So this is what happened tonight: i was out scooting about the neighbourhood tonight wearing my battery down so i could get a nice full charge overnight, when the whole thing went kaput. Slammed (and i do mean slammed, there was nothing graceful about it at all) to a stop and no power. In the middle of the street. On a steep hill. 20 blocks from home. (i was hoping to all fuck that it was the battery and not the motor, and the former seems to be the case, fingers crossed, thank fuck). *UPDATE: its still not working, even after a full charge :( Dont know what im gonna do. *UPDATEUPDATE lol: its working! apparently i blew a charge (?) and just needed to press the reset button under the seat thing. Whoosh.
Now, at another time in my life, this wouldn’t have freaked me out. i’d have just taken my time and crutches and walked home. But that reality is no more for me. i can’t just get up and walk 20 blocks. i felt stuck. And scared. And worn out. And like i was gonna cry in the street. i just sat there and said to myself “well what the fuck am i supposed to do now??”
After a few moments i decided i at least needed to get out of the street because i had no lights. So i released the, well, release-y thing, and got it up on the sidewalk. And sat some more. Tried the key again. Nuthin’. i took it real slow and inched down half the hill to an intersection and figured i’d just have to wind my way home somehow, and hope to fuck i don’t lose control on a downhill. Not cool. (Note: these fucking things should have hand brakes on them for times like this.)
So im sitting there in the dark, when these folks come by on bicycles and ask if im ok and do i need any help. i let them know what happened and where i was trying to get to, and one of them locked their bike up, and pushed me all the way home. This chair weighs about 140lbs + me at another 230lbs, so this dude pushes 370lbs for 20 blocks, down some steep hills which he has to completely control me so i dont go flying, then a couple inclines and a rocky alley. Didnt even hesitate.
He and his partner just moved here 5 months ago, and are exploring the neighbourhood. When he asked me what i’d gotten up to today, before i knew what i was saying, i said id been at the Vancouver Queer Film Fest. Inside, i was like “why the fuck did you say that!!!! You dont know this dude!! What if he freaks out??” and so forth. But he didnt. He was totally chill, totally sweet, asked me some questions about it, told me what he’d been up to today.
Also, this all has me thinking again in a different way about privilege: skin privilege (if i wasn’t white, would people even stop?), gender-passing privilege (if people perceived me as the trans person i am, would they stop to help?), presumed-male privilege (if i was perceived as a woman, how safe could i ever assume it to be to have a strange man push me home, physically vulnerable?), class-based passing privilege (if i “looked poor”, how many people would stop to help me if i was in the street like that?), and so on, and how these things intersect with ones ability to do those things, to even receive assistance, to take chances, etc.
Yeah, that whole interdependency thing (which includes among other things suspending disbelief, putting yourself out there, trusting-while-also-trusting-your-gut —which needs to be filtered through the last paragraph)? Totally need it in my life. Riding this chair, im learning that more every day.