I must say after breaking my foot, my view of people has changed. I’ve been coming to office for two weeks now, the first week in full cripple regalia with a cast on my foot, and two crutches under each arm. The next week I toned down the image a bit and came in a modest crepe bandage, enormous surgical shoe, and one crutch tucked discreetly under the right arm.
My faith in human nature has almost completely been restored. People have gone out of their way to open doors, offered to help me in and out of places, and asked me incessantly how it’s happened and where the fracture was. Complete strangers have stopped me and asked “ So…what happened? Not well-ah?” ( “Ya, my foot has caught a fever, so I’ve wrapped it up warmly in brickhard plaster.”)
I have been told the fracture and torn ligament stories of everyone on this floor (let me tell you it’s one helluva large floor…try walking across it on crutches and one leg), been advised to take calcium tablets, and consult a homoeopath -- usually by people I’ve never seen before and not seen since. The drivers of my morning and evening cabs have been accommodative enough to drive as close to lifts as possible. One driver even took it upon himself to haul me unceremoniously out of the car by the arm despite my loud protestations (as he dragged me out) that I could manage myself.
Of course there is always the boor. (What would my blog be without boors? Insipid.) This one guy probably thinks I bring a crutch to work as a fashion statement, and lets doors swing back in my face if I’m following him in anywhere. Of course I give him the stink eye whenever I hop by his desk, so he’s not getting away with it.
I went to the shopping mall Forum (just me and my crutch) last week, and the advantages were numerous. Not only did I get to sit down unchalleneged on the “For Handicapped and Senior Citizen’s Bench Only” next to the entrance, strangers actually held lifts for me, and offered to stand in the billing counter for me while I sat down.
A visit to a jam-packed Hard Rock Café told the same story. We were shown directly to a table with my husband commenting in sotto voce throughout that it was my crutch that worked the trick and that we should never go anywhere without it for the rest of our lives.
But now the time draws near to wean myself off my trusty crutch. Back to being pushed aside, stepped on, yelled at. Back to having people not asking me where it hurt and not having a receptive audience as I tell the story of how it happened with a brave “I’ll be OK, don’t worry” smile on my face.
Siiiigh…Goodbye my trusty crutch, it was real special, but we knew it couldn’t last…