Thursday, September 20, 2012

Brief Encounter

He shot, too fast, out of the elevator. He saw me, then panicked. With a jerk he shot right, stopped as I backed up, then he almost impaled himself on the water fountain. With the way our two chairs had moved around each other I reached out to him with a joke. "It's almost like wheelchair ballet isn't it?" The response was a big grin.

He opened up immediately.

He was just learning to use the chair.

He said with excitement: I get out on my own now.

He said with pride: I go faster than people who walk.

He said with surprise: It doesn't matter so much that I can't walk any more.

I saw a man with a world newly opened to him. I waved to him as the door of the elevator closed shut. I was going up, he was going somewhere - how right is the world today.


Beth said...

Yay for people who need wheelchairs getting wheelchairs! Yay for mobility! Yay for independence! :-)

I hope the man gets the hang of his chair soon. Don't want him or his chair to get in trouble.

Yes, the dances when chairs meet in small spaces can get interesting. Long narrow hallways or even long narrow ramps, those are a favorite.

I think it's so sad, the people who choose to limit their lives rather than use a wheelchair. Wheelchairs are marvelous things. "Confined to a wheelchair" -- BAH! liberated by a wheelchair" is more like it. Yay freedom! Yay wheelchairs!

Anonymous said...

What she said. And what Dave said. :)


Princeton Posse said...

Smile, yeah

liz said...


Ettina said...

Completely off topic, but I have a suggestion for your book club - Left Neglected, by Lisa Genova. It's from the perspective of a woman who gets an acquired brain injury which causes her to have left-sided neglect syndrome. I won't say too much, except to mention that I really like Lisa Genova's take on neurological disabilities (she has another book, Still Alice, from the perspective of a woman with early onset Alzheimer's Disease, which is a great book as well). I'd love to hear your take on it.

Utter Randomness said...

I thought of this today when I limped into the grocery store and the motorized cart was available. I usually don't take advantage of it, because I'm afraid of getting looks and remarks from people who think I'm a faker, but I did today. I don't need wheels full time, but now I'm looking into maybe getting some for when I need them.

cheeselady said...

Ettina - have not read "Left Neglected", but LOVED "Still Alice". Great book, haunting story.

Giraffes Can Swim said...

Yup, independence is the key! You should never be afraid of what people think though, if you need the cart you need it!