Friday, May 18, 2012

“Visible wear and tear”

As I was cutting off tags US Airways placed on my wheelchair I found a short description of its condition. And I couldn't be more proud. Like a favorite washed pair of jeans or sport shoes you refuse to part with, I and my four wheels have been through a lot. Yes, the frame is a bit dirty, the paint is peeling, the whole thing is banged up a bit. The sit is torn, the wheels and screws are rusty and squeaky. The whole thing seemed to have  sinked down over the years. The anti-tipper wheel is missing a screw I was never able to find a replacement for and my tires are bare. We even broke the aluminium bar the back support is mounted to and it needed welding.   But there's a reason it got this way. My wheelchair is an accessory, a testimony of my independence, something I stake out and claim everyday. I use my chair extensively. It was new and quite expensive when I first got it, made of carbon fiber and titanium, but I put it through a lot.

Not only the daily mileage of going in it everywhere, rolling around  for many blocks , taking a bus. It's everywhere I fly, be it New York, Las Vegas, Washington or Warsaw. It's all the random rides at night, fun times with friends. It's the parties,  the movies, the restaurants the get togethers, it's people trying to stuff my chair in their trunks or leaving it in the back of a pick up truck. It's going to Tampa to take my bar exam. It's going to Washington to take my oath.I may be not as fast in my chair as people with some other disabilities, but I dare to say I'm just as active. Not to say I will never exchange it, but looking at it is a great reminder that I've been through quite a bit. I’m proud of the life I have.

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