We're busy getting ready for our trip and that means dealing with the pharmacy, getting all our meds (I'm kept alive by chemistry), and sorting that which comes from that which stays. Joe is in charge of almost all of this but I try in my little way to help. On our way to our hotel in Gravenhurst we stopped at a Shoppers Drug Mart because we realized we need to take several bottles of menthol Otrivin with us and in order to do that we had to buy several more bottles.
I can't imagine sleeping without my nightly shot of Otrivin or lecturing without a little spray. We went into the store and I wheeled myself around while Joe went in search of the miracle spray. I ended up at the top of one of the rows waiting for Joe to find the treasure. A fellow of about 23 entered the row and I noticed him, honestly, because of his gait. His knees were tucked together and he walked with quite a sway. His feet shuffled on the ground but he walked with confidence. True a little slower than the typical person, but then each step was weighted with more meaning than it is for most.
A couple came in behind him, well old enough to know how to behave, they were nearly 50. They were hurrying up and ended up behind the young man who hadn't noticed them, he was focused on getting up the aisle and over to the cash. They had to slow up a little bit. Annoyance crossed their faces, clearly they needed the several seconds that it would take to wait for him to clear the aisle. The man turned to his wife and mimed a shuffled walk, she laughed, covering her mouth almost to show that her husband was being incorrigible, hilarious but incorrigible.
'Don't look back.'
He didn't, he didn't see their annoyance, their mocking of him. But I'm sure he's seen it all before. I wonder if, when he struggled to learn to walk that they taught him how to balance on his feet and how to balance his personal achievement with the stares of ignorant assholes as he made his way through the world.
Step by step, we, the disabled must claim what is ours.
Push by push, we, the disabled must own our own space.
You know, just because there are assholes doesn't mean we have to constantly put up with their shit.
And an amen to that.