Have you ever noticed that words can reach out and pat you on the head?
Let me tell you.
Joe and I were heading off to see Maria Stuarda have her head offed. The opera was being broadcast into a movie theatre that is a subway ride away so we were heading up Yonge Street. At the intersection a youngish fellow, maybe 30, was sweeping debris away from a store entrance. I had to go right where he was sweeping and I, being Canadian, apologised.
He looked up, startled at being spoken to kindly, no doubt.
So he returned the favour.
Here's what he said and I shit you not: That's OK little man.
The light turned and I was swept with the crowd across the street. I noticed Joe, ahead of me, with his shoulders shaking. When I caught up to him his face as contorted in laughter. He thought that was really, really funny.
For the rest of the day, well not exactly the rest of the day, more accurately, until I told him 'STOP!!' he called me his 'little man.'
(Donna, who works with me at Vita and reads this blog regularly ... take note ... once would be funny. ONCE.)
Have you noticed that looks can reach out and slap you right across the kisser?
Let me tell you.
We were coming back from the opera, again, riding the subway. As we were nearing my stop, I swung the chair into position so I could shoot out the door on arrival. At that time of day the subway platform was packed. There were a group of kids in the upper teens. One of the girls noticed me before the others and her eyes widened like she'd seen something incredibly outrageous. She whispered something to her friends and as they all laughed and then her glance swung back and her look, slapped me hard, and her message that she was superior to me in every way and the right to publicly mock me came with the privilege of her normalcy.
This was one of the few times that others laughed and Joe didn't.
I'll take being 'little man' rather than 'fat, ugly cripple,' though really, I'd rather not have to choose.