Calling To Random Strangers

Coming out of the theatre with Ruby and Sadie after seeing the movie “The Upside,” we made our way down the ramp and into the long hallway to the lobby. We were playing in theatre furthest from the lobby which meant two things. Carpet and it was closest to the accessible loo.  Sadie was ahead of me, Ruby was beside me on one side and Joe on the other. I called, not loudly, to Sadie and asked her to hit the accessible door button. I did this for two reasons. It would make my entrance easier and find me a child that doesn’t like to push buttons, of either kind.

As soon as my request was out of my mouth, the trajectory of 4 or 5 people’s journey towards the lobby shifted significantly as the moved towards the button on the wall. Now I hadn’t shouted a general request for help or assistance. I had asked Sadie, by name, to push the button. I wanted to stem this tidal wave of helpers so I did call out loudly, “No! No thanks, I was asking Sadie,” who everyone would have seen as she was, ever competitive, heading with determination to get their first, towards the button.

That stopped all of them.

But one.

She kept going and it was clear that she was going to race a child.

“No! Please!” I called again.

“I don’t mind,” she said as if the fact that I do doesn’t come into it.

“But you aren’t family, she is, I asked her,” I said.

She stopped and looked and saw that I wasn’t alone, as was her assumption, and I suppose the assumption of everyone who had gone to help.

We lead surprising lives, we disabled people.

But one of those surprises shouldn’t be, we don’t call out for help with any part of the toileting process to random, passing strangers.

Surprising, indeed.

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