PP sighs to herself. Sitting on the toilet, she can’t help but listen to Scraping Walker Woman’s Rant.

Though now since she’s in a wheelchair, PP guesses she’s Swearing Wheelchair Woman.

Damn. PP is in no mood to deal with her. She’s tired and hungry and wants to get home after a surprisingly nice swim. (“It was so nice today, wasn’t it?” a fellow swimmer had commented afterwards. “Yes, so peaceful. No screaming kids,” PP had answered.)

Now there was a Screaming Wheelchair Woman.

Flushing the toilet, PP decides that she better go see what was the matter. She’d been hoping someone else would wander into the locker room, but nope. Where the hell was anyone when you needed her?

PP follows the sound of the rant, around the corner to the wheelchair accessible stall.
There she is, wedged in between the toilet and the door. Was she stuck? Had she hurt herself?

“Are you okay?” PP asks.
SWW stares up at her, surprised. “Of course, I’m okay. Why wouldn’t I be?”
Shit, PP swears to herself. Does swearing up a storm at the top of your lungs in a public place constitute okayness?

Evidently in SWW’s universe.

Sighing, PP tries to keep her tone calm and sympathetic. It’s hard.

“Well, I could hear you swearing from the other stalls. What’s wrong?”
“Oh, that!” SWW laughs softly, embarrassed? No, just amused. “I was just mad at her is all. I know she saw me and I said ‘Hello’ to her and she didn’t even answer me. I know she saw me. I know she did….”

Her voice trails off. She shakes her head, her naked back arched over in a permanent hunch.

“Oh,” PP smiles. Shit, is that all? She doesn’t say this. “Well, maybe she was having a bad day,” she offers.

“Oh, yeah, you’re probably right,” SWW laughs, wheeling her way out of the stall now. “She was having a bad day. But I know she saw me. I said ‘Hello’ and she just ignored me. Just walked right past me. Why did she do that?”

Her bright blue eyes pierce into PP’s demanding an explanation for another’s rudeness. It occurs to PP that this other woman may not have been in the mood to deal with SWW’s insanity today. Or maybe, as is often said and studies have been done, people with disabilities are seen as ‘invisible’—literally so. This could be it too.

But more likely, the woman was just busy, or preoccupied, or having a bad day and just didn’t respond.

And again, this is what PP proposes and then adds, “I know it’s hard when someone’s rude to you, but don’t let her spoil your day. You’re at the Y and going to the Pool and the pool is quite lovely today….”

“Oh, is it? It was nice yesterday!” SWW exclaims, distracted now.

Cuz this is what the pool can do as we all know. It can distract. It can soothe.
And today, PP is particularly glad for the Pool’s power. She understood why SWW was angry. It musta been a pretty rude encounter for her to get so upset. After all, she was so friendly and sweet to everyone, saying Hello and asking after them.

Unless she was yelling at them to stop asking her if she was okay. Which is exactly what PP had done today.

And she hadn’t been. Not really.
But now, now she was. Or seemed to be.

And this of course was all thanks to the Pool.

SWW wheels into the shower and grunts as she turns on the water, begins spraying her hunchback to ready for pool entry.

"Have a nice pool time," PP calls over to her as she heads back to her locker.
"Oh, I will. Thank you. You have a very nice figure, you know? I used to have a nice one but since the accident I....."


Anonymous said…
You are the best! You make such a difference in my life reminding me to take the time to appreciate the good things and to have the courage to try and get past the unpleasantness in life, and in people. Hope you get in another lovely swim today!

Cj said…
Thanks, Laurie Cat! If it weren't for you, I doubt I'd write these stories at all. You are my biggest fan and I really appreciate how you 'see' my stories. So nice! >^..^<
You are a sweet and sincere girl, and it bodes well for all who encounter you...

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