Between the double-takes in office buildings and people who think they’re “helping” when trying to push my wheelchair without asking, there’s a few amusing/uncomfortable stories that come up. These are real interactions I’ve had, just in the month of June 2015. Aside from the last one, none of these situations involved people who seemed as though they might be impaired in any way.
The Streetlight Guy
I’m waiting for the pedestrian light to say walk so I can cross. I’m looking at the light, just waiting on a nice clear sunny day when a man with his dog, standing a few feet away yells out “I’ll let you know when the sign says walk!”
I look directly at him and say “That’s ok, I’m fine, thank you”
As I’m just about to cross he shouts “It says walk now!”
As far as I can tell, he genuinely thought I couldn’t sort this out on my own unless other people were crossing. I guess that’s how you fail a pay it forward.
The Subway Guy
Sometimes when I can’t find an accessible space on the subway I’ll park right up to some empty seats, where there’s a lot of room around me and lots of other seats. People don’t try to sit there, because I’m out of my way and there’s space, so I read my book in peace. Except for this day.
I’m reading my book on the subway and I’m about halfway home when I notice someone staring at me. I look to my right, and notice a man sitting in the seat I’m parked up against. Again, there’s lots of other seats and space, but this guy chooses the one seat with so little space he has to tuck his feet under the seat, which is strange, but the fact that he’s staring at me with a grin on his face is weird. I decide not to draw attention to the situation, stay put, and go back to my book.
A few minutes go by, and then I feel someone poke me in the shoulder with their finger. I look up, and it’s the same guy.
He says “I’m sorry, I was just curious. How’s it going?”
What?! Personal space, it’s a thing, chair or no chair.
The College Cat-Callers
Last but not least, there is no good cat-call EVER, but those guys who whistled and shouted “Hey hot wheels” at around midnight one Saturday; I appreciate the diversity, but it’s no less creepy, sad, and sexist when compared to the next cat-call. Also, a fourteen year old boy thought that one up decades before you.
Just don’t do it.
That’s it for June. I wonder what July will turn up.