Armor a mile thick today

This story starts out boring but bear with me, it gets funny and there is a punchline. So, there’s construction in my neighborhood on Misson as they dig up the street and repair some sections of sidewalk. Over by the Big Lots there were a bunch of barriers and hastily constructed ramps to the street and back around some of the work. I went out around the giant orange barrier things and found an SUV blocking the ramp up. I could go back out into Mission or go even further out into Mission. Both not good choices.

Sidewalk construction barriers

I ducked half under the SUV’s bumper and got onto the ramp while holding onto the corner of of the car so I wouldn’t tip over. As I got onto the sidewalk clumsily an older lady with a little kid came up and I asked if it were her car. (Yes). I said, Well hey. You are blocking the ramp! There’s construction so it was hard to get up. She started yelling at me. I can’t remember what! But it was mean. “You should go on the other side of the street then!” At one point she said that I should read the sign — if I could even read! Because the date wasn’t for today and she was parked at a meter! Arrrrrgh. Thanks for the implication I can’t read!

I finally yelled back, “All you had to do is say, sorry for blocking the ramp, BUT NO, you had to be a huge screaming bitch!” And zoomed off filled with fury and sadness.

SUV blocking the ramp

Hahahah! So much for my composure and wisdom from yesterday! Some days no bullshit happens and some days it does. Some times I can handle shit and sometimes I fly off the handle. I got over it and laughed at the whole thing before I had gone another block.

So, I got to the notary office and hauled myself painfully over the non accessible threshold. The notary guy was helping someone else and kept giving me sort of dirty looks like I should not be there. The dude he was helping had to go get some extra documents from his car a few blocks away. As he left, the notary told me to wait till he finished with the first guy. I said something neutral like, it’s good to finish with one thing before you move onwards. All fine so far but I could feel that he didn’t want me there.

Half an hour later he filled out my form and got my thumbprint and everything. Another dude came up and …. unbelievable… he told me to wait until he helped Dude 2. I thought about calling him out on it. Calmly asking him, did you notice that you asked me to wait for you to finish with that first guy? But then, did not ask the next person after me to wait for you to finish with me? Why was that? I looked at him and thought about how his tension would then turn to outright anger. It wouldn’t matter how I asked him to discuss it, he would be hostile and would escalate, 99.9% certain.

Decided it wasn’t even worth it. People sometimes assholes, life not always fair, minor inconveniences happen, we all have annoying things. I just hope he did the form right, unlike notary #1 a week ago.

I headed home. (Negotiating the crumbling, soft, rutted ramp with no problem now that there wasn’t a car blocking it.) At the corner of my street, a tall white guy with very close shaved grey hair started yelling at me. “You almost hit me on that thing, it’s dangerous! You’re not even sick! If you are sick, you’re a waste of space! The problem with you people….” (That again!!!!!) “The problem with you people is you just don’t think.” I said that I was sorry I nearly hit him. And was glad I didn’t run into him. (Sincerely.) (Though he was rude and mean.)

He continued yelling. I then said (we were going the same direction, him next to me) Ah, you maybe didn’t hear me, I just apologized for not seeing you and nearly hitting you. I’m glad I didn’t run into you.

(More screaming)

“OK. Well. I hope your day gets better….”

“I hope your LIFE gets better!”

“My life is pretty great actually.”

He responded, “Well the problem with YOU is, you get all the pussy, and I don’t get any of it!”

I am sure I cracked up laughing at that point but I only remember staring at him incredulously.

“You know, you are right! That is completely true, man!” I couldn’t tell at this point if he was joking! What the fuck? But I’m laughing, maybe he’s joking?

“You steal everything. You stole all the pussy and that’s UNFORGIVEABLE. The rainbow is for everyone. YOU STOLE THE RAINBOW!”

“Oh, wow. You are 100% right. The rainbow IS for everybody! I mean, rainbows! They’re great.” Now I’m just resigned that he’s not at all joking, and I’ve incorrectly started fucking with him and he’s going to punch me in front of my own house. And yet my mouth runs off. And his saying that I stole the pussy and the rainbow also weirdly made me crack up while it was also super sad.

“Yes it is. The rainbow means something. It’s from God. It’s got a purpose to exist. And you don’t. You shouldn’t exist.”

It is funny that you can’t tell if people are going to hate you more if they think you’re not “really” disabled, or if you are! Sometimes, a stranger’s gaydar, lavender hair, and maybe wearing your kid’s My Little Pony Rainbow Dash t-shirt trumps disability completely! Jeez, first they came for our curb cuts but they couldn’t stop there, they had to steal the pussy from the men and the rainbows from God!!!!

Somewhat spooked and really, I thought I could defuse his anger with a little conversation, right up until the point of no return. Now he knows where I live!

Deep breaths, carry on, blogging it because I feel the impulse to share — though now it’s like I’m horrible for making fun of this poor messed up dude. I’m so tired! How can all those things happen in just going 3 blocks from my house and back?

Rainbow power!!!!!!!!!

Rainbow butterfly unicorn kitten

6 thoughts on “Armor a mile thick today

  1. Wow. People are disturbed!

    Your story reminds me that I once wanted to start a faux-advocacy group called “Take Back the Rainbow” a la “Ladies Against Women.” But I was too afraid people would think I was serious.

  2. From over here, I just wonder if you don’t have a giant neon sign above your head in the “otherworld” crazy people seem to live half-in, half-out of that reads: “Yes. My fault.”

    I cannot for the life of me figure it out. I’ve been around you. I’ve been around you with your chair and in small areas where you could’ve easily taken me out at the knee and gotten away… but you a) are terribly considerate of what’s going on around you and b) don’t even begin to put off the vibe of ‘this is someone you must hate and fuck with because she’s in this chair.’
    Where do you find these crazy, entitled, angry, victim-blaming lunatics? And why do you find so MANY of them??
    Oh, and no need to always be some Internet-expected version of Saint Liz… I mean, we love you because you are you… filtered AND unfiltered. Give ’em hell my friend.

    1. Awwwwww! Thank you. 🙂 I think many people hate and fear disabled people in a way they have not really analyzed in themselves which is partly fear of mortality and part internalized oppression; it is reasonable to fear the harmful ways our society is organized that would be difficult if you were to have a visible disability or particular accessibility needs. Or to fear the helplessness and dependence that a wheelchair is supposed to signify. A rational way of responding to those fears would be to work to improve society. But the ways we’re taught bigotry and to participate in oppression by hating on the people who bring such thoughts to mind, perpetuates doing nothing to improve things. Or something like that. The short answer is I am not unique, nor is this particular city. people hate other people if they seem poor, or crazy, or homeless. hating a disabled person can be like that or it can be the flip side of thinking that being disabled is some sort of awesome scam. or that because we get a lift on the bus it’s like we expect a red carpet to roll out and everyone to kiss our ass. Also people are just incredibly resentful at how we get all the pussy.

  3. Liz, we used to have a mutual friend who was open about the fact that she “hated the homeless so much.” I could not wrap my head around that statement, except that she probably feared being homeless, and seeing them reminded her of that fear. This person was also openly pleased whenever I was having a rough time, and openly miserable whenever things went well for me. I ended the friendship over this.

    It’s interesting to me how people with mental illness demonstrate exaggerated versions of the psychological pathologies common to all of us. There are whole crowds of upstanding citizens who hate us because we get all the pussy, they’re just slightly more circumspect about how they express it.

    You’re doing an amazing job of navigating this world of fearful attackers with grace and humor.

  4. You’re amazing. Here I am sobbing because of some dumb thing, searching for pictures of unicorn kitties on the internet to make me feel better, accidentally happened upon your corner of the internet and put it in perspective.

    You are a gift to the whole planet, my friend. How the fates send you wackos instead of a massive following of people who want to give you candy and hugs is inconceivable to me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *