We looked like a parade. Tessa on her scooter leading the way, me in my power chair in the middle and Joe coming in last on foot. We joked about how we had to slow down because we were handicapped by having a walking friend. In fact, it was true, we did have to slow down. We were heading over to see a movie together. The whole experience was cool.
Tessa would be my first, simply social, friend with a disability. Going to the movies is a different experience when two use mobility devices. We stopped outside the theatre and talked about parking and strategized what to do based on what theatre the movie was in. Once we were loaded with popcorn it was into the theatre itself.
I think we were a bit of a pre-movie show to the others there as Tessa and I worked at getting a large chair and a scooter into a space really made for two manual chairs. It was a testament to our driving skills that we managed this without having our transporation aid 'mate'.
After the movie we went for tea and chatted about all sorts of stuff. It was simply nice. While disability affected our strategy for seating, it didn't comprise even a few minutes of our conversation afterward. It made it so clear that all her scooter is, all my chair is ... is a means to get around. It allows us the freedom to be who we are, do what we want, and move about in the world.
That's all true. But it was also true to simply be with someone who's been there too. Who understands what it's like to be on the other end of the stare, the other end of the judgements. It's nice to not have to talk about it because it goes without saying ... It's just nice.
Tomorrow we are going for tea with someone, who like Joe, walks. I wonder if Joe will have a sense of community ... I'm guessing it's different.
What do you think?