We were sitting having a cuppa tea and nibbling on a gingerbread man on Government street in Victoria. The day was hot, too hot, and I was beginning to feel the sun but I couldn't make myself move. I was enjoying watching all the people passing by and was enthralled by the sheer numbers of disabled people in scooters and electric chairs as the swept past. I sat with Joe and his sister Sharon, chatting. I'm a guy so I'm ruled by my eyes (shut up, I know that some of you will suggest that I am ruled by another, um, appendage) and I, of course, enjoyed some of the displays of summer bodies.
Across the street I noticed a young guy in a very cool looking chair rolling happily alongside a young woman about the same age. Even from where I sat I could see that he was a flirt. If he fluttered his eyes with even a bit more enthusiasm, I think he'd have pulled a muscle. She, was flirting back, I could tell by her body language that she was both surprised by herself and intrigued by him. I couldn't hear what he was saying, but it must have been a good patter.
They waited for the light to change in order to cross to our side of the street, when it changed, he said something, she laughed and covered her mouth. He nodded at her. Then she gave in and hopped on his lap and he sped across the street. They were both laughing, both having fun, both discovering each other.
It was cool.
What was cool was that I don't think that he was working any harder to get her interest, to charm her, than he would have if he was a walker. He was just a guy. She was just a girl.
For an instant I had some hope in the future. If these two could rise above walking and rolling, above dis and abled, above 'let's just be friends' - then maybe there will be a time when personality beats out pity.
So here's to hot summer days and even hotter summer nights.