Friday, April 17, 2009


Sometimes you're walking on a sunny day. Sometimes you're just walking home, lost in thought, lapping up the vitamin D. And then sometimes you hear a voice. A voice that loudly says, "Help Me Down The Streeeet!" Sometimes you turn to see a man who looks to be in his eighties and in a wheelchair. Who is no longer in possession of one of his legs from the knee down and who is clutching a 12 of Lakeport on his lap while he tries to propel himself down the sidewalk with his one full leg.

Sometimes that was this afternoon.

I turned and looked at him and decided I could indeed push him down the sidewalk for a little bit. I set a boundary - told him I was cutting off that street in a few blocks (which I was). He said that was fine and then proceeded to preach from his wheelchair about how "nobody wants to do shit for nobody! Everybody only looks out for themselves!" He went on about this theme of selfishness until we neared the corner I was going to leave him at. He looked and pointed diagonally across the street, "you see there, where that guy is standing?" "Yeah." "That's where I need to go." "By the pizza place?" "That's no pizza place, its a shit hole!" "...Ok."

I figure I can wheel this guy through the intersection and one more block to this building. As we're standing and waiting for the light to change so that we may safely cross, he looks in the direction that he had previously pointed in and starts yelling "A-hole! (he said the whole word) AAAAAHOLE!" I noticed a spike in the mixed emotions I was having about being associated with him and began to push a little faster. When we reached the other side his shouts got more specific and I came, as he yelled "A-HOLE, ROBBIE YOU A-HOLE!", to notice that it hadn't been the pizza place that was his destination but this supposed a-hole named Robbie.

Robbie met us half way up the block. I asked him if he was going to take over the pushing. He told me he would. I interpreted from my elderly wheelchair acquaintance, that Robbie was supposed to have helped him get home from the nearby Beer Store and was delinquent in that duty. Robbie thanked me profusely, and asked God to bless me. As I walked away feeling good about what I had done, I heard this beautiful mixed chorus of traffic, Robbie's thankful praises and wheelchair dude screaming "A-HOLE!".


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