So, previously I’d talked about walking the streets with Noe, then, with my crew in high school, and then with Joey, my wife. Yeah, but, J, you’re in a chair, you can’t walk. Yeah, ummm, we’ll talk about crip pet peeves we have, because that’s one of them.
In Mid-Tran, I talked about my brother venturing across Garfield, a main street, to go to the college track for exercise and taking my kid sister once, for which I got in huge trouble. Still, I grew up, and wanted to do things on my own, so, taking baby steps, I would go as far as my arms would carry me. Then, when I started getting electric wheelchairs, the sky was the limit…of course, as far as my battery would allow me…which, actually, really sucked in the day. Getting stranded in the early days of chairs was almost a certainty if you went too many miles away from your pad on your own.
One chair I had was called the Turbo, which was badass in theory. It had a seating that was like a forklift, so I could up and down as I saw fit. I could either be almost eye to eye with people, or get all the way to the floor to get on the floor to play with other kids. I also taught Kat, my sis, how to walk with the Turbo. But, some chucklehead decided it was a wise idea to add fuses to the chair. Hmmm, OK, so I’m going around the hood, minding my own when I hit a spot the chair deems a bit too strenuous. POP! DAMN, MAN! Better be hangin’ with a homie to get in the bed to trip the fuse to get me back in business…just to get home. It happened. The Turbo was discontinued.
Through high school, technology got better, and I could walk home from school if I wanted…or, skip if I chose. I’d lost Noe, but gained his junior high friends. They had no problem treating me “normal.” My boy, Will, was especially with me on these journeys...sometimes at night. The running joke would be I'd have him smile in the dark, so I could see him. We figured paths to anywhere in town…especially the mall. If I was in a manual, no prob, Will’d push. One winter day, we wanted to go to his apartment, but had to cross the loop…that was fun.
Another adventure was with Will. Rodney was with us. I forgot where we were originally going, but I got curious about the ditch that runs west through town. We found a spot we thought I could safely get down, and walk for a while before deciding we were getting tired…EXCEPT, getting a 250+ lbs. chair back up gravel ain’t the same as going down. With Will in front pulling and Rodney pushing in back and me steering, we got me back up at an angle. I think the three of us shit ourselves that day. OH YEAH, and crossing tracks in a chair’s, shall we say, interesting…I didn’t know tracks were so spaced a part.
Be good to each other.