I look to see who’s calling out.
He’s headed towards me.
I am pushing uphill towards the mall.
He’s walking quickly but with great effort.
Hus legs work differently than others.
He is a member of the disability club.
We have eye contact.
“Can I give you a push?”
“No, thank you.”
“I don’t mind.”
“I do, So NO.”
“You’re doing good. Keep it up.”
I stop just before the door.
He catches up.
“What are you doing?”
“You have a disability too. You know how people view and treat us. Why are you doing what they always do? Why did my ‘no’ not matter to you?”
“I don’t see myself as disabled.”
“Well, everyone else does”
“I am not disabled.”
“Well then you are a jerk.”
“What do you mean? I was only trying to help.”
“You were only trying to help a man who was, with ease, pushing towards a door. Helping me doesn’t make you less disabled you know. It’s not a feather in your cap.”
“Have another day of pretending you aren’t what you are. You need to come out, man.”
“I hate you, you prick.”
Well, then, at least I was treated as if I have one. Disabled people who don’t have a disabled identity need a bigger closet with wider doors and no mirrors.