Spaso by Grace Cleary

Spaso and Spaso on the Bus by Grace Cleary were first published in Gutter 14 as part of our Spoken Word Issue. You can listen to them here:





Kin you tell me why awe us it the daycentre  look the same?  Alison, Stella, Margaret, Maxine and me.?   How come?  We ur awe lassies bit we awe wear tracky boatums thir ur too shoart in big, big trainers thit look like clown shoes.  In we ur awe fatties.  How come?  Did oor Mammies git thegither?  Did they go tae the same shoap?  Is it a uniform?

The school up the street hiv goat ties.  Ah wantit a tie when ah wis it school.  Ma Mammy said – ‘you don’t need a tie.  You’re it a speshul school’  How come?  Ah think oor trackies in trainers ur a uniform.  A dafties uniform.  So ivirybuddy wull know we ur dafties.

Maxine says naebiddy is apposed tae caw us ‘dafties’eny mair or they’ll go tae jail.   How come?  She says it’s a bad word.  Like fuck.  That is a bad  word.  She thinks she knows everythin. Bit she disnie. She knows nothin.  When ah wis in Tesco last week buyin ma Crunchies., ah  love ma Crunchies., big boays cawed me  a Dafties in a Spaso.  Ah said ‘whit’s a Spaso, Maxine?’  She said ‘a spastic’  Ah said ‘whit’s a spastic?’  She said ‘awe shut up, nivir mind’.  She thinks she’s clever bit she likely disnie know.  Ah like that name –  Spaso – Spaso MacPherson.  It’s bettur  thin Clare. SPASO MacPHERSON, – it’s like Superman, bit they boays never went tae jail.  So it’s a lie whit Maxine says.  In ah’ll no shut up.

Ma Mammy says ‘don’t shout back it they big boays’.  How come?  Ah shout back it thim.  Ah say ‘yoor a Spaso’ in a say ‘fuck, fuck’ tae.  A big boay battured me.  He dragged me up a close in pullt ma troosers doon, bit he coodnie git thim aff because they widnae go ower ma big, big trainers.  Ma daddy says ‘if boays  pull yer troosers doon, kick thim in the goollies’.  Ma Daddy showed me, so ah know where goollies ur.  So ah kicked the big boay in his goolies in he shouted ‘ya  Spaso bastard’.  That’s anither bad wurd – bastard..  Bit the big boay wis greetin in he ran away.  Ah laughed, in laughed.  Ah told Maxine.   She didnae laugh.  She said ah should huv run away cause ah could huv goat raped.  Whit’s raped?   Ma Mammy or ma Daddy widnie tell me.  Ma Daddy said – ‘get tae yir bed in stoap askin stupit questions.’  How come?

See Melissa it the day centre ah weesh ah wis her.   She hisnae goat tracky boatums in big, big trainers.  She’s goat a luvely blue dress in shoes thit are high up.   Her mammy disnae go tae the same shoap is mine in Maxine’s.  Ah wish ma mammy wid go tae her shoap.  Melissa looks nice, like the wumman in the chemist.  In Melissa’s Mammy puts her hair up in bunches wae ribbons the same colour is her dress.  She’s goat long, long hair.  How come?  Mine’s in Maxine’s ur  up tae oor ears.  Melissa swings her hair when she walks.  She’s a show oaff.  Ah widnie show oaff  if ah hid long hair.  Ah wid jist walk.

Bit look it me – ah’m jist a big, big fatty, wae big. big trainers in wee, wee troosers, in ma name is SPASO MacPHERSON.



Spaso on the Bus

Naebiddy likes me.  How come?  When a go oan the bus ivirybiddy looks up tae the sky, or oot the windae or doon it the flerr.   Ah shout ‘hullo awe yous’.

The driver says ‘move up the bus’.  How come?  A jist say hullo.  Ah say ‘hullo Mr Driver, gonnie gies a kiss’  Ah like kissis.  Ma Daddy gies me kissis when he’s no mad.  The driver says ‘doant start’.

Ah sit doon aside eny boay oan the bus in a say ‘budge up.’  Ah say  ‘Hiv yoo goat a girlfriend?’  Bit then they ayeweys go tae anither seat.  Ah’m no smelly.  Ah hid a bath.  Why dae they no waant tae speak tae me?  How come?

Everybuddy  talks tae ma Mammy.  They doan’t even look it me.  Ah’m nice tae folk.  Ah ayeweys talk tae them.  Ah said to Mrs Howie when ah met her wae ma Mammy last week  ‘Hullo Mrs Howie, ye’re hairs nice.  Is it a wig?’  She walked away. Inna said tae Mrs Marshall when we met her in the butchers   ‘Hullo, yoo’re a big wumman.  That’s a nice froak yer weerin.  Ah saw it in the Charity Shoap.’  She walked away tae wae a big rid face.  Charity shoaps ur smelly.  How come?

Mibbe ah’m invisible.  Like Harry Potter when he pits oan that coat in then naebuddy kin see him.  Bit ah’m no.  Cause when a look doon ah kin see ma big, big trainers.  So ah’m still here.

Ah weesht a wis Harry Potter.  He’s goat two best pals.  Big Martin says hes no ma boyfriend enymair.  He says Melissa is his new girlfriend.  Ah hate Melissa.  Ah’ve fell oot wae Maxine tae.  She wis ma pal.  Ma mammy says a cannie be Harry Potter, ah kin oanly be me.  Ah doan’t waant tae be me.  Cause naebuddy likes me.

Mrs. Adams wae the squinty eye said a wis a croass.  How come?  Whit’s she talkin’ aboot?  She said tae ma Mammy ‘Mrs McCallum, Clare is your cross.  We all have crosses to bear’

Ah’m no a cross in am no a bear either.  Ma Mammy walked away.   Ah doan’t care.  Ah doan’t care aboot the folk oan the bus.  Ah jist shout oot bad wurds like ‘bloody’ in ‘ fuck’  in then they awe stoap lookin oot the windies.  Ah don’t think they like me cause thir mooths ur awe screwed up.  Ah jist pit ma tongue oot.  Some folk laugh bit some dinnie..

Mrs Forbes wis oan the bus in she telt ma Mammy.  Ma Mammy said ‘yer gein me a showin up.  Ah’ll need tae take ye tae the Doacturs.  Ah hate that Doactur.  Last time he gave me wee pink pills thit made me dizzy in made me fae asleep awe the time.   Ah flung thim doon the toilet when ma Mammy wisnie lookin bit ah ate the Smarty thit Ma Mammy gave me tae eat eftur ah hid swallied the pill.   Then ah pit ma haun ower ma mooth when ah goat mad on the bus in ah wantit tae sweer in shout.  Ma Mammy never knew ah dun that.   Bit noo ma Mammys lookin fur mair wee pink pills.  So she took me tae see the Doactur.  He jist talked tae ma Mammy tae.  He never even lookt it me.   Ma trainers wir still there so a wisnae invisible.  The doactur said tae ma Mammy ‘Her swearing is in-approper—rat.  We cant have that.  But she may have a condition called tooralooralette’.   The doacturs heid went up in’ doon in, in up in doon  in he took ma Mammy’s haun.  In she wis greetin’. Awe because ah said bad words.   How come?