A conversation Joe and I had yesterday:
Dave: Hey, guess what, apparently I'm mythic.
Joe: What do you mean ... like of mythic proportions?
Ha. Ha. Ha. Funny man.
I was telling him of discovering the fact that there is a rumour on the Internet that I am not a real person. Yep, that's right, there are those saying that this blog and my Facebook page were set up to create a fake person named "Dave Hingsburger." I read a conversation of comments wherein one person was setting forth the idea that I'm not real and other stating with equal fervour that I was indeed real. How odd that was to read. I left a comment assuring them that I was a real person, but then that's what a fake person would have done too, right. How do you win that argument.
I guess the first thing I thought about was the fact that I should be kind of flattered that enough people know me that there would be enough interest to create the energy for people to talk about me at all. Cool, I guess.
Second, though, was the somehow deeply disconcerting feeling that this generated. Someone declaring that I did not exist as a real person was disconcerting because it was a deeply deja vu experience.
Like how I disappeared as a person when I sat down in my wheelchair and suddenly didn't exist to wait staff and store clerks.
Like how I suddenly didn't exist as a person who could take care of my own luggage at the airport.
Like how I was discounted as a social equal in a thousand different interactions.
People with disabilities are always in the position of saying "YOOOO HOOOO, I'm here, I'm real, I matter." So this seemed to be just an extreme example of the same thing.
So, again ... the mantra of people with disabilities the world over ...
I'm here. I'm real. I matter.