The last two weeks have been a relentless dive into the 60s and 70. Yesterday, we didn't even make it to 70, and today we're expected to hit 72 at the most. And it's been rainy. What is this, Ireland? Michigan summers by now are regularly in the mid- to upper 80s, and we're heading for the beach. Nope! Not now!
I know--the 110 people are ready to punch me. But this unusual weather is, in its way, just as frustrating as the super hot stuff. It's COLD at night, for one thing. Last night, it got down into the 40s, and we woke up with our teeth chattering. Should turn the furnace back on? It's almost July, for frig's sake!
Now the global warming deniers chime in. "See? The globe can't be warming! It's cold!"
Fuck you. The reason it's so cold is all the extra energy--heat--in our atmosphere is pulling the jet stream south, and like a giant fan, it's blowing arctic air down our way. This is the epitome of global warming. And did we mention 120 in Arizona?
Electric cars can't come fast enough.
I doubt he even remembers enraging me. But I almost screamed at him.
I’m still not sure whether it was his fault.
But let’s rewind. I have a friend who has pretty severe walking issues – he gets only so many steps in a day before he collapses. Most days he can get to nightfall without needing a walker – and he works hard, very hard, not to be seen as a burden.
More so, he struggles to be seen as a person. If you’ve never friended someone with a disability, you don’t quite understand how a visible handicap can eclipse someone’s personality. People tend to assume that everyone in a wheelchair acts the same – they talk a little louder, a little slower, they’re quicker to dismiss their opinions because really, do they know what they want?
Disabled people struggle to be seen. And my friend, well, he worked really hard to be more than his disability –
– which meant he pushed himself hard at conventions. Lots of covert sweating, casually leaning on bars, sitting down when they could. Because if he displayed weakness, the conversation would shift from all the happy things that made his life worthwhile and would focus on “Are you all right?” – which is a question he asks himself entirely too damn much as it is.
He wanted the con to be a vacation and not an explanation. Which was why his disability was, largely, not quite a secret among friends but something where the extent wasn’t entirely revealed unless you were in the know.
And my friend had held up well during the day but was starting to fade in the evening. He was looking for, well, let’s call him The Guy Ultimately I Wanted To Yell At, or Tguiwtya.
He was looking for Tguiwtya. Because he was good friends with Tguiwtya, and and wanted a few moments to hang with Tguiwtya to hang out before he collapsed. And my friend texted Tguiwtya to say “Hey, I’m on my way,” and Tguiwtya had said “I’m in the back of the ballroom.”
Tguiwtya was not in the back of the ballroom.
I ran into my friend, looking exhausted, who asked me if I’d seen Tguiwtya. I knew he’d walked all the way down from their room to meet Tguiwtya, exhausting the very last of his daily steps, and getting back up to the room would be an effort. I said I hadn’t.
He plopped into a chair, sweaty, miserable, waiting for Tguiwtya to show. I kept him company, brought him water. But Tguiwtya wasn’t responding to texts. And eventually, my friend said, “Well, let’s see if I can find him,” and staggered off, leaning heavily on his cane.
I wondered if he was going to make it.
I left. And lo, a couple of hallways down, there was Tguiwtya! Merrily laughing with a bunch of his friends. I collared him.
“Hey. Our friend’s walking the halls looking for you.”
He looked puzzled, as if unsure why I’d bring such a trivial thing to his attention. “Yeah,” he said. “That’s fine.”
I almost screamed.
What I wanted to yell was, “Do you fucking realize how much effort it takes for my friend to find you? You said your dumb ass would be at the back of the ballroom, and they exerted themselves to get to you because they like you, and now they’re straining themselves to find you again, and your answer should not be some pudding-faced ‘that’s fine’ but ‘Yes, sir, I will get right on that.'”
Then I saw Tguiwtya’s friends, crooking their necks at me.
Did I want to make a scene?
Was it worth looking like a fucking maniac in front of all these people, just to make a point about someone’s condition? Because they didn’t know. They couldn’t understand unless I literally barged into their conversation, twisted it, made it about this, and….
Shit, that’s gotta be what it’s like all the time, isn’t it?
Let’s be honest: Tguiwtya should have fucking known how much effort it took my friend to walk all the way down to meet him. I know for a fact that my buddy had talked to Tguiwtya about his illness. He was one of the inner circle, one of the folks who’d pushed a walker for my friend.
But how many times do you want to call some able-bodied person out for not comprehending something that they cannot experience? For Tguiwtya, “walking to the ballroom and back” was such a trivial effort that I doubt he even contemplated it as an effort.
Would I be damaging Tguiwtya’s friendship with my friend by explaining what an accidental asshole they were being?
That was, I realized, a brief window into being disabled. People don’t see your illness, even when you make it clear to them. They can’t comprehend that this background static of their lives could be a deafening uproar to anyone else.
And you always get to choose: make an embarrassing fuss and maybe get accommodated, maybe get rejected – or keep the peace and keep a friendship that means less but at least you get to keep it?
To this day, I’m still not sure if I should have yelled at him. Maybe I should. But he wasn’t my friend, and even if he was, I’m not sure I wanted to dress him down in front of a crowd of people.
What I do know is that I doubt Tguiwtya even ponders that moment. If he does, he thinks of me as the asshole who gave him a vicious side-eye when he didn’t break off his amusing anecdote to rush to meet our friend in the ballroom.
But I remember.
I learned something that day.
I hope I learned to listen.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.
Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.
Tell me. When do you think the worst possible time for my hand to cramp up would be? In the middle of the show? Right at the beginning of the acoustic segment with me and Ziggy? Right in the middle of “Candlelight?” The fact that it happened the in the five minutes before we went on proves that things could have been worse. Right?( Read the rest of this entry » )
I don't know if anyone else has been aware of the hoohah over the Chalke Valley History Festival, an event which has not been on my radar even though it has been going since 2011, though when I see that it is sponsored by A Certain Daily Rag of Which We Do Not Speak, unless we really have to, I would guess that it's NQOSD. Certainly no-one has come begging yr hedjog to address the crowds on ye syph in history (with or without my sidekick Sid, now available as a keyring), Dr Stopes, the inner meaning of the 1820s cartoons of Ladies Strachan and Warwick canoodling in a park or towsell-mowsell upon a sopha, wanking panic over the centuries etc etc.
But anyway, there has lately been a certain amount of OMG History of Dead White Males (and a few queens) and the fact that it is overwhelmingly DWM d'un certain age giving the fruits of their knowingz to the audience:
Historian pulls out of Chalke Valley festival over lack of diversity (and, cynically, I wonder how many of the 32 women historians are Hott Young Thingz researching queens, aristo ladies, and so forth, though I may be doing them an injustice.)
The lack of women and non-white historians at this year’s Chalke Valley festival sends out a worrying message to Britain’s young
There have been defences made of the event by saying that you need to have Nazis and Tudors because that is what pulls in the punters, and maybe eventually get them onto something else not so overdone and ubiquitous.
However, only today there was a piece in The Guardian about the Bradford Literary Festival: Irna Qureshi and Syima Aslam have upended the traditional festival model to create a 10-day cultural jamboree that holds appeal across the city’s diverse communities
(Okay, does have the Brontes, and why not, but does not, alas, have ritual mud-wrestling by the Bronte Society...)
'They have upended the traditional literary festival model and attracted a demographic that is the dream of all forward-looking funders.'
So it can be done.
Yesterday, you compared me, not favorably, to a car: "We’ve done something with our health care system that you would never think about doing, for example, with auto insurance, where you would require auto insurance companies to sell a policy to somebody after they crash their car."
I cannot tell you how furious I am.
First of all, in comparing health insurance to car insurance, you are implying that:
(1) we can avoid illness, cancer, strokes, etc., the same way a driver, hypothetically, can avoid accidents (although accidents can't always be avoided, either);
(2) human beings are nothing but machines;
3) if we are not useful--as, say, children or elderly people no longer able to work are not useful--we are not worth taking care of;
(4) we decrease in value when we are damaged.
All of these implications are wrong. Frankly, they are all reprehensible. Also, a car accident is in no way, shape, or form like a "pre-existing condition." "Pre-existing conditions" are chronic. You can't deal with them once and then move on, the way you can buy a new car if yours is totaled. You have to deal with a "pre-existing condition" for the rest of your life; it goes on being expensive, eating up energy, and making your daily life harder long after the crisis point (the accident, in your analogy), if there even was one. Many people's "pre-existing conditions" start before they're even born. It is a false and pernicious analogy which you should never have permitted yourself to make.
Moreover, my "pre-existing conditions" are not things that I did, or things caused by my bad choices. The same is true of my friends who are bipolar. The same is true of any child who has cancer. Illness, whether mental or physical, is not a moral judgment, and a person's value, which is inestimable, is neither measured nor affected by the health care they need. And no one can predict the health care they're going to need--in much the same way no one can predict a drunk driver crossing the median and colliding head-on with their car.
Frankly, I have never expected you to oppose TrumpCare, whether it's called the AHCA or the BCRA, and I was angry enough about that. But the contempt this analogy shows for your constituents and for their need to have effective and affordable health care--a need that does not correlate with either their socio-economic status or their moral rectitude and that should never be thought of in terms of free-market capitalism--is appalling, especially from someone who claims to consider it "an honor and a privilege to serve the people of Wisconsin." I sincerely hope that this analogy is not a reflection of your true opinion of your constituents.
Senator Johnson, I AM NOT A CAR. I am a person, created equal with yourself, and I deserve to have my elected representatives respect my humanity and treat me with dignity.
I was lying in a deckchair looking straight upwards. Two wisps of vapour drifted into one and the whole began to grow- not moving laterally but expanding from its centre- creating itself from nothing, taking on form and substance and shading- until it was fat enough to be carrying rain- then acquiring dimples which became holes as the structure pulled apart into wispy fragments that faded to nothing.
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 1 of 1, complete
word count (story only): 1755
:: Meanwhile, back in Mercedes… This is part of the Road Trip, the Mercedes story group, and the Polychrome Heroics universe. ::
::Pay Special Attention: Benjamin Smithers is an old-fashioned guy, so he deliberately frames his comment about Shana's behavior as “something MIGHT have happened,” and because he is a bigot, he made no attempt to soften that phrasing. Frankly, whatever Shana and Anthony got up to on Joshua Tull's sofa, well, the sofa is glad to be well beyond recovery, and anyway, Shana started it! ::
“I didn't mean to!” the girl shrilled, making Benjamin grind his teeth harder. She babbled the explanation for the third or fourth time, and it still didn't hold water with him. “Anthony found a pack of cigarettes when he went looking for the television remote in the drawer of the end table next to the and--”
Benjamin took a steadying breath. “And those were someone else's property, stolen while you were BOTH trespassing in his home! What on EARTH were you thinking, to do that?”
Okay, the deep breath didn't help.
( Read more... )
alexseanchai is hosting a fiction sale (approximately four cents per word, or roughly $14 per page, with the estimated average of 350 words), for a laudable goal. I'd like to do more than spread the word; I'd like to add to the words.
Give me a PM or reply to this post (ON MY BLOG) when you've made a donation, so I know how many words to write, AND give me a story prompt so I know what to write. You can be vague, or as specific as you like, but I generally write gentle fiction (no sex, minimal violence, lots of cuddling instead of arguing). No, it absolutely does NOT have to “match” or tie into whatever Alex is writing; they are creating the entree, while I am working on desserts.
Your copies are for personal reading, of course. They may be posted on my blog at a later time for others to enjoy as well, but they are paid for by donations to Alexseanchai. If you want a preview of their writing style, check out The Finch on the Apple Bough, a beautiful Cinderella story for the rest of us! To preview my style, well, scan my blog for the last three years; there's plenty of fiction to choose from!
Spread the word, put a little in alexseanchai's tip jar at Paypal, and let's make some summer reading!
For my subscribed readers: I'm still writing the Road Trip stories, and will keep to my posting time and schedule.