The Orange Thug and the Event of My Healing

(Originally posted on the website Heron Flight)

I am a teenager. I am paralyzed from the waist down. Getting around is difficult, but my spirits are good. I’ve become proficient in pulling myself along the ground with my arms and maneuvering my weight to slide down inclines. I am paralyzed, but not crippled.

On my last day in this condition, I am out with my Mom, my grandmother (Gram), and a friend of mine who always insists on helping me move about. The place where we are is crowded.

Waiting by an elevator with my friend, I notice stairs nearby. I want to take the stairs. But Mom said we must wait by the elevator while she gets my wheelchair. I am convinced that I can make it up the stairs using my arms and positioning my body against the wall as I do so.

“Mom, let me go up by the stairs. I can do it. I want to do it.”

Mom says, “There are too many people. And Gram is with us. It’s easier for her to take the elevator.”

I plead with my mom as more people join the crowd in front of the elevator. “Please, Mom. I can do it!”

A stern police officer in a uniform that looks like it’s from the 1950s accompanies a tall rough looking prisoner among the crowd. The prisoner is wearing an orange jumpsuit. He is a thug if I ever saw one.

While Mom is setting up my wheelchair, the thug is standing behind Gram. He pulls her close to himself then slides has calloused hand down her blouse and clutches her breast.

The cop pretends not to notice.

“Hey!” I yell, “Get your hands off my grandmother. Hey! Officer! Do something!”

The thug looks at me from the corner of his eye and grins.

The cop glances at the thug groping my grandmother, then turns and begins to whistle as if he saw nothing.

I try desperately to move over the help my grandmother. But I cannot get through the people.

Mom is still working on the wheelchair.

Finally, in a storm of curses, I make my way to a spot within reach of the thug and I smash him on the top of the head with all my might.

He in turn clobbers me square in the face with a mighty fist and I am knocked to the floor unconscious.

When I come to, most of the crowd has cleared. I jump to my feet yelling, “Where is that bastard! I’m gonna kill him!”

The thug and the cop are gone.

I realize that I am now whole again. I jump. I jump. I jump!

This was a dream I had last night.

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