Making People Leg It Away

| CA, USA | Friendly | October 19, 2016

(After 14 months in a skilled nursing facility due to a shattered foot that required amputation, and a very serious lower-back surgery, I have been sprung free. I have spent most of that time learning how to walk, using my new prosthetic leg. While I am in a wheelchair, I can stand for short periods, though I am still weak, and a bit unsteady. My friend is driving me HOME (finally!), and we stop at the local grocery for a few items. I am pushing myself along fairly well in the chair, and enjoying my new-found freedom, although I am quickly discovering that even a 6’5″, 240 pound man is ‘invisible’ to regular folk: when seated in a wheelchair there are several instances of people ignoring me, reaching over me, or most hilariously, running into me or my chair. We reach the dairy case, and I decide to stand up to grab some packages of my favorite yogurt. As I do I hear a female voice say, in a very snide tone:)

Woman: “Well, if it isn’t a f****** miracle in the dairy aisle; the faker actually CAN stand up!”

(I look over my shoulder at a very well-groomed, expensively-dressed woman smirking at me, with a raised eyebrow. Setting my basket on the floor, I reach up, undo my loose pajama pants, and unfasten my leg. Taking it off, I point the empty socket at her face, and say, in a loud voice:)

Me: “I’M SORRY, I CAN’T HEAR YOU! COULD YOU SPEAK INTO THIS?!”

(She turned eighteen shades of pale, abandoned her shopping cart, and fled the store completely. Several years on, and I see her occasionally in the store. I always make it a point to catch her eye, and then finger-wave at her with the back of my hand on the point of my chin. Funny thing, she doesn’t seem to want to say hello, as she always runs off…)

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