Sunday 19 June 2022

'Ways I Can Become Famous in The Guinness Book of World Records' by Emily Macdonald

  1. I can eat boiled eggs like Cool Hand Luke, popping their smooth domes into my mouth, down in one, swallowing like a snake.
  2. I can have the world’s longest snogging kiss with my boyfriend. I practice on my arm, sucking and squelching to leave raspberry red marks. I imagine holding him by his sticking out ears if he tries to pull away or grabbing onto his red-brown springing hair.
  3. I could star jump in the garden, bounce with my arms and legs stretched in synchronised motion: up, down, in and out, up, down, in and out.
  4. I could put on all my clothes. Starting with my vests and school shirts and then my handknitted woolly jumper. Mine my brother’s and then Mum’s.
  5. I could free wheel the furthest on my brother’s three gear push bike. I plan the route, seeing my smooth unbroken ride, winding weeeeeeeee from the peak of Long Lakey Fell.
  6. I could keep my hand touching Dad’s Rover car. I think this is easy until I consider I might need to pee, and what would happen if he needed to drive to work.

I think of the eggs and my stomach swollen and distended like a too tight balloon, and the sulphur burp that would turn off the boyfriend I don’t yet have, and the too few clothes in our musty wooden wardrobes and how my brother doesn’t have a push bike though he’s begged and begged for one, and how Dad doesn’t have a Rover car because he doesn’t have a job and how I can still star jump on the street—we don’t have a garden—but I can jump and jump and jump until I reach the stars.

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