Flat Chance

Clunky and deflated I felt gravity winning this tug-of-war as I seemed to hiccup along. My tire must have looked like the sagging jawline of an aging Muppet: the bottom of the tire jutting out with exaggeration, in stubborn protest of ever feeling filled with energy again. What is usually a smooth ride instantaneously felt as though I was on a creaky ferris wheel seconds from toppling over. I would ascend, jolt, bump, and clamber back down what was in reality only a few inches but what felt like I was experiencing rough turbulence on a transcontinental flight. It must have looked like a bumbling mess, filled with all the awkwardness of a baby taking its first steps without all of the drooling cuteness.

I was that struggle passersby clearly recognized needed help, but no one offered because no one knew how. Honestly, I didn't even know how.

My eyes scanned the brick paths of Harvard Square, searching earnestly for a path with fewer gaps and hungry maws of potholes or unleveled brick determined to gnash my careless tire, never to let it or me go again. The search was in vain as I felt my chair teeter-totter on a precarious point that was being desperately fought over by air and gravity.

I became desperate and began uselessly urging my joystick forward, trying to convey to the little mechanism you're not going fast enough! You don't understand! Come on, worrrrrk betterrrr-er-er! Since physical force was clearly not making a difference I resorted to mental telepathy:
Okay almost back to the dorms now. We're almost there. Just a little further and I can call campus security to pick me up in their van.

If I had been a less stubborn, less proud (?), less adamantly independent, less can-do-this-all-by-myself, and a whole lot less of the I'm-fine-everything-still-works .. I probably would have called a friend - any of whom would have been more than happy to accompany on the journey back to campus. But I didn't.

In my head I could hear my parents' voices fretting "Do you need me to drop off your manual wheelchair? I can come right now!" "Don't fall over! Who is with you? I'm going to call the school nurse." "This is why you need a personal care attendant with you all the time. Just imagine what you would do if you didn't go to school near home!" Of course that only encouraged me to continue plopping along.
Though it took forever and a day to get to the outskirts of campus, the slim area in which the college's vans would venture to pick-up students.. I finally made it. Sometimes the chances we take are irrational and not computed by the probability for injury, disaster, or total failure.

There wasn't really a life-changing, light-shining, earth-shattering point to this post. It was just to say that sometimes I'm willing to risk it and I get lucky. Something tells me there are moments when you do too.

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