Monday, February 26, 2007

Fishtailing in a wheelchair

I could write about how in a fit of crazy anger I head-butted the grab bar behind my toilet. Actually, it was more a fit of wobbliness, but you can be damn sure that inanimate object now knows that I don't take any guff.

Instead, I want to write about my cunning escape from Ole Man Winter's snowy clutches this morning at 5:45. Well, all I did was wait for someone and ask him to help me, so it wasn't that cunning. But I am getting ahead of myself.

I went out this morning to take Claren to relieve herself. I was wearing a big jacket, gloves, hat, scarf and a blanket over my sweatpants and slippers. It was snowy, but the sidewalk seemed clear. It was, but the area next to the sidewalk where I accidentally steered my wheelchair was not so clear.

I sat there for a minute considering things. Claren couldn't pull me to safety. She was too busy playing in the snow anyway. My slippers are LL Bean wicked good slippers but I knew I could not push myself to safety. Even wicked good slippers have no traction in the snow; I learned this when I got stuck yesterday.

I was near a car that I thought maybe I could push against. But it was a Lexus. I did not want to set off a car alarm. I gingerly pushed on the car with one hand and gunned my wheelchair with the other. When the car alarm didn't go off, I pushed harder. But instead of getting back on the sidewalk, my chair was sliding the opposite way, closer to the curb.

I kept trying by pushing or steering at different angles, but no luck. So I just waited. After a bit, a guy came out of my building and I asked if he could help me and he pulled me back. Kind of boring escape, actually, but it seemed more exciting at 5:45 in the morning.

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