Sunday, August 26, 2007

Crappy sidewalks, crazy people and wheelchair haters, or my evening walk with Claren

Claren and I started out on our stroll tonight and everything was OK ... Actually, not OK but normal.

Whoever planned the sidewalks in my town should be introduced to a steam roller or a level. Each segment of sidewalk is at its own height, even if that height is an inch above or below the next segment.

There are also manhole covers, where the manhole is rectangular and about 2 feet by 3 feet. These, of course, are rarely level with the sidewalk.

And I dare not forget the curb cuts. They are bone-rattling. I tried to go up one particularly nasty looking one slowly, but my wheelchair did not have enough power. When I turned it up to get the power, the chair bounced up the alleged curb cut and avoided tipping, somehow.

But crappy sidewalks, I am used to; crazy folks, not so much.

I was passing these two women who were also out walking. They were not white. Coming toward us was a white guy with big earmuff-like headphones and a scruffy appearance. I nodded to him because that is my flight or fight response: Nod and pray like hell that people leave me alone. It usually works.

As the girls and I passed the guy, he yelled something. And again. And again. I guess he could have been asking the time, but the voice was angry-sounding.

He could also have been yelling at either of us: Me for nodding at him or being in a wheelchair; the girls just for being. My town is not immigrant-friendly.

One of the girls grabbed the other's hand. I just kept going and hoped that I would not get attacked on a busy street.

Finally, I was nearing my street, but I saw ahead of me in a driveway that a minivan had parked across the crappy sidewalk, so I had to go into the more-crappy grass to get by.

What really annoyed me was the pink ribbon magnet on the back of the minivan. What this tableau said to me: "The people with breast cancer are the real heroes; pray for them. People in wheelchairs, ahh fuck 'em."


Anonymous said...

Do not even get me started about breast cancer. where are the bile green ribbons for esophageal cancer, huh?

Anonymous said...

don't worry about mom and your language. She likes Anne Lamott remember?

Matt said...

I would like plum or eggplant for FA, but it is not a cool enough disease.

Mom said it was OK as long as it didn't get worse.

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