Saturday, March 28, 2015

Three Little Words

(A white unicorn with a rainbow shooting out it's mouth stands before the slogan: It Gets ... Different)
I had the kind of typical high school experience of those picked last for the team. I remember those days vividly, if not often. I knew, then, that though I envied some of the other boys and girls in my glass, that though I wished I could be them, there wasn't anyone wanting to, wishing to be me. I was the 'thank god I'm not him' kind of kid who got through school only to discover that though it may not get better ...

it gets different.

Attending the University of Victoria, I discovered several things. One of which I was worthy of friendship, even love. Joe and I, who met in high school, were there together and together we navigated the quiet, secret, hidden, fearful, lives of gay teens before the revolution. We both knew that no one knew, and we both understood that, though we had no desire for being different, suffered from no temptations for therapy, the pressures to be something else were enormous. The message that we were different and deviant weren't, shall we say, subtle. The message 'anything but gay' - it was, and still is in some places, more acceptable to be a murderer than it is to be a boy kissing a boy. We were under no illusions, no one would willingly switch places with us - something that we would have refused nonetheless.

I get differenter.

The advent of the wheelchair made it clear that I was now an other other and that no one, no one, understood that I was just rolling instead of walking. "I'd rather be dead than disabled." Right.


Last night.

I was sitting in my front room chair. The one without wheels. When I heard Sadie climb into my desk wheelchair and begin to push herself around. When her mom asked her what she was doing she said, "I'm being Dave." She continued to play on the chair for several minutes, not crashing into a single thing, and then she hopped off the chair to become Sadie again.

I was in my chair thinking about all those times in school feeling alone. All those times at university hiding. All that time adapting to life on wheels. All that time I never imagined that anyone would ever willingly step into my place. That anyone would ever pretend to be me for fun.

But I guess that's because Sadie is a little girl who has learned that big men in wheelchairs who live with a man named Joe - isn't such a bad thing to be.

Isn't such a bad thing to be.

"I'm being Dave." Three little words that smash through years and years of history.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but only three little words can smash the picture of the past.

I'm. Being. Dave.

It. Got. Better.


It. Got. Different.


Anonymous said...

I think it means she thinks being Dave in a wheelchair is cool.

I hope she never loses that, because the important part is that 'being Dave is cool.'

Keep being Dave. Be even MORE Dave.
Blessings on Dave.


Scarborough Kindness Project said...

I really enjoyed this story. For what it's worth, I think there are many people trying to be more like you. I have WWDD (What Would Dave Do?) moments quite often. The other day, I offered help that wasn't wanted (holding a door open), and I still feel badly about it. I'll keep trying though!

Colleen said...

What grace these children bring!

Anonymous said...

This. Is. Awesome.

clairesmum said...

that's quite an honor. Sadie is a treasure, and so is Dave. (you too, Joe!)

Antonia Lederhos Chandler said...

I'm being Dave. I love it.

Anonymous said...

This is awesome. Amazing, how three little words can "smash through years of history."

Great post!

Liz McL.

Anonymous said...

This brings a smile to my day. Thank you.


Belinda said...

"Being Dave" to me would mean being brave; brilliant; perceptive; generous; humourous; counter-intuitive. All of these things I would love to be in greater measure.

Anonymous said...


reminds me of three lines from a poem by Mary Oliver:

"first love yourself,
then forget it -
then: love the world..."

:-) Julia

Anonymous said...

Although I don't know you beyond these writings, I have a sense of who you are, and Sadie knows, as I do, that you are a very special guy. :) Keep on being you, Dave! Being Dave is a good thing!

Anonymous said...

Oh, that's awesome!

Thanks for sharing this lovely story. :)