Joe and I were heading south down Yonge Street chatting happily, enjoying the Spring warmth. Suddenly we find our way blocked by a 'thing'. It's a motorized vehicle that has a flat platform that can be raised so that workers can do stuff like wash windows or make repairs to the face of the building. It was placed such that I couldn't get up the curb and get by it. There was a police officer there who, no matter what I said, would not let me scoot around or jayride across the street.
"What am I supposed to do then?" I asked, all frustrated.
Without answering he calls to the guys on the platform a couple floors up. He wants them to move the machine. I can see what a hassle this is. They are going to have to lower the platform, move it a few feet so I can get on my way, move it back so they can be back in position and then raise it back up to where they are working. I felt immediately like this huge bother. But the driver glanced down and saw me and hollered that he'd move the truck.
The platform lowered, it seemed to come down at such a slow pace, I could feel my hair grow as I waited. Joe, who really hates it when we bother people or put people out is standing a few feet ahead looking very perturbed. Once the platform is down, the fellow moves it two or three feet ahead, plenty of room for me to get around. I call out as I'm going around, 'Sorry to be a bother.'
The driver guy catches my eye and says, 'Hey, it's us blocking your ramp. We're the one's making your day hard - not the other way around. It's us who should be apologizing, not you.' I grinned a 'thanks' to him.
I thought about that, and, of course, he's right. I have a right to expect accessibility and to expect that when my access is blocked, that there will be an effort to make my travel possible. But somehow over the three years of using the wheelchair, I've lost the expectation of accessibility and replaced it with gratitude for what should be but often isn't.
It was good to be shaken back into seeing the world right way up again.
Oh, and some may wonder about the title of this post. Well, to explain. Driver guy -- was a real cutie!