The negotiation - a cripple's perspective

i promised myself

a long time ago

that i would stop lying

that i would not duck reasonable people

seeking reasonable things

 

so i answer the question

 

every time it is asked

 

i dig deep into my gut and extract a piece of myself

wrap it up

and hand it out…

 

the best

the best are the ones who look

carefully

turn it over

mull it over

and then give it back

 

the worst are not satisfied

with what i have given

this shabby piece

is not enough

 

and the list comes:

 

raiki

aromatherapy

massage therapy

vitamins

homeopathy

muscle alignment

electric wheelchair

energy alignment

physio therapy

regression therapy

genetics

nanotechnology…

 

on they go

 

as if i have not tried them all

 

as if i do not still dream

of running,

full tilt,

through the daisies

 

of course

between the best

and the worst

are the rest

the mass who look

twice

only to see themselves:

their geriatric fears,

the impossible made true

in me

 

who look

as if i might have something extraordinary

to impart.

 

and maybe

some nights

i do

 

sometimes

 

i can tell of hell in a bucket

i can paint the bubble of abstract, wilful life

of envy

of pride

jealousy

and the eerie silence of the dead calm sea

 

but mostly, the lessons are few

 

in fact

 

there is only one that means anything

 

and here it is:

 

everyone

 

at some stage

 

will be forced to negotiate

with the physical

 

with the step

the chair

the toilet

the road that can no longer be walked

 

we are all forced to die

 

and it will hurt.

 

at some stage we will all sit in silence – bellowing to ourselves,

in that silence we will add up our life achievements

and they won’t amount to much…

 

the negotiation: this is all i have to offer

 

prepare yourself to bargain

at the round table of our demise.

 

generally this is not enough

 

the fact that that the dwarf, the downs baby, the wheelchair man and all the other defectives

are

despite appearances

exactly the same

as you

 

somehow

it disappoints

 

and they look away

 

embarrassed

 

that life could be so cruel

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