Thursday, May 17, 2007


Molecat Jumaway

There’s a saying from the town where I come from, “If you ain’t thinking about it then it ain’t worth thinking about.” You can tell right there and then that I had a happy childhood. Reckless, unadulterated and unsupervised. As a child there was only one rule, don’t leave town and you’ll be fine. For some strange reason that I still cannot clearly fathom every single member of our town had red, curly hair. It might as well been called Carrot Top County but it weren’t. You left town as a kid and the surrounding districts would spot you a mile away. They kept their eyes out, called us Strays and brought us back. They did not even bother asking where we came from, who were our mum and dad? They just dumped us in the middle of town and headed right back out. Right up past eighteen you’d have to make a dash for it or be hauled back and dropped unceremoniously back in the dead centre of town. People stopped leaving after a while and the orange curls just kept multiplying.
I got out though, one of the few to escape. I tell myself that it was my brains and skill that let me penetrate the borders and move into the wide-open world. Truth be known it was more probably dumb luck, it was cold out and I wore a hat. I took nothing with me except the clothes I was wearing, my orange curls and that stupid saying,
“If you ain’t thinking about it then it ain’t worth thinking about.”
Years later and I feel that I’ve made it in the outside world. Our town’s main export was live chickens so I immediately got a job on one of those fancy food preparation lines. We gut and prepare chickens to go into those burgers you eat in chain restaurants. My breasts are seen all over the country, I can travel anywhere, buy a chicken burger and know that there is some chance that I prepared the chicken. Sometimes I feel a sense of pride in my job when I bite down and find a red curly hair.
You could imagine how I live. It ain’t worth thinking about kind of rules the roost. Food is bought when hunger hits. Bills were only paid when the service is switched off, that soon stopped as I was starting to have trouble getting the electricity switched back on. Now they withdraw it themselves from my account. I don’t have to do or remember a thing, ain’t technology wonderful. I only think to buy toilet paper until I’m sitting there staring at an empty roll. Trick that I learnt back home was to wear yesterday’s underwear when going down to the store to buy toilet paper. You could always tell where someone was heading by the way they walked. When I can think about it I write home sending a few dollars in the mail. I get homesick quite a lot so this happens weekly. They got red hair here, they got orange hair here and they got curly hair here but it ain’t the same.
Well it was one of those days mentioned previously. I took a deep sigh and waddled into the bedroom to find yesterdays underwear. I realised that I was wearing them already so had to think hard to whether it counted or whether I should go for the day previous.
Now I get distracted easily, I’m walking down the busy street awkwardly. I’m thinking that everyone knows where I’m going and where I’ve been and I’m getting homesick again. I stop into the post office and buy an envelope. I’m enjoying myself, my independent lifestyle but there’s something missing. I was wondering whether I would give it all up, all the wonders of modern society to go back home. I was staring down at the envelope; it had a stamp already printed on it. I was thinking about all the things that I had found out, just like that. Could I give it all up? If I just went to visit my family, would I be stuck there again? I was walking down the street, staring at the envelope and looking around. There were so many wonders here but the people had a coldness about them. I missed the warmth of my old town, no one knew my name here, and no one cared. No one cared that envelopes came with stamps or that bills could pay themselves.
I went to drown my sorrows in a donut, this wasn’t the first time that I’d felt homesick like this and the donut always helped or maybe it was the sugar. I sat there staring at the pink icing and thinking about being at home. I was not home here; I was like an endless tourist. I was constantly going from one thing to the next with my mouth hanging open, I was still only on vacation. Unless I was back where I belonged I would always be a stray. I took a bite of the donut and something magical happened, something that changed everything. Something got caught between my teeth and I absently pulled it out. Suddenly I’m staring at a sign from above between my fingers, a red curly hair.
It had to be fate; there was no other word for it. The early morning waitress is suddenly taken back with my sudden change in emotion. With exhilaration I’m asking where the donuts come from. She warily brings me the box that they had come in. I read the address and off I go, into the street. An hour later I’m standing outside the factory, breathing heavily. I start to walk through the gates.
“Whoa hold it there sonny.” There was a guard suddenly in front of me with his hand out. There’s a pause as he studies me. “Hey you’re that girl’s brother?”
I’m dumbfounded; I don’t know what to say. I just stand there.
“Yeah you’re her brother alright.” He says with a knowing nod. “Look she’ll be out in a second, shift finishes about now.”
Off in the distance a door opens and people start to pile out. I’m searching the small crowd restlessly, not even knowing who I’m looking for. Then I see the hair.
She’s standing there staring at me, staring at her. We’re both dumbfounded and paralysed with disbelief. We both take an awkward step forward at the same time. Suddenly we’re running towards each other. Suddenly we’re holding each other, suddenly we’re making out like a couple of ten year olds. I’m nervous and break it off as the guard is looking at us funny. We end up just standing there, holding hands and letting them swing while our eyes stared into each other’s.
We’re back at her place. Small just like mine, filled with new gadgets, just like mine only in pink. We’re filled with intension and lust. She takes off my shirt, I unbutton hers.
Suddenly I remembered the toilet paper and I’m blushing, taking a step back. I look at her with words that are too embarrassing to speak out. I excuse myself and head to her bathroom, the toilet roll hangs there empty. When I come back she’s blushing and I realise that I’ve come home.