We were leaving the theatre after having seen the movie. I was rolling by the poster for Noah, the movie we'd just seen, that was just outside the door, when I was noticed by a man and a woman in line up for another movie. He turned to her and said, loudly enough for me, and others, to hear quite clearly. "There's someone they wouldn't have let on the Ark!" His girlfriend slapped him on the arm but laughed until tears flowed. I was moving slowly, which made me a party to all of this, because there were all sorts of barriers to get around to get back out to the lobby.
I never commented on this comment to Joe.
I just determined that their opinion was not worth bothering about.
But over the evening and into this morning the comment came back, sometimes with force, to the front of my mind. It rankled me. But was most bothersome, was that it simply wouldn't go away. I hear all sorts of shit said about me, loudly, and most if it is bothersome only for a very short period of time, but this, as I said, it rankled.
"Not let on the Ark," means, "not wanted as a member of the human condition," means, "would be better if people like me were eliminated," means not "better of dead," instead means, "better off left to die," means, "murdered."
Murder has been the solution to disability for a very long time.
We have been left in forests.
We have been tossed off mountains.
We have been rounded up by Nazi's.
We have been killed by father's in pick up trucks and mothers in bathtubs.
We have been beaten to death.
We have been starved to death.
We have been chained to walls and died covered in filth.
I have been called names all my life. Fatso and Lardass and Pigface being the most common. When I was young they hurt like hell. When I got older they annoyed like hell.
But what was said to me yesterday, because he wasn't speaking to his girlfriend he was speaking to me - if it's louder than it needs to be, it's for a larger audience - may be the single cruelest thing that anyone has ever said. It may be the most dangerous thing that anyone ever said to me. It tells me that he sees me as not welcome on the Ark and thereby not welcome into community and thereby not welcomed into life.
There are forces, right now, that are itching to pass legislation about "right to die," which is also, of course, though they would never call it that, "right to kill."
We, who are disabled have targets on our backs.
It has always been so.
But now those who wish us dead, who wish us gone, who wish to look upon us no more, have cloaked hate in sheep's clothing ... for our own good (the four words the people with differences fear more than any other) ... we will be slaughtered by those who measure our cost and not our worth.
That man sent me a message.
The only thing that gives me any comfort at all, was that those who got on the Ark, went up a ramp. So maybe, just maybe, he was fucking wrong.