At badminton, things have changed, things have stayed the same. I wheeled in and put my racked in the holder (groups of four for doubles playing, supposed to be random). The male about to put his racket in stopped, counted the number, and then started going out and asking people if they were going to play. “I’ll get that for you.” He said grabbing their racket and putting it in behind mine until the group of four was filled, then he put his racket in. This is against policy.
It is 80% or more male now at badminton and most of them don’t seem to know that they are at ‘RECREATIONAL badminton’, which means any person, any skill level. Males going out on a court with females I can overhear, “Let’s finish this one up quickly.”, or “What a waste, I wanted a GOOD game.” In the five matches I have had, my experience includes: two males opposite refusing to hit to me or near me, but hitting only to the other player, if I go back, they hit front, if I take left, they hit right, for the entire volley, for the entire match; had my own male ‘partner’ hit the birdie out repeatedly to lose so that he can go onto a better game, had a male partner who simply watched another game while standing on the court and didn’t respond to serves, been told that my wheelchair up against the wall waiting with other players was sticking out too far (for those in a ‘serious’ game), was told by a player that my wheelchair did not have the right straps on it (because I kept coming out of the chair to hit the birdie when they placed it where they thought it was out of my reach), had both males go on the other side to partner together (so they didn’t have to partner with me) leaving me and a female to partner and have only had 3 male players (out of 13) on either side, including my own partners ever give me their name, even when I introduce myself.
But I don’t go there for love. I go there because I if I don’t expand my contracting vascular circulation, parts of my body will die, and I will die. When an elevator door shuts on your hand, and you don’t bruise because there is little to no blood, that’s bad. When you can’t give blood for tests because your veins have retreated so far, that’s bad. Yes, I am very white, I am very goth. I am also losing scalp and hair (but as one care worker said, if that DIDN’T bother me, there would be something wrong – so it bothers me). I know my reflexes are slower, I know that I don’t remember all the strategy to badminton I learned when I went regularly, and dying females in wheelchairs are not athletically equal to guys who sprint and leap and do slams around the court. But it is ‘recreational badminton.’ Or like so many things, it can be a mirror to the personality (people look at the surface and think that is all there is: assumptions).
My favorite doubles partner, who remembered me from before was leaving after last night because they were one of the government employees in Linda’s section who were laid off. Suck. The Wednesday Coordinator says there is a place for me to come on Wednesday and Linda, regardless. It is not his fault there are a lot of people who want to play the stupid, “How big is your penis?” game, in which females are by default secondary humans (no penis!) and wheelies are sub-humans.
My first game on Wednesday was my best. The guy next to me said suddenly during warm up, “This is my first game, no, I mean my first day playing badminton.” Okay. I had to wonder at the teaming but with an ace serve from me, we got a point and he got some rallies in, and it was almost fun. The last game I ended up facing not only my previous partner who hit birdies out to finish up a game but a guy who was verbally abusive, condescending to me and was the one at the beginning who made it plain he didn’t want to play with me. I was with another female. I will call the guy who rigged my first set, the one who when I fell out of my chair leaned over to tell me to ‘stop trying’ but didn’t help except to watch me helpless, Dick. Dick didn’t like me being there. Dick just couldn’t shut up during my serves, or his serves, ‘Where do you want it honey?” he would say before trying to hit it out of my reach. He told me he was toning it down so that I didn’t embarrass myself in front of ‘her’ the girlfriend, Linda. When I showed him and his partner I could take it, he called me ‘butch’. What gave Dick the right to determine to comment on my orientation, unless he calls a lot of female police officers who pull him over for speeding, “Honey”, “Why try so hard.”, “Fine, fine, you’ve shown me how butch you are!” It would be interesting if he did. Dick was a Bigot.
But then, I have had a lot of experience with Bigots. I started slamming them and getting points, so they stopped hitting to me at all. They ran my partner ragged and there was nothing I could do as there was no way to cover, as they were doing deliberate placement. It wasn’t recreational, it was bigot badminton. When I hit into the net, Dick would offer a ‘do over’ just for me. When I aced him, he said, hey, he wasn’t ready. He found after two over-my-head hits that I was ready to back up and I could get those. So he started to drop them just out of my range, his partner did the same. I threw myself out of my chair, again, and again (two points and one massive bruise for three dives). Dick never helped, even when I passed out a little on the floor, when I fell over trying to get back into the chair, he just watched and told me to stop trying, stop trying so hard, he even leaned down to tell me my actions were useless. Useless.
I told him that I was there to play, I was there to try. And he started to tell me I didn’t have to when I interrupted him to tell him that I had seen him, we had seen him, segregate against me earlier, so yes, I DID have to try and I would ALWAYS try my hardest against him. Why? Because of his assumptions and because of his actions.
One of the times I came out of the chair I made the hit and got the point, another time I stopped him from making a drop shot. He emphasized that he was ahead in points, so it didn’t matter. So I asked him if this was all he had to offer, could he play better? Since I would always be playing MY hardest, at least against HIM.. Linda, the kind mediator called him an arrogant, obnoxious A-hole. Yeah, he got me angry and maybe I lost a point or two on that. Next time I won’t. Though, if Dick or his friends need to beat up on a dying girl in a wheelchair to make themselves feel better, or to try to make her go away, they are very small people.
One time I used such force I hit and rebounded and now have a fist sized bruise on my elbow and skin missing the size of a quarter. That is victory. Two weeks ago, the blood wouldn’t have come up high enough to bruise. I’m playing recreational badminton and I’m extending LIFE itself. What are these people, so intent on not ‘bringing down their game’ by playing with a female doing? What do they get out of it? Certainly not new friends.
Hawaii. Hawaii! Okay, Hawaii was this dream where I could go and it would be fun and casual and I could see stuff. Only I can barely go out an hour every few days. So the dream of being with Linda on the beach has some problems. And like the rest of the world, one of the problem is green. . Med-alert is going to cut me off as I don’t have the funds to pay for another year RIGHT now. We barely made rent, barely, barely.
And I am trying to figure out what to do. Because I am the problem. Traveling with a person of severe disability is more expensive, it costs more for each bag (like $50 per bag per flight), it requires being there earlier, having forms signed (doctors charge for those). Having AirMed to fly me home if I get so ill, I need that ($$$). Plus, I am not making the $800 I hoped to bring to the table. So far I’ve made about $185 in cash by selling books and $150 in doing research savings. Still trying to get the bike listed ($175-200 with all equipment). Ebay is harder now for me, more energy expended but less listed. Linda explained we go in just under three weeks, Oct 4th. I thought there was more time, I thought I had more time. I am almost half way there in earning and I am out of time.
With those limited options, I came up with ideas. Linda does not support them. Plan #1 – beg on the street selling pencils with a tin cup (I have the tin cup!) – not optimal but I don’t want to disappoint and make life so hard for Cheryl and Linda), #2, ‘sell’ stuff on the street, with payment by donation (I have stuff lying around, I could do that!). I am already putting my DVD’s on ebay, and selling some of my book collection on Amazon. Linda says no. She says it is too cold, that I WILL get frostbite, that I won’t know when to stop (true) and then get disoriented and not be able to make it home.
I don’t like being helpless. I don’t like other people having a bad vacation because I am there. I don’t like that. I don’t want that. I want to not go, and for Linda and Cheryl to go to Hawaii. Then there will be no more talk about money or problems. And since I don’t need to eat or rather feel hungry, staying here is no problem.
I AM weaker than when this trip was planned, than when this trip was booked and we have been ignoring that (an hour a week of activity doesn't mean I am strong). I am supposed to be rested and yet I have construction across the street limiting my sleep and assaulting me daily. I lie in bed, I am sometimes unable to get out of bed unassisted, or get back into bed, or to the bathroom unassisted. What does that mean for a trip? What will a flight and showing up hours early to the airport going to take out of me?
Plus I am guilty. I spend time in the bathroom, I have finally I think regulated my movements, using hydration and grapes, and time. So I read manga, so I buy manga, Yuri manga (and Yaoi). I used my allowance on this and gifts and cool stationary, and postcards because I did not know that Hawaii was that close, I thought it was two animals away at least. Only my calendar was on the wrong animal. My time is off. Mea Culpa. I gave up buying the art books long ago, and now giving up all but the gifts which I will post after Linda and Cheryl get back from Hawaii. Still too late.
I did have another plan, a plan one comes up with late at night when the talk of the cost of X and Y and Z drive me to the brink. So the plan is....mugging. Okay, admittedly kinda Thelma and Louise done disability style. But it does have a very strong attraction of empowerment when I have little right now. I figure that no one would suspect me, I could get close. On the other hand, how hard is it going to be to identify me?
Overall plan is that I am just trying to get to spring. And I don’t know what to do, so I don't really HAVE a plan. I have a winter coming, I have so many systems compromised and I AM getting weaker. I fight back by being willing to take the pain, to have my resting heart rate be 120-140 beats a minute the night after badminton, to feel the pain for days, in order to LIVE. I want to see the spring. I wanted to go to Hawaii where I could see the wonder from the car, where Linda could see the sea life snorkeling, where Cheryl could see new things, I wanted things to remember during the winter, until the flowers come out again. During the winter, there will be construction going 20 feet away. day after day. When I sleep is determined by that, when I eat, what I drink is determined by optimal health. I am still not absorbing foods and nutrients. It is like being on a diet and training program with a gun to the back of my head. And winter is statistically when people like me die. I don’t WANT to die. I want to clean up the study. I want to get things organized. I want to watch more shows and put them on ebay for sale. I want to do fun posts.
If I live to spring I can go to Sakura-con again. It is the mundane that I miss the most just thinking about. So I take the pain in order to see spring, I go get the doctor’s appointments to get the task 2’s done so I can get care when I return, as I expect I won’t be able to lift my torso by myself for a few days. I need to avoid being completely bed-ridden during winter if I am to see spring. I need to get a lift system put in after Linda gets back from Hawaii. This is the reality.
I screwed up, I thought Hawaii was about the flight, not about the huge costs over there. One person I know cancelled as housing was going to be $3000. We have the housing, we have the inter-island flights, we have the car, we have access to the mountain, to lava, to rare sea turtles and dolphins, to sheltered tide pools, to black and green sand beaches, to 1,000 foot waterfalls coming down cliffs into the valley of the kings. Things like a few hotel nights (Seattle, Honolulu), food, gas/petrol, and some entrance fees finances still working on, I am still working, going or not, I will do my part as I can. Back to trying to breathe, to the respirator. Then rested, maybe putting something on ebay.
13 hours ago