On the way out of the doctor's office, he spotted Joe sitting in the waiting room. "I should get Joe's blood pressure," he says mostly to himself. So even though Joe didn't have an appointment he was called into the office. I just wheeled myself over to the elevator and went down to the lobby. A few minutes later Joe was beside me telling me that the doctor wants him to wait another half hour and have another test. It seems that his blood pressure was so good that the doctor wanted to assure himself that it wasn't an anomaly. He helped me outside to sit on the sidewalk and people watch while he went upstairs.
At first I sat at the edge of the curb but soon realized that all the action was happening behind me so I began to pull myself back to the wall of the building. The sidewalk is wide here and there's lots of room so I could easily park and others could pass in front of me without any restriction to their passageway. As I was pulling back I noticed a nice lookingish man of about 28 or 29 rushing towards me with an intent look on his face. He clearly was in a rush so I stopped to let him pass. He had adjusted his gait in anticipation of my moving so when I didn't he stumbled a bit. He glared and me and said, without breaking stride, "You people are always in the way!"
His comment meant to slap me merely pissed me off. Who the hell does he think he is? And does he know that his mother is ashamed of him?
I sat there against the wall stewing. Then I realized something as I watched all the inaccessible transit go by - streetcars that I will never again ride. I looked at all the inaccessible shops and stores across the street from me - places that I will never again enter. I looked at all the faces going by, most worn by people who couldn't look me in the eye - attitudes that freeze me out of humanity. And I realized. We aren't in the way enough! As a minority we are way to accommodating and way to polite. We use gratitude as a motivator and have been taught that anger is inappropriate.
We need to get in the way a hell of a lot more. Sit in front of buildings we can't enter and ask "Why?" Protest a special bus mentality of an entire city. I'm not one of those cripples who's constantly angry, I'm one of the optimistic ones - not blind to prejudice but not willing to wallow in it every day. Yet every now and then I get riled up ... find my desire to protest loudly and proudly. Bring on an action, just let me have time to organize transit!
So, what to do to protest this little slight by this little man?
All at once, dear readers, close your eyes and send him this message ...
GO FUCK YOURSELF.