Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Basted Words

We were having brunch at the food court. Gay men can brunch anywhere. I had picked up my tempeh wrap and was taking my seat. One table over there was a guy, about 30, with Down Syndrome. His head was down and he was shaking it slowly.

Two tables on the other side were a husband, a wife and a family friend. They saw the fellow, head down, sadly shaking his head. And wow did they go to town on him:

how sad he must be to be Down Syndrome

how difficult things must be for him

how his parents must be such brave and special people

how lonely and desolate he looks and therefore how lonely and desolate his life must be

they called him a boy when they spoke of him, even though he was clearly a man

They were eating burgers but gorging on pity. And they were loving it, loving basting their words in prejudice and preconceptions.

Then, and this was magical, his wife returned from the bathroom. She saw him with his head down and shaking it. "What's wrong my honey?" she asked.

He looked up from the paper in his lap and said, "I don't think the Leafs have a chance again this year."

I couldn't help it.

I burst out laughing.

I glanced over at the table from which waves of pity had come. They looked confused. Really, really confused.

I love that kind of shit.

Really love it.


Shannon said...

I love that kind of stuff too.

ABEhrhardt said...

How hard it must be for that young man to ignore the kind of comments that are rained on him. Or maybe he's learned by now to ignore them automatically, like I ignore ads on my computer screen.

Utter Randomness said...

The poor dear! To be a Leafs fan!

Unknown said...

I totally get where he's coming from. I'm from the other side of the country...where we have the Canucks. Sigh. They don't usually stand a chance either. I feel sorry for us both...the Leafs fan and me, the Canucks fan.

I also feel sorry for the narrow-minded people who make assumptions that anyone who isn't just like them is to be pitied. They're missing out on so much of our wonderfully diverse world.

CJ said...

It enrages me when adults with intellectual disabilities are not given adult regard. I also think of people with severe disabilities and have seen them moved around like furniture. Not asking if they want to move nor waiting for a possible response in their demeanor or facial expressions.