Being Crippled Sucks

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From: Rohit Khare (
Date: Mon Sep 25 2000 - 23:36:38 PDT

As a few of you know, I'm wearing a cast these days with pins in my
feet as the result of totalling a pickup truck in LA when I was
packing up and moving out.

First, a word of thanks for technology. In a crash involving several
vehicles and a flipped SUV, every single person walked away.
Seatbelts and airbags rule.

Always wear your safety belt. Always invest in technology. Never
invest in an SUV.

Anyway, I'm writing this from the sidewalk in front of San Jose
baggage claim, in front of a SJ Murky newsrack whose front page
decries deaths, the highest job losses since December, and a
moratorium on new .com businesses in Redwood City and San Mateo.

This is approximately twenty feet from the baggage claim, from whence
I hauled two pieces of serious luggage.

The baggage claim is a hundred feet from the lobby.

The lobby is a hundred and fifty feet from the Alaska Air gates.

The Alaska Air gate is fifty feet from the jet, across the tarmac.

The jet is up 30 stairs, with a glossy, shiny, ultraslippery railing
on both sides.

The jet stairs are 15 rows down from coach.

No one has offered to help.

Now, I'm not the most sympathetic person in the world, and I
certainly can and did take care of myself. I don't feel at all
injusticed or angry or sad, just exhausted.

Since Adam had to go get the rental car from, oh, Reno (at the rate
that this !$%^# renovation project has taken to remove rentals from
the terminal), I stole a wheelchair from the curbside outside Alaska
-- yes, stole, from the dirty looks and lecture of the
school of support. It, like most airport wheelchairs in my few weeks'
experience, is a total frankenpile of shit. The brakes don't work,
the wheels are misaligned, the footrests won't fold out of the way,
and is generally as stable as a pile of tinkertoys for a 300lb CEO.

And don't forget to balance those crutches across your lap as you
push your way forward on one good leg.

And don't forget not to push too hard and almost tilt the whole
contraption over a few times, all but landing on your cast before you
remember you can't.

And don't forget to balance your jacket across those crutches between
your thighs because it's chilly in Seattle but even in a silk
Hawaiian shirt you'll be sweating to the oldies as the muzak wafts by.

But don't, in any case, expect a look of sympathy, concern, or
involvement from the milling civillians, police, and airport staff.
[Kudos, by the way, for the Napster-shirt wearing geek who carried my
crutches down the airstairs].

It's too bad there aren't social transactions for exchanging contact
and recognition short of pity and full involvement. I don't feel at
all injusticed. I just feel invisible.

Not for long,

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