Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Night Bus

We chatted on the way to the airport with the WheelTrans driver who works the night shift. We were her last passengers of the day. I'd asked her to tell me about her shift. What's it's like on the night bus that ferries people with disabilities from one place to another throughout the night. If I had the energy I'd patent that as an idea for a reality television show. She laughed and talked about driving people from bars, and casinos and movies and shows from their homes and back. I made a few jokes about driving drunks and gamblers around and she said that she had a story or two to tell, as a professional woman, she didn't tell them but her chuckle was explicit.

In a way I wished that this conversation could have been taped so that it could be played for those who are newly disabled or for those who have a pity approach to disability. It was such a fun conversation about people living real, adult lives doing real, adult things. Partying. Gambling. Hitting a late night movie. Catching a live show. Drinking. Dancing, Attempting to do the nasty in the back seat. LIVING with a disability. Not laying in wait for death, with a disability.

Some of those who constantly think that euthanasia is the answer simply can't imagine that life with a disability can simply be life with a disability. If someone with a disability who rode the night bus had written 'Me Before You' it would have been a short story about two people arguing over who got to throw up in the toilet first after a drunken night out. 

And here, on the night bus, we sat. Sober. Serious. Contemplating a 14 hour trip from home in Toronto to hotel in Whitehorse. That's a helluva trip with or without a wheelchair. Just happens that the wheelchair is an integral part of the 'getting there' process. And it's not 'getting to' death's door, it's getting to a city in one of Canada's territories, a place of adventure.

Riding the night bus, a good start to what turned out to be a great day.

2 comments:

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

My disability - CFS - includes having no energy, ever, but it just occurred to me that it's not true for many, even most disabled people.

Of course you want to go out and have fun! Enjoy!

SammE said...

I read the book you mention, Me Before You, and there was a choice made, by the disabled person involved. Nobody else wanted him to die. He just could not face living as he was. I would rather term it assisted death, than euthanasia. In my head they are different. I don't want to see the movie. I prefer books, and have the characters firmly in my mind. :) Movies sometimes just mess that up! I fully agree with you that assisted dying is threatening, that there is a possibility of the boundaries of it being ignored. That is terrifying.