Cumulative Crap

School had been miserable, the professor had asked me to repeat myself only about a hundred times. In actuality it was probably only a handful of times, but in a lecture hall of at least 50 students - it seemed like I was stabbing myself in the eye 1,000 times.
"I can't hear you, can you speak louder?" The old instructor leaned over and squinted at me. I took a deep breath in and prepared myself to begin again... and then...once more. My classmates shifted uncomfortably around me, it was awkward for everyone involved. Even, I imagined, painful for the fly on the wall that buzzed around the projector.
But time moves on, class was soon over and I stormed out.
"Sandy, maybe you should ask to be able to speak into his microphone or something, next time." A friend suggested quietly, sensing that I was secretly fuming and my ears ready to burn off my head. Just listening to that thought in my head made my stomach lurch. I am one of those people that gets freaked out when I hear my voice echoing over speakerphone, or Skype. I could not fathom the prospect of having my voice be projected into an auditorium. I shrugged my shoulders, "yeah maybe."

On my way to work I was slapped in the face by a swinging backpack on the subway, took a longer-than-necessary elevator ride in a tin box that reeked of urine, and felt largely unprepared for a telephone conference call. It was one of those days when I knew I had a list of things to do, and would only have enough time allotted to talk about the things I needed to do. Meetings, I have yet to go to a meeting where anything was ever actually done! I grumpily thought to myself.
Work flew by, I added a few more "things to do" on my list, and left the office. Slightly paranoid that I was becoming one of those people who takes work home.

The van picked me up, and the driver let me know that he would have to pick-up another passenger as well - drop her off first, and then me. I shrugged and said it was fine. I stuffed my ears with headphones and promptly zoned out. At long last we dropped the other passenger off at her house and turned to head towards home. The sun had now set, the sky a deep blue and I realized sadly that soon it would look this way a lot earlier on in the day. At that point I just wanted to get home, I wanted to stretch out all the 90 degree angles my body had absorbed since 7 that morning, I wanted to get lost in some marvelous made-up fiction novel, I wanted to be in a place surrounded by the familiar.
We finally pulled into the driveway and I turned my wheelchair on before the tie-downs had been taken off. I wanted out!
The lift unfolded, croaking and groaning as it did. I thought nothing of it and zoomed quickly out onto the lift, the driver put up his hand to stop me from going over. I was a mere 4ft off the ground, 4ft from touching home-ground. It stopped. He flicked the on and off switch a few times, there was a silence and lack of movement that made me wish a sinkhole would open up underneath all of us.

Ten minutes later it was concluded that the lift had indeed stopped working, and I had been transferred into my manual chair.
We talked through several possibilities, and while I pushed to have the fire department come and lift the wheelchair out - he was adamant on not calling emergency services.
"This isn't an's just the lift."

"M'am there's no need to get frustrated. I can get the lift fixed tomorrow morning, and we can drop your chair back off to you." 
"So I have to rearrange my schedule because you decide when my chair will be free for me to use? No. The purpose of the chair is for me to get around and go where I need to go. This is crap." 
I began to think that everything in the world that could possibly be wrong with me, actually *was* wrong with me. My pip-squeaky voice was not capable of anything worth hearing. People would always blindly bump into me in public transportation. Elevators will always reek of urine because, apparently, public accommodations are meant to be pissed on. Work is an utter disaster. And now I can't even choose when I get to access my own wheelchair. I gave up. I stopped trying and called it a day. I went in my room and read until I fell asleep in my jeans.

The next day my wheelchair was returned to me, later on in the afternoon. The lift had still not been fixed. I watched in horror as two average sized men heaved my 200lb electric wheelchair out of the side door, and proceeded to scratch up the sides, and cracked the shroud. At that point I had already missed half of my day and was anxious to get going. I spoke to neither of the men, got into my wheelchair and left to go about my day.
During my lunch hour I had calmed down enough to hop on the phone and file a complaint:
"Hi, I know that what happened yesterday wasn't really anyone's fault. But the driver did not handle it in a way that I felt respected my wheelchair or property..." 

The point of this story is that we will all have incredibly shit-tastic days. It is easy to think that everything bad that happened that day could have easily been avoided if I just weren't disabled. How easy would that be? How carefree and trouble free would my days be then? But the thing is, I wouldn't trade a shitty day on wheels for a lifetime spent wondering "how much better would it be.."

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