Monday, August 1, 2011

Adventures in Scootin'

So i want to tell you a little about this scooter situation.
[photo: a tattooed white-skinned bearish person with glasses wearing a black cap, tshirt, overalls and boots, sitting with hands up to their face on a bright blue Ranger scooter with a black basket in front and forearm crutches on the back. Parked on the sidewalk, there are trees and other greenery in the background]

It’s amazing, and i am so fortunate that my good friend passed this along to me to get fixed up and use as i please. i'd have never been able to afford to buy one on my income, and this used one is a brand that's sturdy, simple design, and has quick n easy maintenance. That’s some gimp solidarity right there. 

i knew it would be a big deal for me, but it’s only been a few days, and it has already changed my life. Like, i’m trying to find words for it, but it’s hard.

i’ll be real honest with you: i’m scared. Scared about what’s happening to my body; scared of being more reliant on something other than my body; scared of relying on more technology; of relying on electricity; scared of how people look at me differently; and how they touch me differently; how they touch me at all, when that hasn’t been our connection. Of how they do and don’t see me. Scared of being down here when i used to be up there; of not having as much eye contact. Scared of how vulnerable i feel. Scared of how friends will feel about me, how my gimp friends will feel about me based in their own experiences. Scared of hurling myself off another curb (have already done it once, and it doesn't feel good at all), but without any help. Scared of my body slowing down, of not exercising my muscles as much. Scared of what that could mean in terms of body pain. i live with a degenerative disease, and i’m scared of how using a scooter could most likely exacerbate that over time.

And i’m also unsure about a lot of the above, have many mixed feelings about it all. There’s a lot to process here. Like there was when i first began using a cane, how when i briefly used a wheelchair people were so fucking rude and weird to me, how i then switched to a forearm crutch, then two, then back to one periodically, then two, and now this. All the reactions, the social changes, the body changes. It’s so much.

But for right now, mixed in with all these questions and uncertainties and scary shit, there is this: 

freedom. i feel right now a freedom i haven’t felt in i don’t even know how long. i’ve been able to explore my neighbourhood in ways i just haven’t been in so long. And that’s important to me, the taking slow (or rabbit speed!) meanders through the neighbourhood and not being completely worn out by the end of it; feeling the wind in my (forearm!) hair. Also, feeling more vulnerable in some ways and less vulnerable in others. i just can’t even accurately describe this feeling. Maybe i don’t need to. But there it is.

Going on a scooting adventure with a friend who’s also on wheels was like another dimension to an already fabulous friendship, a new experience, a new appreciation (for the sometimes really fucked up realities of wheeled life and for the beauty and groseness of this city).

i just....yeah. So many thoughts right now. i’m going to be processing this stuff for awhile, and it won’t all be excitement and a huge grin on my face as i swish down the street with a coffee. But i hope you can read about some of it, and gain some new understanding, or find some solidarity or commonality in what i write about it, while i gain some new perspectives on what you put out there too.

Interdependency, who knew?



Anonymous said...

There's such a huge range of emotions that can come up with regard to changing abilities, requirements, etc. and discussing that spectrum of emotions and experiences is often, in my experience, taboo. I'm really glad you're talking about it here. I've told you before, but it bears (bears!) repeating: you're amazing and wonderful. Also I think your new scooter is super groovy. Much love to you.

alysia angel said...

You are so brave and wonderful. I love that you just hang your heart out on the line to dry in the sun like fancy underwear. We all get to admire them from the sidewalk with our hands in our pockets and a whistle in our hearts. xxxo