So, are there gradations of how much people will go out of their way to help another human being? I would say that a simple act, one that I’ve benefitted from more often than not since I’ve been on crutches, is that people move out of my way to make my journey easier. It is appreciated. But, how disabled do you have to be for someone to give up their seat on the tram? More disabled than me, it would seem. And it reminded me of this site today.
I got on the tram behind this numbskull of a hipster (pink Warp t-shirt, half-mast trousers, black and red striped socks midway up his calves, powder blue Converse, dopey “enjoying life is so last year” expression). The tram was pretty busy, only one seat not being used. He sits in it. Actually “sit” is the wrong word. Flops. Lounges. Sprawls. Ragdolls. Then he keeps making eye contact with me, giving me a “what!?” look when I smirk at him.
On the return journey. Tram just as busy. Three women sat down on the seats next to the door. One middle-aged, looking at the ground. The other two are younger, and give me a look like I’d just got my cock out and waggled it at them.
Actually, though, even worse happened when I got back to the building where I’m staying. I hobbled up the stairs, both crutches in my left hand, dragging myself up by the bannister. I get halfway between the second and third floor, and see that there are four people and a child at the top of the next flight about to come down. The guy at the front, about my age, kindly face, spots that I’m hobbling and have crutches, and he mentions to the others to hurry. His missus does so. Two down, two and a half people to go. The other couple, in their early thirties, fairly regular looking people, are still stood at the top. The dude looks at me. Then he turns to his girl, leans in and they have a kissy, giggly, cuddle. He looks at me again. Then they saunter – SAUNTER – down the stairs in an exaggeratedly slow manner. And rather than picking up their three or four year old kid, they watch in amazement as the child walks down the stairs all on her own. Yes, darling you are a clever girl. I am probably the most exasperated man in Europe at this point. Cunty dude smiles at me, like, “my kid can walk down the stairs!”
Do I just look like someone you’d quite like to see inconvenienced? Or are there just gradations of disability that people will help out when they see someone on crutches? Crutches, not elderly, not female, not particularly handsome: you get nothing more than regular manners it would seem.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve not got a brace or cast on my foot. Perhaps it’s because I’m not carrying a basket of kittens. Perhaps it’s because I don’t look like Colin Firth.
I’ve gotta go to the orthopaedist tomorrow, and I think he’s gonna give me a foot brace thingy, so hopefully we’ll be able to discount one of those possibilities. I know you wanna see it, so here’s a picture of my bruised and bloated foot.
* I’m not discounting that I quite likely could fall into this category.