Yesterday was a really hard day for me. I felt chewed up. I felt spit out. These were feelings that were really hard to shake. The fact that I know that we all have bad days doesn’t help. There are moments, which are universal, but when experienced feel very singular. And that was it for me. Couldn’t shake it. Didn’t have the energy. Didn’t have the ability. So, I just let it flow over me, knowing that even after the worst fart, the air clears.

In all this, I had to go see my doctor, nothing serious, just routine. I didn’t feel like going down to meet with him, I just wanted to curl up around a cup of tea and a book that would take me far away. But, I’d waited for this appointment and I wasn’t going to miss it.

Coming south on Yonge there is a patch of construction that has pedestrians walk a few feet along the street and then step back up on the curb. They have made an attempt at a ramp for wheelchair users, but it’s to show willing rather than to be useful.

No way I can get back up to the sidewalk on that ‘ramp.’ So I scoot along to the intersection and then dart back on the sidewalk.
This is where I turn to go to the doctor’s office so, I head that way.

There is a woman standing, just off to the side and back near the building. She is small. She is scared.

She clearly has mental health struggles. Seeing me frightens her. She points and me and begins to shoo me away. “Get way, you, get away, you, get away, you don’t belong here, you, you don’t belong here,” her voice, and the agitation with which she speaks tell me that whatever’s going on with her is much more significant than what’s going on with me.

I know that.

Being honest here. I didn’t care. I had to fight down annoyance. I had to fight down my own feelings of worthlessness and the anger that comes with that feeling. I wanted to choose words to slam back at her. They were there in my mind.

I resented that I had to be the understanding one. I WANTED UNDERSTANDING.

I resented that I had to be the giving one. I WANTED TO RECEIVE, NOT GIVE.

I resented that I had to be the one making space. I WANTED SPACE TO SCREAM.

But.

I rolled by. I said nothing. I let her wave her finger at me. I let her tell me I didn’t belong in her world. I let it happen. When I was far enough way, I heard her voice change, I turned. She was pointing at someone else. I saw their face. How hard it was.

I knew mine had been hard too.

But I didn’t, like the man behind me, tell her to shut up.

I don’t know if that’s much of a victory, but to me, it felt like one.