Thursday, April 27, 2006

just a few facts

Fact: People in cars like to gawk at people waiting at bus stops.

Fact: People glance quickly, then look away, at people in wheelchairs.

Fact: People glance quickly, then look away, at people missing a body part; once they get past you, they often turn back for a double-take when they think you aren’t looking.
(note: dancers have exceptional peripheral vision)

Fact: People like to stare at, and sometimes chat up, people that are knitting.

Fact: If you are missing one leg, and are knitting while sitting in a wheelchair waiting at a bus stop…it makes people do a very funny dance of stops and starts with their eyeballs.
(note: dancers have exceptional peripheral vision)

Yesterday was a bit of a shuffle.
Started up my trusty steed "Volvo", and he made a very loud metal clanking noise.

It ends up that the exhaust system just needed a little welding...all the rain here is creating a landmine-like field of potholes with new ones sinking in every day. What I usually do is memorize a maze-like driving pattern to avoid them. But a new one snuck up on me Monday, and I had hit it pretty damn good.

I spent a lot of time on the bus yesterday, getting back home from the auto shop and then back out again to dance rehearsal. The East Bay bus system sucks. Our transit systems are not federally supported like they are in San Francisco (I had so many options for transportation when I lived in SF, the most I drove my car some weeks was to move it for street cleaning).

These days I am usually wearing my prosthetic leg when I'm out and about, but not for dancing yet…I am often dancing in, or from, a wheelchair. When I’m headed out for a dance class or rehearsal, I usually leave the leg at home (need a nickname for the leg…any thoughts?). In taking a bus to dance class to rehearsal yesterday, I was not going to bring the wheelchair along while wearing the leg, too. Just too many mechanical parts for me to deal with.

I swear, if I can find a way to make it work on the bus, though, I’d really like to use it more often. It doesn't stop very close to my house, and it only runs about once an hour.
But at $.85 bus ride (gimp rate) it saved me 10.6 miles in sky-high gas prices….
I got to do my little part to get off the roadway and spare the air…
Plus I got half a sock knitted yesterday (2nd in the pair)…

The bonus of course, was that I got to be entertained the entire one hour bus ride by watching people trying to figure out which part of my "freakness" to stare at.

I know I'm a weirdo, but I like making people a tad bit uncomfortable. This came long before being a fact, it's got nothing at all to do with being a gimp. I've done some interesting things to make people uncomfortable, and I'd much rather make people uncomfortable around me for reasons other than my slightly uniquely shaped body.

I even like it when I'm the uncomfortable one (actually, I probably even prefer that more...but I think that's why I like doing it to others).

I like discomfort because being unsettled in ones self makes one have to respond.
THAT is what I like about it.
I like having to work that out for myself, and I like watching other people squirm around and work their processes to ease their unsettled-ness, too. Kind of like the way I used to like playing (and watching people play) Twister when I was a kid. This is my grown-up version. It's a little side-hobby/life-study of mine.

Like I said. I know. I'm a weirdo. Don't waste your time telling me so.
It just think it's kinda funny how it's turned out that I can make someone uncomfortable without even trying.


InkyW said...

I hear ya. I'm a VERY fat, VERY tattooed, VERY pierced woman who knits in public. I don't know what people find odder. And people have been staring at me all my life. My 7 year old neice is wheelchair bound and I agree that the song and dance folks do with their eyeballs (and themselves) can be amusing.

I just prefer the folks that ask.

Anonymous said...


Flying one's Freak Flag in public should be considered a civic duty.

Anonymous said...

You should Patent your game of Emotional Twister before it becomes a reality show and you get no credit for it.

Anonymous said...

Aha. Now I understand the fascination with vulgar T-shirts. Now, if you're knitting, one-legged AND wearing the "swallows" T-shirt all at the same time, out in public, well, I think if somebody gets into a car accident you might have some arguable liability there...

Perhaps you should nickname the leg "Isadora" -- except then, of course, you'd actually have to take her dancing.