i am a green balloonpublished: 2012-05-26
I am a green balloon. I wish I was red. People always pick red. It’s because people like clichés.
I am much stronger than most other balloons, though. You can kick me around, and I’ll be fine.
I’ve been lying here for over two days. I won’t tell you where I came from and who lost me. It doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is that I am here now. I am still alive. A garbage man picked me up and stuck me between a motorycle and a wall. I am slightly softer now and so that actually works.
For a while, I hoped the owner of this motorcycle would take me out for a spin. I imagined what he’d look like. Really big and ugly and mean, yet happy to have found me. But no, this motorcycle is under a protective cover that smells of mould. Maybe it hasn’t been taken out for a spin in over a year. Maybe the big and ugly and mean guy has had an accident and can no longer walk.
In the past two days, I have withstood heavy rainshowers and a sudden shift of the weather to heat. It became Summer overnight. The trees have exploded into their natural greens making my colour even less appealing than it already was.
But look! There’s a little boy. He’s wearing wellington boots that have green dinosaurs on them. His feet must be hot. He’s kicking his feet while walking, I suppose that proves my point. He seems pensive. I am on his eye-level and when he noticed me, his face bursts into a smile. I try my hardest not to explode with pride or melt from endearment. Sure enough, he whisks me up.
“Put that down darling,” says an older lady behind him. She says it in a singy-songy way. She adds, “it’s not yours.”
However, the boy understands I want to be his. He ignores the woman and skips off with me. A man grabs him by the collar and then the elbow. He shouts at the boy. He drags him and me back to the motorcycle. The man pulls me out of his hands and stuffs me back behind the motorcycle.
“The boy has to learn to listen, dammit!” shouts the man to the woman. He doesn’t look at the boy, not once. I watch them leave. Suddenly, the man returns. Is he going to pop me? He turns me, so I’m facing exactly the same way I was facing when they found me.
I can hear the boy’s skip. Bright and cheery, he calls “granddad!” and giggles, “what are you doing?” He is excited and unaffected by his granddad’s anger. But granddad still ignores him, stares at the floor while walking past the boy who watches him for a while, looking confused. Then he runs after him.
Little boy, come back.
They have turned a corner. I use a breath of wind to float up off the motorcycle, and bounce after them. But the wind isn’t strong enough. I am now in the gutter.´