The little wheelchair symbol had worn off the centre of the table, granted, but as it’s the only one of two tables, amongst over a hundred, you’d imagine that it would be easy to notice that two chairs are missing. But maybe I just know what that means because that’s the kind of table that I need to sit at. There she sat, completely unaware of me lingering about waiting for a revelation to strike while she tapped away on her phone while eating her lunch.

We ordered our food and waited as it was being prepared. My hopes that she would be a speedy eater were low to begin with, she looked like someone who chewed. The food came but she hadn’t left. So I screwed up my gumption and headed over to ask her to move. There were lots of other tables available but I still hated asking her. She responded with a quick apology and a quick move.

But why …

… do I feel that she gave me something that I need to be grateful to her for?

… do I feel that I intruded into her lunch and was a bother to her?

… do I feel that I do not have as much right to space that is designated for me and those like me as she does for her and people like her.

… do I feel like my ‘ask’ could have been acceptably turned down?

Being disabled, for me, is sometimes just too complex and I have yet to come to terms with my right to space and my right for appropriate accommodation And it’s been over ten years!

Will I ever get it?