It was that time of year again. I could smell the streets, alive with festivities and hay. So much hay. It was a farm festival in my local town and it filled me with that funny feeling that all that I was about to see was adults making fools of themselves for their children as they had their faces painted, clothes splashed with paint or thrown from the mechanical bull into non-mechanical feces. It was an atrociously bittersweet day.
I sat on my porch and watched it all out before me. It was the same story every year, but there didn’t seem to be someone that wanted to improve upon it except me. Of course, if I could move my legs, I would. There is always something keeping me back from doing something and most of the time it was the lack of movement in my legs.
Perhaps if I did have movement in my legs I would feel different. I would probably be happy to have my face painted to look like a tiger if I could run like one. Perhaps if I could walk through that maze I wouldn’t think it so stupid. Perhaps if the candy didn’t taste so bitter while I ate it I would find the festival more enjoyable. However, dreaming for a difference won’t make it come to pass and I wasn’t about to gain the ability to walk anytime soon.
I collected my thoughts and disposed of the useless ones. Once that was done I pushed the wheels of my chair and made my way towards the festival, but to my dismay there was still some frost on the ramp and the wheelchair sped forward with me in it.
To the accompaniment of the marching band I screamed as metal snapped in the brakes of my wheelchair and I was thrown into the ride of my life. The band wasn’t too difficult to avoid and I regretted that. I flew past with the momentum and into light-weight stands which toppled over as they connected with my head and chest. There was a rain of paper-debris as knick-knacks made at the community centre flew into the air like confetti.
Before I knew it, the wheelchair hit an edge to the road that sent me flying straight into the haystack maze. I lay there, pondering my own karma, but only for a hint of a moment. As I flew through the air I didn’t notice one of the musicians trip over my wheelchair and bash into the behind of a donkey that in its frightened state was speeding past the maze. The collison sent him through the entrance and soon over my still body.
Fortunately, the hooves did not connect with any part of my body, I think the donkey had enough sense to notice me and avoid my pained body. Unfortunately, the rope attached to its harness wasn’t so mindful of me and wrapped itself around my feet. Bound like a mermaid I was dragged through the mazie by the frightened donkey who seemed to navigate the maze much like the mice navigates a maze in search of cheese.
I remember no soft collisions in that maze, but I do remember the cheering and cries of surprise as I crossed the finish line before anyone else that had begun the maze. The donkey in its persistence did not even think to stop and collect the trophy, but instead dragged me further out of town towards the river that cut past one of the houses. Too sharp of a turn it took as the rope finally came loose, spinning me like a top across the grass to eventually land with a splash in the river itself.
My journey had come to an end and to my relief. I crawled from the waters back to the road where the townspeople had brought my wheelchair and helped me into the seat. I could see the children smiling and giggling, thoroughly pleased by what must have been the most comical sense of circumstance they had seen out of a cartoon.
Me? Well, I was in tremendous pain and incredibly tired. I had forgotten entirely what I planned to do when I got down that ramp, but at that point in my life I couldn’t care less. I felt bruises already start to form on my body and I asked to be taken to my home. With time it seemed the people grew to pity me, of course, that only happened once the smiles shifted from amusement to emphatic pain.
I had grown even more disgruntled with the holiday and I felt that by far the best part of that day was when the people left me in my home and closed the door behind them. It was the closest bit of silence I had received the whole day, but soon the sounds of the festival started up again. I decided to go to bed upon hearing the noise and once I turned around I saw on the table behind me that the people had left an assortment of items.
There was a bowl of butterscotch hard candy, probably my favourite, cake, punch, an assortment of fruits and vegetables, a trophy and finally a cassette tape. Curiosity bit me and of course I placed the tape into my TV and let it play. The recording was of the marching band, but then it was of me.
I watched myself dodge through the marching band all the way to landing in the river. Now, I cannot lie and tell you I didn’t burst out laughing when I hit the knick-knack stand, because I did. I laughed from the confetti explosion, through the maze, to passing the finish line and finally spinning across the grass like a horizontal ballerina. I went from chuckling to gut-busting laughter in no-time and found myself rewinding to some parts of the film where my face was the most ludicrous.
Somehow, despite it happening so soon, I got over all that pain and found myself in tears of joy as I enjoyed the festival cake. Certainly, it was the most bittersweet farm festival of my life.