The hotel that I've been staying in is packed! There must have been a tournament or something because there were hundreds of young teen boys, full of energy, accompanied by a few adults looking decidedly like there was a decision somewhere in their past that they regretted: 'Oh, sure, I'll chaperon the boys, how much work can that be?' The boys were rambunctious but never, in my hearing, were they ever rude. They were always careful in the hallway coming to a break in roughneck chasing games ... the the one's played by puppies ... when they came around the corner to find Sadie tottering, me wheeling, Marissa carrying stuff, Ruby doing modern dance with the hallways as a runway, Mike and Joe carrying packages. We weren't a family, we were a caravan. They quietly and respectfully come by us and then, like the light turned green, took off again.
I had to be very careful on getting off the elevator. I always got on last because it's a small elevator and I had to have everyone piled beside me as my chair took up all the space between wall and door. Then backing out these boys, in particular, were still learning the physics of space, two bodies cannot be in the same space at the same time. I'd have to get out before they could get in. It's a tough concept, even some adults have trouble with it. So, I'd back up saying, 'Sorry, Sorry, Sorry' as I got out. Though 'Sorry seems to be the hardest word to say except if you're Canadian' ... I meant it because I needed to get people to move out of the way so I could get out.
On Sunday, backing up on my floor, I noticed people there. They were standing further back but I still said 'sorry, sorry, sorry' .... it's become a habit. A woman began speaking before I could see her, she was a black woman maybe ten years older. She said, 'Don't you apologize, you've got to get out, I've learned not to apologize for just doing what I have to do. People will make you think that your space is theirs to control, don't give it to them.' Then she laughed and said, 'Listen to me talking to you like you were one of my kids.' I jumped in and said, 'Don't apologize, you're right, I need to think about what you've said.'
As the door closed I heard her say, 'Sweetie, I wasn't going to apologize.'