Thursday, August 01, 2013

The Morning Ride, The Morning Chat

I had almost been lulled to sleep by the movement of the bus when we turned sharply and then came to a stop. A very young woman with Cerebral Palsy got on the bus and moved, smoothly, into position to be strapped down. I said, "Good Morning," she answered, "Morning," and waited to be strapped in. I am familiar with many of the disability accents and had no difficulty understanding her few words to the driver, who was having a little more difficulty making out her words. I know better than to intervene in situations like this, and, really, in little time we were on the go again.

As a morning person, I know that I have to be careful about engaging non-morning people in chit chat. But I do give it a go on the bus, when I find another morning person who is also a talker, the ride goes so much more quickly. The young woman answered a couple of questions in one word answers and her tone was gruff. "OK," I thought, not a morning person.

A few minutes after I gave up she spoke. "Sorry," she said, "It is difficult for me to speak." She said that line like she'd said it a thousand times before, the words were well oiled and produced as after a lot of practise.

We rode in silence for a second.

Then curiosity got the better of me.

"Is it that it is difficult to speak or that it's difficult to put up with the impatience of others?"

She looked at me. Hard. Then, suddenly, she started laughing. Really laughing. She was shaking in her chair.

I was confused, I wasn't meaning to be funny. I still, as I write this, don't think that it's a funny line.

When she calmed down, when she'd wiped the tears from her face, she said, "You got me."

Just then we arrived at her destination, she wished me a good day, and she was gone.


Glee said...

yep. lol. she has probably never had anyone get it before.

Anonymous said...


great observation Dave :-)

Sometimes I dont have enough oxygen if it is very hot and the ozon is impairing my vocal cords. Than talking is very hard for me and people often have to ask me to repeat what I have said.

It makes me angry and feeling inadaquatw and sometimes I find myself avoiding to talk altogether.

In addition people who know me very well avoid talking to me and doing things with me if I sound like this because they fear that they exhaust me or I overexert myself.

Itis rather sad. But alas, I have tolive with it....


Kris S. said...


Anonymous said...


Cara Liebowitz said...

Oh, how I love the palsy accent, being a proud owner of one as well. Though reports differ on how palsy I actually sound.

CapriUni said...

One theory about humor is that the things we find funniest are those that a) ring true, and b) simultaneously turn our perceptions of logic inside out.

If this young woman had been told, all her life, that she bears sole responsibility for being understood, while the listener bears none (which is, sadly, often the case), than I can easily see how your comment is the punchline to a joke she'd been waiting for years to hear.