Happy Wednesday bookish people! It is that time again where I tell you about one of my experiences that may or may not be funny. Today I’m doing something a bit different, usually I just write out the story but one of the modules on my University course was Creative Non-fiction where I wrote a few pieces about my experiences. This story is about how my cane picks up leaves. I hope you enjoy it!
I have more leaves gathered in my bedroom than there are in the park that is just beyond my front door. I’m not a collector in any way. Well, I am when it comes to books and pin badges, but definitely not leaves. They sit on my purple carpet, crinkling in agony when I walk over them. Most of them are torn. Flakes of brown and orange strewn around the floor. A friend of mine asked me if I’d spilt a box of Cornflakes and not picked them up. I told her it wasn’t but at that time we were already running late and I couldn’t explain that actually it was the corpses of leaves. I’m not sure that is any less weird.
They get impaled on my cane, like meat on a skewer. I can walk along the street just fine. Well, it’s a different matter entirely when I come across a pile of leaves. By the time I get home there are so many of them, twirling around my cane like orange pole dancers, I barely notice them anymore. They have become part of my room; it would be strange to get rid of them now. “You should hoover them up” I’ve been told by many people before. I can’t bring myself to do it. The leaf that is still green got stuck to the bottom of the cane when I walked through a particularly deep puddle of leaves. It got dragged with me for miles and now it lives on my bedroom floor. The least I can do is provide good hospitality. It’s not as bad as it sounds. My carpet isn’t completely filled with leaves, I leave most of them outside the house when I shake off the cane in the same way as you would an umbrella after closing it.
Picking up leaves isn’t the only thing that happens when I use my cane outside. I usually find that there are two different types of people that notice me on the street. There are the ones who ignore the cane and continue to walk towards me; I enjoy the look of surprise on their face when I don’t move either. Their shoulder will bump into mine; it will be knocked backwards but my legs will remain strong, unmoving in the slippery pavements. They all do the same thing. They turn, mouths open and begin to say “look where you’re going” but they stop when they notice that I’m Visually Impaired. The irony of it always amuses me.
Then there is the second group of people, the ‘helpful’ ones. If a person offers me help and I need it then I will be thankful for the assistance. However, some people don’t ask before ‘helping’. I must have an expression that screams help me. The one I remember most vividly was on a cold day, it must have been Autumn because the air was cold and the metal of my cane had been turning my fingers red as I held onto it tightly. The leaves had already begun falling. They were cutting into my skin like cat’s claws on a scratching post, climbing up my boots higher and higher. I was stood at a crossing, waiting for the man to turn from red to green as I usually do. I can’t tell when there is a space to cross between cars so I wait for the green man. There is a cone on the bottom of the Pelican crossing control panel where I press the button. If I put my finger on it and wait when it turns green the cone spins. It’s useful for sunny days when I can’t see the colours of the man.
Anyway, returning to the strange incident I remember. I was stood there waiting, rolling the ball on the bottom of my cane over the bumps by the edge of the road, when I felt a hand on my arm. It pulled gently and I moved with it. My feet stumbling over each other past the pavement on the other side and across another crossing, then another and then another all at once. I didn’t have the chance to look at who was pulling on me until they stopped walking and let go. I caught my breath while looking at them. It was a lady, if I had to guess she was probably around sixty years old, and she was smiling at me. I knew I had to be polite so I said thank you and watched her walk away down the street. She was only trying to be nice is what I told myself as I slowly moved back to the crossing that the lady had just walked me across. If she had given me a chance to talk, I would have been able to tell her that I had only wanted to get across the first crossing and not the three subsequent ones.
Things like this happen to me more frequently than I would like to admit. Once I reached the street that I had originally intended I looked down at my feet. There, lounging peacefully were clumps of leaves. They were red and orange and yellow. I shook my feet forcefully. Most of the leaves spun away, dancing across the paving stones without partners. Some lay at my feet, as lifeless as if I had killed them. They were submerged in puddles of water, reflecting the colours like a spilt paint box. Curling, closing themselves up into small orange cylinders, like orange Wotsits drowning in the puddles underneath my feet. Of course, they didn’t all extract themselves from me. I carried stowaways under my boots, which I didn’t realise until I reached my house. I carefully peeled them from my soles and let them drift to the purple carpet. Becoming part of the garden in my bedroom.
That’s the end of today’s story, let me know if you liked this style or not and whether you like this style or what I usually write more!