The crowds grew thicker as we got closer to the duck. We’d begun to be able to see the hard yellow rounded surface on top of the rubber duck’s head. I was pushing my chair carefully. I don’t let anyone push me in crowds, I need to be able to navigate moment by moment, people who push don’t usually have to kind of determined focus to get through a bunch of people without running into them. I was bumped into several times and was always glared at even though I was always the bumped never the bumper. I was wearing a bright shirt under a brighter sun, I nearly glowed and this gave punch to my apology, which I did every time I was run into, that’s a Canadian thing not a disability thing, I said, “Gosh, I’m sorry, I’m so hard to see.”

Then the mini crash happened. As I pushed forward a woman stepped backward and the back of her shoe went under my wheel. I didn’t run over her, but it would’ve hurt, I acknowledge that. She turned on me. She was angry, she told me that I needed to be more careful. I stated that she ran into me, not the other way round. “Still,” she said, “those things,” pointing at my chair, “shouldn’t be allowed …” And she stopped herself.

Now, I’m angry.

“Finish your sentence you bigot, finish your damn sentence!”

“I didn’t mean …”

“Yes, you did, now finish you sentence, I want to hear you say that I have no right to be here, that I should be in a room locked away from people like you, real people. Finish your sentence!!”

She tried to apologize again and I refused again.

“You don’t get to say that and then get forgiven,” I said. “You just don’t.”

I was now falling behind everyone and began to push forward, carefully, not wanting another confrontation, another run into.

I have a right to these spaces. I don’t want to cede the community and community events to people who wish me away. But by good heavens …

… it’s tempting.