at the age of ten we moved from one side of town to the other, this was my first experience of turf wars, it seems even the teachers played this nasty game of ownership.
we were a poor family, my mum worked as often as possible while my stepdad drank the earnings.
anyway…we lived roughly three miles from this new school unless you wanna walk past John Bunyan’s Birthplace which was a shorter walk but more muddy and dodgy, especially in the dark winter.
most kids caught the bus, if their parents could afford to, they payed, if they couldn’t afford to, you got a free ticket.
we couldn’t afford the bus most of the time and rarely had a car so tried getting the free bus ticket.
but it turns out that for whatever reason, my family wasn’t included in the scheme, fukk knows why, i was just a child.
so it was that me and my younger bro would walk to school in the wind/rain/hail/snow, british weather is beautiful but not when you’re ten years old, walking home in the pitch-black, as the school kids drive past in their warm dry bus, laughing out of the windows.
this was the start of something but i didn’t know.
one day, my brother was really ill (his condition is now known about) and the teachers brought me to one side to explain that we would have to use the bus (i could feel their condescension) and i knew i would be bullied for it (you’re only on this bus cos ya bruvva’s poorly hahahahahahaha).
in that moment of selfish self pity, i wanted my bro to walk home with me, or a family friend to meet him off the bus so i could walk, but in my heart f hearts, i knew i was being silly so i got on the bus and met the truth, i wasn’t silly i was correct.
i swore i would never use another bus (even now i hate buses but admit their usefulness).
sometimes my dad would have a car, usually a scrapheap which bore more derision from my peers etc. a lad actually had the cheek to ask for a lift but got out early so no-one could see him lmao.
through all this, i was walking a hell of a lot, the local shop shut so just getting a pint of milk was a 4mile walk. and the walk-time was thought-time. i had a lot of time to think and resent this material life. i didn’t realise it was making me stronger…yet.
in school we were being taught that Africans had to walk so many miles every day, aren’t we lucky?
if only they thought about what they were telling me… we don’t need transport.
to this day, i’ve never learnt to drive, and only bus if family life dictates.

i’ve quickly wrote this and posting it before i can delete it

19 thoughts on “transport”

  1. Dont delete it. No no. But it made my heart shed a blood tear. Its sad that kids can be cruel, as sad as the fact that memories like that still influence the moods nowadays.. (For what its worth, Im originally from a background, where post-soviet union mentality influenced my teenage years being from a poor family too.. You can only imagine..)

      1. the thing is, in the grand scheme of things, i’ve had an easy life and i’m thankful 🙂
        it’s just thoughts being thoughts 🙂 but it’s pertinent to remember that if we remember our childhoods, then our kids will remember theirs, and perhaps behave accordingly ever after
        although my girl does a lot of walking already, i’m always careful to keep it sensible 🙂

  2. Oh I agree, don’t delete. Truthful words like these are so important. We have to face human nature showing its ugly side, not just the pretty side. All of us can probably relate to the feelings of shame you describe, inflicted by others. Sharing is good, it reminds us we’re not alone 🙂

  3. Ahhh !! It touched my heart- deeply! Hope your brother remains well and healthy.
    “british weather is beautiful but not when you’re ten years old”-this line holds so much meaning! You are right, the hardships made you strong. But, I have learnt everything comes at a cost. But, to see it like this is the survival demand for us.

    1. i think my bro is ok, turns out you dont need a spleen or two kidneys to survive, jus the will to piss people off 🙂
      everything comes at a cost, yes it does, action and reaction, equal n opposite, dharma and kharma.
      the things that don’t break us
      they make us
      the will to survive
      or curl up and die

      1. This is just super hilarious 🙂 have to get me that will one of these days !!
        Often , the latter seems much less painful 🙂 But, most of us succeed in letting those thoughts of -nirvana- as I might say, to pass on to reality.

        1. there’s always something to lift us up if we look hard enough 🙂

          there’s a Thai film trilogy called Ong-Bak. part two and three describe light and dark beautifully, from an ancient feudal perspective. the lad had such a strong fate that his parents name him Tien, meaning Light or Candle if i remember. i thoroughly recommend it, infact now i remember it, i gotta watch it again now 🙂

          1. You are right !! Thank you for the recommendation. Always on the lookout for such gems. Speaking of recommendations, have you read The Roots by Alex Haley ? Your words just took me there.

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