After leaving the bathroom, I went out into the main store to wait for Joe to finish and come get me to continue on our journey. I parked in the broad open area, I was several feet from the hallway to the washroom and as such there was easy passage around me. I am always careful of this, even before I became disabled, I don't want to feel that I'm in the way.
I learned something in the five or six minutes I sat in that space. Something that will leave me pondering, reconsidering and reevaluating much of what has passed in my life. I will certainly understand future events differently too. You see I hadn't noticed something, and now that I have it's a revelation to me.
Here it is:
As I sat there hundreds of people flowed into and out of the store. It's a very busy place on Sunday in the early afternoon. And of those hundreds almost all flowed by me easily, in front of me, behind me, they didn't break stride, they didn't even much notice a big guy in a chair in the entrance way. That's what I planned for, that's what I'd hoped for.
But the big deal is that there was a tiny percentage, but way more than one or two, who managed to find my placement a problem. Who stumbled and fussed in getting around me. And in order for this to happen, it had to be purposeful. It wasn't about me being in the way, it was about them wanting to upset themselves, wanting to bring attention to themselves and to me and to the weight of living that was on their shoulders.
It wasn't about me at all.
It was about their negativity, their need for the world to be a difficult place. If I wasn't there they would have managed to be upset by the tomato display, inconvenienced by the cantelopes. I just happened to be their tool, their pathway to internal discord and gnawing upset.
It's horrible to think that some people end up living with a need to be angered, and inconvenienced, and upset. But I think it's true.
And it really is about them.
And not about me. Or my size. Or my chair. Or where I'm sitting.
I can let the guilt of being a source of their annoyance go -- because, for certain the tomatoes and the cantelope don't feel guilt at all either.