Saturday, May 05, 2007


"That guy was good this morning."

It was a nice but odd thing for him to say. I was 'that guy' who had just spoken. I was to do another session and here he was sitting with me as the room was filling. I said, "I was the guy who did the presentation."

As a fat, bald guy in a wheelchair, I don't often have to identify myself.

He said, "Oh ...."

Then deciding to continue. "I was in a car accident when I was 16."

He pulled out a old wallet and flipped to a very, very old picture. "This was my cousin. He was killed in the accident, his head was severed off." I looked at the picture of a very young man and said that I was sorry about the accident and his loss.

He nodded and said, "I was in a coma for a long time and woke up with metal in my head." At that he pounded his head and I could hear metal where bone should have been.

"That's why I didn't remember you. I have short term memory loss."

Before I could comment, his face changed as if he was thinking of more to say.

"It took seven years of them telling me I had short termmemory loss before I finally remembered."

Then he smiled. I laughed.

"That's funny." I said.

"It is now," he said.

"Time makes a difference."

"Not to me it doesn't," he said laughing again.

"Yeah, I guess," I said.

"You need to laugh about these things because after a few years, they aren't sad anymore, they are just kinda funny."

The session began and he participated well.

Before I left I sought him out to say goodbye, he looked at me, "Do I know you?"

"Sort of," he said.

"I have short term memory loss," he said.

"I remember," I said.

"So do I now," he said.

And we both laughed.

Sometimes, it's just funny after a while.

It's something to remember when someone first comes disabled -- first come tragedy followed quickly after by comedy.

It just takes time.

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