I am not pathetic.
I am not needy.
But I felt like I was being both as I wiped tears from my eyes.
I had been out doing some errands and, with the sun out, I was on the sidewalks with a lot of pedestrians. For much of the winter I'd had a fair bit of room on these walkways because most people were riding the subway or driving their cars. But the sun called everyone out for a walk, and they were there in abundance. It took a bit more concentration in getting about, but I'm used to crowded malls and subways myself so no big deal.
However, a number of interchanges that I had were not the most pleasant as people, and their phones, kept nearly running into me. I don't understand how this, in their mind, is always my fault. I'm just pleased that I made it through another day of accident free motoring in my power chair.
I hadn't noticed that the increased number of near misses and sharp words along with sharper glances were effecting me. It's not all that atypical after all. But it must have, because something weird happened.
I was nearly home and, as the sidewalk was inaccessible due to huge clumps of snow and ice on the curb, I took the road. A fellow pulled into a parking space just in front of where I turn into our driveway. He got out of his car and the two of us nearly collided as he took a step towards me while looking down at a clipboard. I pulled up short, said, "Sorry." He had jumped back a bit when he realized his error and he brushed my apology away with one of his own, "No worries, man, it was my fault."
It wasn't what he said.
It was how he said it.
Like he was addressing just another guy. His didn't do the 'disability' voice, or the 'naughty kid' voice or the 'this is so annoying and so are you' voice. It was just an everyday voice. A voice tinged with a bit of warmth and a bit of respect and a bit of 'good old bloke.'
And I started to cry.
He didn't see this thank god.
But I don't get that voice very often from strangers. Particularly strangers I meet in everyday transit from one place to another.
It took me by surprise.
And I hate that it surprises me.
But it did.
My tears made me feel pathetic and needy.
And I'm not.
I'm just saddened that something so simple, so everyday, seems like a mammoth act of kindness and generosity.