"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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