be better. 
All I've got to do 
Is keep on trying. 
Keep on making an effort. 
The doctors said so. 
The physiotherapists said so. 
The speech therapists said so.

Top of the hill again. Round the corner. Back to the gates. There he is. There's Fatty Clark. There's Ashton. There's Pratt. There's Malcolm. There's the whole lot of them. Lined up by the gates. They're clapping. They're cheering. What are they clapping for? What are they cheering for? They're clapping me. They're cheering me. They've waited for me. They've waited till I've finished. They're clapping and cheering me. I know what they're saying. Tries very hard in spite of his obvious impediments. That's what they're saying. Never gives up. That's what they're saying. An example to us all. That's what they're saying. 

Well, fuck them. Fuck the whole lot of them. Fuck the whole fucking lot of them.

It's not going to happen. 
I'm never going to be better. 
Not really better. 
There is never 
Going to come a day 
When nobody will 
Be able to tell. 
People will always 
Be able to tell. 

Fuck Fatty Clark. Fuck Ashton. Fuck Pratt. Fuck Malcolm. Fuck everybody. Fuck Tuesday mornings. Fuck maths. Fuck biology. Fuck this. Fuck trying. Fuck making an effort. Fuck better. Fuck better. 

This is the way I'll always be. 
This is the way I'll always be. 
This is the way I'll always be. 

But I know one thing. They'll not be clapping me like that again. I'll not be some plucky cripple for them to cheer at. I'll become a full-time objectionable cunt instead. 

Colin Cameron, of Edinburgh, Scotland, is author (along with John Swain and Sally French) of Controversial Issues in a Disabling Society, (Open University Press). Read his short story, Dr Pillock.

Posted on January 13, 2006