Daily Life

The cab driver arrived on time, pissed that he had to get out of his car and open the two heavy doors exiting my apartment so that I with my walker could get to his car. Currently I sit in the front seat as my leg needs the room. He was afraid of the traffic, on the passenger side and when we finally got me loaded he chewed his nails, literally, for the duration. He was silent and sullen during the entire trip, non-responsive to my ice breakers. Finally I just accepted and called my bank, a better use of my time with him.
The folks in the mall had no time for me, took an hour to find me some shower shoes on a busy Saturday. Stores now are self serve, with selection service downloaded onto the customer, (under)staff is run off their feet, special needs be damned.
I stopped at my carrier’s kiosk inquiring about my device which needed a repair, they wouldn’t look it up, said some put off, off putting thing, and turned to the next person, where they could get a sale.
Went to the next kiosk, a repair place, took them half an hour, but they figured it out, a good price too.
By now I’d been standing for an hour and a half and was close to my limit. Looking for a rest spot, I spied a man of similar age, guarding his wifes purse. ‘Mind if I share your bench?’ He was a Kiwi, pleased that I recognized his accent, reminded me of my friend, Will Ross, who had passed, teaching me sanity via REBT on his way out the door via liver cancer. This chance encounter, although I still don’t understand cricket, reminded of Will’s wisdom,“What good things could I make happen if I don’t get what I think I must have (or do get what I think I mustn’t have)?”
You see, I’ve suffered, as they say, a stroke. They also call this a devastating life event. But if this hadn’t happened, my stroke of good luck, as I call it, I wouldn’t have met some wonderful people. Besides, a walker and and a cane are chick magnets. Narcissist men, being bullies, hate that competition, but I love abusing, as they also call it, the creatures, aka bullies. Assertiveness training. Lots of fun for the whole family.
I thank him for his cricket lesson (what’s a wicket) and roll down the mall where an ancient East Indian fella dressed like a hippie stops me and says, ‘You are a man of God!’ Oh Fuck, here we go again. This happens a lot with these guys. ‘Namaste friend’, I say, ‘are you a Hindu?’ ‘Buddhist!’, he replies. ‘Oh I used to study the Buddhism of Tibet’, I say, before I was deprogrammed I didn’t say. ‘I knew it!’ he said, ‘that’s why you are so happy!’
‘Umm how do you get rid of anger?’ he wants to know. ‘Choose not to have in the first place’, is my response. Anger is a choice, be annoyed, be frustrated, fine, but anger? naw, not so much. Send out love get love back, send out anger, get anger back. I didn’t tell him that this was stoic philosophy from Epiticus some 2000 years ago, he was too busy chewing on the fact that he has free will and the power of choice, and didn’t use it for a lifetime of inappropriate self sacrifice and celibacy and anger.
I rolled on to meet my next anxious cab driver who managed to get me home where I began editing a photo of Sammi, a colleague from the stroke recovery ward, who had just graduated high school, then had a stroke and we ended up in the same hospital, her and her devoted Mom. I took them out for lunch and she agreed to model for me. One of the files caught her with her guard down and showed the story of having run a six month marathon, without legs, using her arms, with forever to go. All guts and determination and stubbornness.
We were both in wheelchairs when we met. ‘What do you think of this wheelchair gig?’, I asked. ‘I can do wheelies!’, was her response. I fell in love right on the spot. Deal with your shit then go have fun, as my teacher Will would say.
I was telling her and her Mom about this, how I felt about our first meeting, during our lunch. Same thing when you get to University, I advised, find interesting people and sleep with them, hell, that’s being an undergrad is for. ‘See Sammi’, her Mom said, ‘go and have fun’.
If I had had a Mom, I would wish she would be exactly like that.

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