Joyland

New York |

Autobiography

by Ashley P. Taylor

edited by Michelle Lyn King

By Buny

With Ashley P. Taylor

For my grama, Grama. She’s also name Sandi.

I was so mad cuz Mama had carrots for dinner and she didn’t share. It’s weird cuz I can’t really eat stuff cuz I don’t have any teeth but I can pretend eat stuff. So I want carrots even though I can’t really eat those, and I get really mad when the other animals eat stuff I like and don’t share.

Just so you know, my favorite food is carrot cake. And salad. That’s like all I eat: salad and carrot cake. You know, bunny stuff.

I was born in China cuz that’s what it says on my tag but I don’t know Chinese. I don’t member China either. When I got dopted I was in New York in the hospital. Or the orphanage. I guess it was the orphanage, in the hospital. Anyway Grama says she saw me there and thought my mama would like me so she dopted me. She had to pay money though: like $22! I don’t think that’s how doption’s sposed to work, cuz it’s not ethical and stuff, but anyway that’s what Grama did. See my mama was in the hospital in New York and that’s why Grama was there (she usually lives in Kentucky, in the countryside). I don’t know. Sometimes I think my mama was in the hospital cuz she was having me, and sometimes you know they cut the mamas open to get the babies out and stuff, but then other times I think I was dopted, so Mama musta been in the hospital for something else. Maybe she had a pendix. I don’t know. We were there really long, and we had to go back one time.

Oh, so I spell my name like this: B-U-N-Y. I’m not sure zactly how old I am. I got dopted three months ago, in like April or something, but then I was in China before. I’m pretty little. Grama says I’m precocious, I guess cuz I can talk and stuff.

So you probly wanna know if I’m a boy or a girl. Well I’m not. See I’m a non-binary bunny (that’s what my mama says). I’m purple, and that color’s like special for the non-binary bunnies and the like ABCDQ bunnies and stuff. I also have flowers in my ears. So I look up the difference between the boy and the girl bunnies, and the thing is I don’t really have any special parts or anything, other than my ears, so maybe that’s why I’m non-binary? I never wet the bed or anything, but I don’t have any holes down there anyway. So I don’t know if I can have a little baby bunny. I don’t know if that would fit in there. And then what if they had to cut me open cuz I don’t have the right holes and then I died and then the baby bunny had to go to the orphanage in the hospital? I probably dopt a little baby bunny. Or I could do it maginary, have a kid. I probly name it Sandi, like my grama.

It’s kinda weird cuz I’m like both real and maginary. For zample right now I’m on the table looking at the ceiling and stuff, and that’s like real, but then at the same time I’m writing this book so I can get famous, and that’s kinda maginary cuz I can’t really write stuff cuz I can’t move without Mama. I tell her what to put and she writes it on the puter.

So when my mama got outta the hospital we went to her partment in Brooklyn, and I was kinda noyed cuz I didn’t get my own room but I liked being near Grama, she came too and she didn’t get her own room either. And then we went to Kentucky for Mama to cuperate and stuff, and I was really cited cuz Grama lives on a farm and there’s vegetables in the garden and the countryside and stuff. And the fields and like real bunnies and stuff.

So one day in Kentucky I was hoppin around in the fields and I saw another bunny, so I said hi, but that other bunny didn’t say hi back. I was mad so I poked him on the shoulder and I said, “You’re a mean bunny!” And then you know what? That other bunny like jump up on me and grab my tummy and he had this thingy—I think that was a boy bunny—and he was like poking me with it! I was really fraid. But I was also really brave, so I kick him and punch him in the nose and I yell: “Don’t do that!” Then I ran away.

Yeah, and I saw the Kentucky Derby! Those horses musta gotten so wet running around in the rain. If I did that my fur would get all wet, and I don’t know if my insides would—see okay I’m gonna tell you a secret and you can’t tell, but this one time I fell outta bed and I was fraid I broke all my bones. So I went to the doctor and they did a X-ray and guess what? I don’t have any bones in there! I’m just all fluffy.

Yeah, so now me and my mama live in the partment in Brooklyn, but we still talk to Grama every day on the puter.

So I know I was dopted, but guess what? I found a ancestor! This one time me and Mama were in this cemetery near the partment cuz Mama needed exercise and stuff to get strong, and it’s pretty there with like trees and stuff, and guess what there was this big stone with Bunney carve on it! So I was really cited. But sometimes I get confused. Like I think that was a human graveyard, but there was also bunnies in there, I guess. And I’m not sure if my ancestors were humans or bunnies. My mama says she has this cousin whose last name is like ‘Haase,’ and Mama says that means hare in like Dutch or something, and hares are kinda like bunnies, so maybe her like great-great-great-great-grama was a bunny. Maybe my ancestors are from the Netherlands! But I’m from China. And also, my tag says “Made in China.” Shouldn’t that be “Born in”?

My mama says I have to go to bed now.

*

I’m going to live with Grama. Mama is so mean. And rude! She’s always going to the movies and the ballet and stuff and she doesn’t even ask me if I wanna go too. She never brings me anywhere! And sometimes she pretend I’m not there. Like this one time Mama and this lady come in, and I was sitting on the laundry hamper, guarding (I’m also a guard bunny), and Mama and that lady were like kissing and stuff. And then they got in the bed and they were like rubbing up against each other and stuff. And then that lady slept over and I didn’t even get to sleep in my own bed! I was so mad and I couldn’t say anything cuz I can’t talk without Mama.

The good thing about writing this book is Mama has to pay tention to me.

*

Hey, so I’m a little fraid about something. I heard my mama tell Grama she had a bad headache and felt all weird, and Grama said to go to the mergency room if it got worse. And Grama was saying about the shunt not working and the headaches and stuff and you know what I figured out my mama has water on the brain and you know what you can die from that.

I like it when Mama hug me, even though she is a big meanie.

One time in April after I got dopted and Grama and me and everybody was in the partment, Mama like rolled over in the bed and wouldn’t talk to anybody and then Grama called the ambulance, and I got to go too cuz Mama needed me, and we went back to the hospital again. I wasn’t too fraid, cuz the hospital’s like mostly where I lived up till then, cept for China, and the other thing is, I didn’t really think about fraidy stuff back then cuz I was little.

But now I’m big so I think about it. If Mama not there and I can’t talk and I can’t move or anything then like what does that mean? Mama already bandons me when she goes away in the subway and stuff but she always comes back and then I talk to Grama on the puter. What if Mama like never came back? What if I had to do maginary all the time?

I want my grama.

*

“Hi, this is Grama,” as buny might have said. I’m writing here to add a sort of epilogue to the story that my “grandbunny” wrote with help from her mama, my daughter, Ashley.

As you’ve probably gathered, my child was not hospitalized for “a pendix.” No, she went to the grave with her vestigial organ intact. Now I’ve said it. How I wish this were imaginary.

My daughter was in the hospital because her shunt had stopped working and she needed surgery. As Buny wrote, she was born with hydrocephalus, which means her brain does not properly drain its fluid or regulate its pressure. The shunt is a device that does both of those things. Did.

I “dopted” Buny for my daughter near the beginning of her month-long hospitalization, in April; this was just after Easter. I spotted them, with their purple fur and ears lined with floral cotton, in the window of the hospital gift shop.

Buny was a great comfort to her mama. My daughter would squeeze her feet when the nurses were drawing blood, when she had a headache, when doctors were inserting and removing pressure monitors from her skull.

I guess you know the rest. We all went home to Kentucky. My daughter returned to Brooklyn. And then, in August, the shunt broke down one last time.

Let the record show that I liked talking with Buny. They were another version of my sweet daughter. But you don’t tell your grandchild to run away from home. So when Buny would say they wanted to come live with me, I would always tell them they were welcome at my house but that I thought they were better off with their mama.

Buny lives with me now. They don’t talk anymore, and I miss them. But even more, I miss Ashley.