I saw the look of annoyance on your face when people stared at you, or when they had trouble understanding your speech. I got it. I understood it. I applauded your calm dignity in dealing with the social side effects of disability. I don't know if the fellow you were with was your friend, your lover, your staff ... I have no idea, it doesn't matter. You both were clearly having a very good talk. It was nice sitting out in the sun wasn't it. It was a lovely fall day and Joe and I, like you and your friend, were taking advantage of it. After all, how many more would there be.
I've never seen you in this area before but you seemed to feel quite comfortable in your skin and in your space. Joe and I fell into conversation, chatting and people watching, as we relaxed in the sun. Joe had his Stella, I had my David's. We were, quite simply, loving being out, feeling the sun on our skin and relaxing into the end of the day.
There is a woman that we see quite regularly in the neighbourhood. She is also a wheelchair user, her powerchair is much lower to the ground than mine, she drives a little slowly and incredibly carefully. Often those who walk shake their heads with annoyance as they make their way by her. They don't notice the incredible concentration it takes for her to make her way down the street. But, then, they never do do they? You'd know.
She came along just as you were finishing your chat and were backing out into the sidewalk. You almost rammed her, but, as I said, she was slow and careful and managed to stop just shy of running into you. She smiled at you, a really big smile, a smile of welcome and of camaraderie. She spoke to you. Do you remember the tone of her voice. Friendly. She greeted you. After you nearly rammed her with your carelessness, she still greeted you. Her voice let you know that it didn't matter that you'd startled her, that you'd caused her to come to a grinding halt.
And what did you choose to do.
You looked at her.
Up and down her body.
Sized her up.
Measured her worth.
And you found her valueless.
You sneered, turned, and drove off. Without a word. She sat there stunned. Really stunned. You didn't see, asshole, that when she continued on her way she was crying.
You did that.
What the hell is wrong with you. I saw your annoyance when people treated you differently because of your disability, you were frustrated at people having difficulty with your speech. You KNOW what it's like to be valued differently.
Yet at the first opportunity you had to shit all over someone else's day.
People ask me what makes me angry. You know what that is ... I don't anger easily you know ... purposeful hurt. That's what makes me angry.
And you sir, pissed me right off.
You know how to stop bullying?
Don't be one.
How fucking simple is that?