When I listen to this music, I become young again for a little while.
For a short time, I'm not the handicapped woman who has to use a very visible mobility device to walk more than short distances--a device that is the only thing that people seem to notice about me, because it's sure as fuck the only thing they can talk about. Either that or they think my memory is shot to fuck and they need to remind me about it every time they see me because I'm going to forget I have it otherwise? Hell, I don't know.
I feel like I need to put a bumper sticker on the walker. Something with an arrow pointing up that says "I'm up here." Or maybe "the walker's fine. How are you?" Or maybe "not dead yet, merely pining for the fjords." Maybe I need to make a series of snarky, interchangeable signs.
I can't understand why people are so interested in my fucking walker. Have you never seen a person using a mobility device before? Has your life really been that sheltered? Did you fancy that everyone was able-bodied before this weirdo with her fancy wheeled frame thingy came to town?
I haven't been able to muster the wherewithal to go for a stroll again since the last fiasco when one person saw fit to stop and ask me in very concerned tones if I was all right because I had my fat ass parked on the seat of the walker and was looking at the sky and contemplating whether I wanted to make penne or lasagna for dinner.
I was prepared to let that slide. But then the fellow who always thinks I need a pep talk came out of the place he's fixing up and asked how I was. Not content to let it go at "I'm okay," he went on with his usual schpiel with a bit of unwanted icing on the cake about how I have beautiful hair and if we could just get my body to match my hair, I'd be a real doll.
I'm never comfortable with people talking about my appearance, so I said "well, I don't really care what I look like," which apparently startled this gent, as he said in a startled voice "why not?"
"I just don't," said I, tapping my forehead. "I'm this. I'm not my body."
"Oh, Honey, you need to believe in yourself!"
I wasn't up to explaining that I'm a realist and I don't think that the problems I have with my body can be resolved. So I said "okey-dokey" and went on my way.
You might think that's the end of this stupid story, but you would be badly mistaken. As I was passing the general store, a fellow was coming out and, of all things, asked me if I needed a ride.
I said, "no, I'm just walking." I tried to make a joke of it and said "if I don't, nobody else will."
"Are you sure you don't need a ride?"
Fuck's sake. Do I really look that decrepit?
I really just cannot.
I like walking to the edge of town and sitting by the tree for a spell, contemplating lasagna or how I made the entire house smell like cabbage when I cooked The Italian Windbreaker (which contains a hearty helping of cabbage), or why Costco doesn't sell Tater Tots.
I think I need a big, obvious set of headphones to wear as I gimp along. Then I can ignore everyone and listen to audiobooks.
In case anyone needs instruction on how to talk to them crippled-up disabled-like retreads, here's the highly classified, secret method.
Talk to us like you'd talk to anyone else.
I've never heard one single disabled person say that they want constant pep talks or to constantly answer questions about their mobility devices.
I just want to take a fucking walk in peace.
Maybe my sign needs to simply say "my back is jacked up so I use this thing. No, it's not likely to improve. Can we please talk about something else?"
I know people "mean well," but it gets really boring always having to have the same conversation. To be honest, I don't give a fuck if they mean well. This shit is still invasive and offensive.
Ornery Owl is still pissed off
Free-use image from Pixabay
Sigh. Familiar and grumpy sigh.ReplyDelete
I'm not one for tears, but I actually started crying yesterday. The only thing I've ever wanted is to be invisible, and I've always been very visible.Delete
Taking walks in the city or suburbs was impossible because I always got randos shouting crap out of car windows. Here, I get "well-meaning" people who are going to "pray for" me or who "encourage" me by telling me I could be a "real doll" if only we could get my horrible, horrible body to match my beautiful hair. I don't know which is worse sometimes.