A lotta years.
In fact, I didn’t recognize him at first as he ran over towards us.
We’re going back to when we first moved to Toronto, late 70’s, that’s a long, long way back. He’d been a bartender in a bar that we used to go to all the time.
It was nice chatting with him, he’s still way younger than us, by 11 years. Those 11 years don’t show now as much as they did then.
I’m sitting in a big ass wheelchair, I’ll tell you for certain that it never went down those steep back stairs.
“We’ll we’ve changed a bit,” I said.
“No, not one bit,” he said steadfastly ignoring the fact that I was sitting in a wheelchair looking up at him rather than on my feet looking down at him.
I pointed to the chair.
I didn’t want to make further issue of it so I let it drop. We continued on and then it was time to part and we all agreed it was nice to see each other and catch up. And it was.
My guess was that he was ‘being polite’ and ‘didn’t want to mention the chair.’ I have met with this before people ‘being nice’ and ‘purposely not noticing the disability.’
Why is it polite, or nice, to erase a big part of my life. I have changed, yes. I have a disability now. It’s OK, it’s just change.
It probably sounds like carping over something trivial, but to me it isn’t. I don’t like even a brush with shame, had enough of that in my younger years. That stuff stinks.
Pride is pride, isn’t it? And it never blossoms in the shade of silence.