When Not Doing Is Doing

bio_dave_hingsburgerI was pushing my way towards the movie we were going to see. Joe was in the line up getting tea. The carpet was plush and I was getting a real workout for my shoulders. I could feel that my thumbs were getting tired from the heavy pushing. But I’m enjoying taking the challenge and getting myself where I need to go, on my own speed, with my own strength. Joe is good with this, though it’s taken him some getting used to. I think when he sees me struggle, especially against a thick carpet, he has to hold himself back from jumping in to help.

I was nearly to the turn when I felt the presence of someone coming up behind me. I turned to look and saw a man that had been a few ahead of Joe in the line up at the concession stand. He saw me see him and said, “Well, he isn’t much good as a help is he?” He was clearly annoyed to the point of anger. I have to admit I kind of got angry too, this was Joe he was talking about. The guy who has supported me, in every way I’ve needed it, since I became disabled.

“Right now,” I said with edge in my voice, “he is being more help than you can possibly imagine.”

The fellow blew air and said, “What, getting popcorn?” I decided not to correct him, I don’t eat popcorn any more. I said, “No.”

“What’s he doing then?” he asked, he’d slowed to my pace. I didn’t stop pushing as we talked. This is something of a breakthrough for me. To push on carpet and still be able to speak is a bit of a victory.

“He’s letting me do this by myself, without his help, that’s harder for him than you might imagine.”

His face did the mental calculations about what I was saying in front of me. It was kind of funny.

“Oh,” he said finally, “I get it.”

By then we were at the movie theatre and I decided to pull/push myself up the ramp. I do this by pulling on the handrail with my left hand while I push my right wheel with my right hand. He watched me for a second inch my way up.

“Can I …” he started.

“See, it’s hard not to help isn’t it?” I asked as I continued, on my own up the ramp. He shook his head as if he couldn’t comprehend why I would want to do this.

By the way … I made it.

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