The security guard at the building got up to hold the door for me, he's a wonderful guy with a great disposition. We chatted as I came through the second set of doors to the outside. Sitting on the bench was a fellow probably in his late thirties. It was about 8:30 in the morning and he was still quite drunk. I could smell beer and stale cigarettes from 20 feet away. I waited, quietly, for Joe to bring the car around. We'd discovered the day before that the entrance way underground isn't accessible from the parking lot to the elevator. The management had made a big deal about getting us parking right by the door, which they did, but neglected to tell us that there's no way in hell that the chair will ever be able to climb up and down the steps necessary to make it into the building. So we should tell them that we no longer need parking close to the door because I'm always going to get dropped off out front, yeah we should, but we won't. Good parking is good parking.
After a few seconds of sitting there, beer and cigarette guy - with tats running up both arms, hollers to me, "Hey!"
Inwards I groan. If people are assholes sober when it comes to wheelchairs, they are insane when they are drunk. I glance over at him and say, coolly, "Yes?"
"Are you allowed to be out on your own?" He askes and then lurches over almost falling off the bench.
All sorts of lines run through my head but I simply say, "Yes, it's been cleared with the authorities."
"Good for you then," he says.
He mutters under his breath, "Sitting there all by himself, a fucking inspiration, that's what it is, a mighty fucking inspiration."
Thank heavens, I see Joe pull in with the car. I get into the car and I hear the guy talking with Joe.
We drive away in silence then Joe says, "So you got your papers with you, the one's that say you are allowed out?"
We laugh till we cry.