Friday, November 16, 2018

Homecoming: What Happened Next

A knock comes on the door.

It's room service.

I am still sitting in the old wheelchair. I don't want to get used to it. I don't want my body to give in. The room service person is efficient and friendly. It was hard to bear.


Seldom do I lose my appetite. The food looks good but I don't want it. I pick up the phone to call the airport again when there is a sharp rap at the door.

Joe opens the door to find a smiling young man, who seems to understand the importance of what's going on and is glad to be part of the drama. "I have one wheelchair here for you."

The chair looked wounded.

Like it wanted to cry.

Sitting alone in the hallway.

We swapped the old chair for my chair and then, I was sitting in my own chair. 7 hours later we are reunited.

I didn't sleep well that night. Something was bothering me.

The next day I am pushing around, going to my meetings and various events. Something still bothers me. The chair feels different. I get out and we examine it from top to bottom. It seems fine.

Then, as I'm pushing, I realize.

My wheelchair has only been sat in by people I love. Joe. Ruby. Sadie. Marissa. No one else. Not a single other person.

But now, when I sit in it, I can feel a presence.

No. I can. Really.

A presence of someone who did this to me.

I'm not sure how long it will take to go away, if it ever does. But my chair doesn't feel quite like home anymore. It's not quite mine anymore.

But it's here with me now.


clairesmum said...

A ceremonial bath....a smudging ceremony....some sort of cleansing and welcoming home the chair...maybe marking it with your name in some way..or with some mark or symbol that has meaning to you....

or writing in your chair's voice..a dialogue between you and the chair about this rupture in your relationship, caused by an intruder.

dunno, but these are rituals often used in healing psychic/soul injury....for this is a deep wound to an essential relationship.

glad you and your chair are reunited...time alone may help with some of the pain.

helen said...

Very good to hear you have your chair back but very sorry that you had to go through all of that. As an aside, I am wondering if applying a luggage cable and lock (or removing some small but key part) would decrease the likelihood of someone taking it? Same approach one might use shipping a bike. You have probably considered this and decided it does not work for any number of reasons but I thought it worth throwing out there just in case. Of course it is absurd that you should have to consider taking such precautions and that the airlines do not have a better way of ensuring this does not happen.

ABEhrhardt said...

Just being lucky and 'finding' your chair for you is NOT enough; the airline needs to do far more, including better employee training.

Meanwhile, there are small tags that can be used with an iPhone (there are probably other systems) which locate items. You need one which can also blast an alarm. Hope there is such a system. It would be useful for things like golf carts and scooters, too.

Ranvaig said...

Look at it this way, the chair KNEW it was yours and fought it's way back to you. Like you it is a little battered and traumatized. But it is home now.

Next flight could you use a bicycle chair to lock it from being used while still allowing it to be pushed? If it folds (like mine does), perhaps you can lock it from being unfolded.

Or maybe a case to cover it in a nice bright color?

It is appalling how carelessly the airport staff treat something so precious which was entrusted to them.


Moz said...

I'm so glad you got your chair back!

You've probably already thought of this, but would it be possible to lock the chair so it can't be used? I'm thinking a small bicycle lock or something round a wheel and the frame, so the chair still folds up but once unfolded it won't roll. It needn't be a giant New York bicycle anchor, just something that says "not your chair" to the airline staff.

That gives you time to get to the front of the plane and say "oh, *that* lock! Why yes, as it happens I do have a matching key, does the person sitting in it not have one?"