You are quietly minding your own business. Sifting through the library card catalog. Reading in the reading room.  Washing your hands in the Ladies. Ordering a coffee in a charming little cafe. Eating your lunch at a public table. Paying for your groceries.  You are feeling like maybe you have reclaimed a little of your re-visible disability invisibility.  You are feeling calm and confident.  And the Evil Aid?  Well. It is propped up somewhere nearby. Within reach. Always within quick and easy reach.  But then. Someone taps the table or the counter or they open the door.  There is a vibration. Or the the person next to you gets up abruptly. Or the little old lady who waters the plant in the hotel lobby left the window open. Just a hair. And there is the gentlest breeze. Then.

 Roy Lichtenstein. ’67.

The Evil Aid crashes to the ground. With a BANG! And everyone, absolutely everyone, turns to look. At you. But mostly at the Aid. An unexpected disruption. Attention to (Dis)Ability.  May not be all bad. But always, always jarring.  You have unintentionally and most unexpectedly altered the room, the space you occupy, the space others occupy.  You have drawn attention to IT, the presence of the unspeakable Thing. Your disability.  Always awkward. And maybe, no usually, uncomfortable.  “Oh. Uh. Pardon me,” you say as you retrieve the Aid and try once again to steady it. Or if you can, you grab hold of it. You show try to demonstrate your mastery.  And then as swiftly as possible (re: slowly and awkwardly) seek the nearest exit.

From this particular perspective, so it goes.

3 thoughts on “Bang!

  1. Oooooh Katja, I know, I’ve seen these advertised. You have to hand it to the Northern Europeans; they really know how to do design. And they seem to have a variety of color combinations to choose from. I would love a pair too…If you do get them, let me know how they work out. I wonder how easy they are to adjust and lengthen?

  2. I did get a pair, and sadly returned them. They are much heavier than my WalkEasy crutches, and I found the cuff very stiff and uncomfortable (it’s intentional stiff, I’m sure, because they can stand inverted on the cuffs). I really liked the orange, though.

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