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.