Sunday, December 03, 2006


You had to look at him. Incredibly handsome, obviously rich. His clothing alone was worthy of note. Typically I find that business suits obscure the man - a uniform to make men anonymous, equal. Not in this case, I don't know much about clothing. I was once introduced by Nigel Devine to an audience thusly, 'He hasn't let success go to his clothes.' Foret the clothes, he wore them beautifully.

We were on a train that travelled the short distances between concourses in an airport, though I suppose to call it a train is a bit like calling a bicycle 'transportation.' Now don't go thinking of me as some pathetic gawker. We all stole glances at him. It was a bit like being in a room with Brad Pitt or being on the freeway passing an accident, you had to look.

I suppose that since we were looking at him, we never saw them. And the shock rippled through the car when we did. The automated voice had told us that we were approaching the baggage terminal and everyone waqs momentarily distracted, checking we had everything as we prepared to disembark.

With a grace that comes from years of practice, the fine young gentleman reached down and pulled up two crutches. I'm not talking the 'I broke my leg skiing' type of wooden contraptions. I'm talking the real 'Oh, my, God, he's a gimp' crutches. But I'd never seen the like of them. His suit was a dark blue so the hard yolk yellow arm braces and hand holds stood in stark contrast. The metal was cobalt blue and shone as if polished for military duty.

As the train breaked, he swung himself up and into the crutches, tall, lean, proud. His crutches screamed defiance. This was no closet cripple. This was a disabled man. There was no mistaking that fact. FDR hid his disability fearing public hostility. This guy invited you to notice both who he was and what he was.

Ahhh, the days of disability pride are nigh upon us.

No comments: