We’ve all been there: you’re at an event, shopping, or just waiting for your ride, and someone plows into you as if you hadn’t been standing right there in plain view. Or they kicked your cane or walker as if it suddenly threw itself into their path.
This. Oh, so much this, is what makes me want to gnash my teeth and scream like a banshee at strangers. Forget “Get off my lawn,” though I frequently want to scream that, too. More like “Get out of Costco, you Asshat of the Highest Order!” or “There are fish right now in the Mariana Trench who can spot me better than you!”
I don’t do it, mostly because (like teachers in Grade 7) no-one ever witnesses the original assault, just my hitting back. Or in this case, cursing out some startled and defensive stranger when it’s all my fault for hurling my wheelchair in front of them.
In all seriousness, I sat on the scooter-shopping cart in Costco one day and watched a 30ish woman walk down the entire aisle, studiously avoiding looking in my direction. I watched as she switched sides to glance at various boxes, and inevitably (one might say inexorably) bore down straight for me.
She bumped into me, of course. Fell right in my frigging basket because by this point, she was trying to look behind her so as to avoid looking at me. I gave her five points for the owl impersonation, but she lost them along with her temper. Yelling at me to watch where I was going when I was sitting still should have also earned a remark from the couple waiting to go around me with their shopping cart. But not a peep.
Nope, clearly my fault. I did yell back at her, because she started it. Usually, I just wait until they are half a step away, then honk the horn. You just pull back the smallest of smidgens on the reverse lever. It’s lovely and loud, like truck backing up.
I know it wasn’t just her, or the scads like her, because it happens on the bus, too. The bus stops, the driver begins to lower the step (or on a really bad day, the ramp), and people jump on. I’m at the top of the stairs and people look surprised to bump into me.
It continues through restaurant seaters and servers, retail clerks, cashiers and drivers trying to sneak through on a walk light.
Why? Because I am clearly the Invisible Woman. Super Gimp! Although at 5’4″ and 170 lbs, I wouldn’t have believed that I was perfectly transparent. Wonders never cease.
I usually add a few helpful suggestions at the bottom of an article and/or rant I write, but honestly? I got nothing.
Except the horn thing. And maybe, don’t waste spoons on losers. Just point and laugh, then go on your merry way.
Laurie Stewart lives on a hobby farm in rural Ontario (Canada) with the love of her life, a small black cat, and a huge white Yeti who thinks he’s a lap cat.
She writes medieval fantasy, urban fantasy, and gritty YA dramatic fiction. As a proper renaissance lady, she also paints landscapes, is active in food preps for the zombie apocalypse, and loves gardening.
Lastly, because she refuses to let it define her, Laurie is a proud Spoonie. She battles chronic migraines and debilitating pain from a degenerating spinal fusion on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis. She usually wins.
Call for submissions opportunity!
Editors Cait “Pinky” Gordon and Talia “The Brain” Johnson are seeking short stories of 1000-3500 words for their anthology, Nothing Without Us. The submission window is from September 30-Dec 31, 2018. See the submission guidelines for more information!