A few days ago I stopped breathing, my pulse was faint and weak, for thirty then forty minutes. Linda and I are struggling, so the relationship comes first. It comes before my brother threatening to sue me (for simply being his sibling), or my GP threatening to drop me, or my parents hiding that they moved to the USA last year, to Scottsdale, AZ or VIHA threat to take away community care. This is all just things which take up time, and then I sleep. Today, I wanted to go outside. Because while a load of people huffing and puffing over things which could be worked out if ego’s and a culture of ‘might is right’ isn't REAL, not as real as sunshine or a cold snowy day.
Outside is real. Pushing a chair and sweating is real. Seeing the flowers here and there, and the sun, trying to break through behind the cloud and failing is real. I got to the park and saw two baby dykes making out with serious lip lock (I waited until they had finished and turned away, just in case they aren’t out yet). It has been so long, years, since I have seen a gay/lesbian PDA in this repressed town. I am sure my mother’s chin drops as she readies her view of disapproval: created by a rapid and extreme lip and anus tightening. Alas mom, the world is beyond her control (she wrote to me to tell me that I should not view her the same when she was 30, as she is always changing; I turned to Linda and said, “Wasn’t I seven when she was 30? So…she doesn’t watch ‘As the world turns while ironing laundry anymore?’").
In the theme of 'coming out', leaves and buds are hidden, as this week it has been below zero and snowing. But these flowers are out, or at least out of the greenhouse, planted and ready to grow. Wheeling up the gravel path I kept warm by the stream of swearing as the trail leaned so badly one wheel often spun without touching ground.
Around the central area I heard an unusual bird call, high and long with two bleets after it, and thought if it continued I would make a movie to capture the sound. Then I saw the wingspan behind the trees, whipping around, and wheeled to where I could see the most when the bird appeared. It shot into the open, a young bald eagle, barely gliding before it disappeared into a tree-top nest. One woman I talked to pointed to the area and said that the eagle had made a nest there last year too. The squirrels were not out when the eagle calls: smart squirrels!
As I was wheeling back, I asked a man to take a picture, and as he took each picture, he got lower and lower, until I wondered why this man seemed to want a groin shot. In his excitement, he had the trembles and this is as good as it got. Interesting that my Emily the Strange top (thanks for the gift, see I treasure it still) with all her psychedelic power is in focus while things like my HEAD are not.
I wheeled back, up the monster hill, and buzzed Linda from outside, asking if she wanted to come with. She did and I wheeled a different route, through the oldest graveyard in Victoria, you can see the old tombstones in the back.There is something reassuring about a leaning bit of granite, a death obelisk, to keep me centered.
Wandering through downtown, checking out what was what. For me, seeing anything was a new experience. I hadn’t window shopped for almost four years. I questioned what a sauna or very short night robe with ‘wicking’ material was used for, when in the ‘outdoor and action’ store. Was it for ‘Hot Yoga?’ I was told it was for regular day wear.
“Really? Because first it is expensive due to the wicking material..”
“All the tops in this store have the top of the line North Face wicking.”
“Err…yes, but with this low cut and high leg, ‘the girls’ are going to be bouncing free and clear of the fabric.”
I was told, “You wear another wicking top underneath.”
“You buy a wicking sauna robe, then buy more wicking clothes to wear underneath?? And wear it outside?”
“YES!!” The sales clerk was not amused.
I was confused, but maybe someone wanted to spend $89 for a robe that barely covered panties and open enough to miss covering the breasts at all, and wanted wicking because they were going to wear it….rock climbing? I just smiled and put it back, and tried to dig myself out with the clerk, “Generally I just sweat, you know…then shower.”
From her squinty death ray look at me, I was quessing that I had dug myself deeper and the idea of sweating, or showing it, died along with the pet rocks, bulky car phones and pop rocks.
A little further down I wheeled into Emporia, a new store on Government street selling living and lifestyle products, from giant candle lanterns, soaps, to crackle and depression glass. It was a mother and daughter owned store and the daughter let me know it was ‘ladies night’ for downtown. 'Ladies Night' is first Thursday eve of the month had discounts and specials for women at 20 odd independent stores, plus more resturants, tapa bars, ice cream stores and more. She said it was busy early, then the women went drinking.
I told her that explained the number of women I saw coming out of trounce alley holding on to each other to stay upright and overhearing random bits:
"God, it is SO cold tonight."
"Tell me about it, I'm just wearing leggings and my crack and legs are freezing."
"Oh my God! Tell the world louder?!"
"Just saying, fresh waxing and freezing breezes don't mix. Where is the next place to drink?"
"Oh!" (they nearly stumble and fall into my lap)
After talking shop talk at Emporia I bought a candle of cedar, white birch and rosemary for the study, as the scent reminded me of the woods (I have burned a lot of white birch in my time). I got to draw an envelope and ended up with 25% off. Then we stopped by Chapters (selling 4 books or magazines for the price of 3) and got the last copy of Curve. My oh my, we have a lesbian household again (in our trip I even tried to convince Linda to buy a flannel shirt).
We headed back to meet up with the worker for the evening, stopping to pick up the 2006 anime film Redline at the library. I headed to nap, and while I slept Linda did something with frozen chicken breasts. I can only hope it wasn’t obscene.
I dreamt of conversations, including the one I had about tattoos I had with the bearded guy in the book store (as we lusted over a tattoo in one magazine showing 3-D gearwork of a clock decayed with exposed gears), to the polite group of skateboarders, who cleared a path for me.
Today, while wheeling, I greeted everyone with a smile and a ‘hey!’ and found everyone talked, sometimes weather, sometimes random questions or statements, all except for one man in a custom wheelchair like me, who wheeled on passing invisable me. That is a common experience. I do not know why this is oft the way, but I am not asking for them to recognize the brother/sisterhood of the wheelchair, just a greeting from the sidewalk on an almost sunny afternoon/eve. But he wheels on, face straight ahead. This happens so often I have wondered, as people talk online about how we are ambassadors or representatives of the disabled community, how does that combine with rehab which teaches a person to be completely independent?
When I read accounts from SCI's about how they did X or Y, 'with no assistance' is stated. And while emphasizing independance, there is a comment or two of distain for those who expect or desire help. I look in these stories to find if they talk about the number of friends made, or the people talked to. Nada. It is an independance which allows only observation, not interdependance. And then those who say, from the wheelchair, that they are not disabled. Okay. What use is convincing everyone that we don’t need help and are the same as able bodied individuals if we convince all that we are a bad neighbors, aloof and uncaring, at the same time? Why must WE be the worst examples of the failure of North America in giving value to extended family and community? Unless people are getting independant so they can have grandparents move in so they can care for them, along with a cousin or two? Nah, I haven't seen or read those stories either.
Oh well, I saw tats, I touched granite tombs, I held conversations, I almost had two girls fall into my lap, I have curve and a candle for the next cold day/night. I'll work on solving community problems....tomorrow.
2 hours ago