Before Ramps

Wheelchairs-Schmeelchairs. Great for downhill-racing but when the only loo in the, otherwise cute, village that I was pootling around was in McBurgerland and the only way to get inside was up a flight of frickin’ stairs that might as well have been the long route up Mount Everest as far as I was concerned, they’re not so hot.

But I’m not bitter. Maybe a little tarnished around the edges, but not at all bitter.

We’ve all got stories of how we went from mighty to fallen. Some are just little footnotes about pride coming before a fall. Others are short stories that tell of the transition from young and pretty into someone who’s older and wiser with love-handles. But the epic novels are about teen bombshells like me, striding leggily through town checking the faces of people passing me by to make sure that those fools see me and then turning my nose up at those losers because tall and athletic is just too good for those common folk … and then tripping and falling under a bus.

It was just a small bus. One of those that carry handicapped kids out for the day. Oh, the irony, right? And it it was just a small imperfection in the paving stone alignment; less than a centimetre. But that slight flaw was enough to pitch me headlong into the road underneath a bus that was just heavy enough to crush both my legs beyond saving. Yeah, I know – tragic, right?

They took me to hospital, took off what was left of my legs and gave me a wheelchair as a consolation prize. Congratulations, Charlie – you have come second for the rest of your life and here is your reward.

So, in the absence of my burgeoning career as a hot model, I moved to the other end of the lens and took up photography. I got myself a great camera and toured around places like this pretty village looking for images take and sell on the internet. It doesn’t pay that much, but I’ve got a good eye for it and, with the royalties, I do alright.

It’d been a productive day – I’d gotten a few dozen digital shots of various cute critters, decorative detail and random other stuff, but by the time I got to the spot on the map where it said Toilets I was absolutely bursting for a pee.

When, in the entrance, I found steps, I couldn’t climb them so I photographed them instead and envisaged a place at the top that could take me somewhere else. Like, a nice clean stall with a lockable door and a rail I could grab to hoist myself onto the sanitised seat.

Then I tucked my camera away in the padded, watertight compartment in my bag, adjusted my shades to hide my shame and peed myself.