Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Wonder of A Hot Lunch

Well, now, that was nice.

It was nearing lunch time, the server went down, what the heck. I put my bag on the back of my wheelchair and went out to heat up lunch in the microwave. I haven't had a hot lunch at work for months and months. Having lost the ability to stand for any length of time without getting virtigo and the feeling of panic that results from the certainty that I'm going to fall over, made me very hesitant to try anything that could result in a loud thud as flab hits concrete. So, it's been cold lunches at my desk.

But since I resolved just to 'be' disabled I hopped in the chair and headed down to the kitchen. On the way there I was thinking about the interview I read a few months back where a reporter was talking to Stevie Wonder about a new record. Or at least Stevie was trying to get the reporter onto the subject of his new record. The reporter got stuck on Stevie being blind and kept asking all sorts of wierd questions about being a 'blind musician', you know a 'blind piano player' and a 'blind singer'. You could tell from his responses, patient at first, that he was growing tired of too much 'blind' and not enough 'music'. Finally, he broke when she asked, 'What advice would you give someone who is blind?" His response, paraphrasing here, don't have the exact quote at hand, "Be blind, just be blind, that's what you are, so be blind."

I remember being struck by the profundity of that remark. Even though he spoke in frustration, I thought it was a brilliant bit of advice. Even though, as I was reading it, I was refusing to 'Be disabled, that's what I am, so be disabled.' I was still refusing to use my chair at work. But now, I'm on my to have a hot lunch.

I got to the lunchroom and the chair zooms around well, though I had to move a couple things that were in the way. But I put on a couple frozen burrittos and sat and waited. A few seconds later two women from the administration part of the office came in and suddenly we were chatting about the new character on the Young and the Restless (Victor's son by Hope) and just generally jawing. It was nice.

Lunch heated, I put it in my bag along with a plate and a fork, I was on my way back. I parked my chair in my office and sat down at my desk. Just then someone popped into my office wanting to talk about something quickly before she had to leave. We talked for 15 to 20 minutes and she thanked me for my time and headed out.

I pulled my lunch from the back and plopped it on my desk. It had gone cold. Well, cool. Oh, well, a hot lunch TOMORROW. Because, I got the chair. And ...

I'm gonna be disabled, because that's what I am, so I'm gonna be disabled.


Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm the first comment. So first let me say congratulations on passing the 500th post,well done Dave. Here's a saying for you in relation to this post "Change:-even from worse to better is not made without inconvenience".Almost Confucious says, isn't it.Bet there were times when his boiled rice languished at lunchtime also.Love your writings. from p.t.

Unknown said...

Your story proves you are much more than disabled.
People need you, enjoy talkng to you, they feel enriched when they leave. If I were you, I think I wouldn't try in any way to be even "less disabled" physically. It is something that belongs to you, like my rather long nose belongs to me. Accepting it (what I do now) is a sign of having grown a lot, isn't it?

gracie1956 said...

I have been unable to read your blog for several days due to a problem with my internet. I have gone back and caught up because I dearly love your writing and your "real" way of showing your beautiful soul on your blog. The entry you wrote on last saturday touched a place in me that not many people even know about. I would like to invite you to go to my blog and read the series of writings entitled "Letters to Gracie." I think you will relate to them as I related to your post. Thank you so much for these glimpses into your world. They make me feel so less isolated. My blog is titled Gracie's World.