It really worries me.
We’d just got off a plane and were heading towards the luggage area. A man was coming towards us, about our age, he was walking quickly to get to the gate for the departing flight. I said to Joe, after I spotted the accessible washroom, “Hey would you mind checking to see if the door is locked?” Before Joe could move, this man, who had overheard my question, had assumed I was asking him. Annoyance crossed his face at having been asked to do this but he started to go to the door!
I called out, “I wasn’t asking you!”
By then Joe was on an intercept course and the guy, looking relieved, said, “I thought you were alone and were asking me.”
All I said was, “I’m not alone.”
I could have added “And even if I was, I can get in on my own, there is a door opener for easy entry.”
This happens all the time.
I’m writing about this one because, really? I’m going to ask a stranger for help with going to the washroom? He saw Joe and I together … no, I’ve said that wrong … even though he saw Joe and I together he assumed that I was alone.
The natural state of disabled people is alone, friendless, unloved and unsupported. Isolated people who live isolated lives waiting for friend death to claim us.
Yes, there are people with disabilities who live very isolated lives and that isolation relates to their disability. I know that, I know that it’s an issue of social stigma and prejudice and barriers to full inclusion. I know it’s because people with disabilities may need to socialize in different ways with different needs. I know and have worked on this issue for most of my years as a professional in the disability sector. I know.
But loneliness is not the natural state of any human being.
It may be chosen, but for the most part we are social beings.
That I can’t be seen in relationship to another person when I’m out is astonishing. That same day, when the man thought that I had asked for his help … we checked into the hotel. I always mark, when I reserve a room, that there will be two people in the room, but the clerk, like most do, prepared only one key for the room and had to be asked for a second key. “Let me see if I can change your room to two queens.”
I was tired, and still pissed off from the guy and the washroom. I responded, “We ARE two queens and we really want a king.”