FROM THE EARTH BOUND TOM BOY FILES
By Heidi Johnson-Wright
We need to talk. Yes, I know: no conversation in history starting off that way ever ended well. But there are some things we need to hash out.
We’ve been together nearly half a decade. Wow, that’s significant. Five years is the length of cohabitation most health insurance policies require before a chair user can get a new chair. Not that I’m in the market for another, dear. I’m just sayin’…
Now, babe, don’t cry. Need some reassurance? You are amazing at giving me my own space. I mean, you are the opposite of clingy. Of course, I would expect nothing less from someone named Torque Storm. Not exactly the moniker of a clinging vine.
But sometimes you’re just a little too laissez–faire. I’ve got an image to uphold, you know. People see a gimp girl in a wheelchair and they immediately assume I’m “wheelchair bound.” (Stop snickering. The B&D of our private life is nobody’s business.) They’re convinced that we’re perpetually fused together. That I shower in you, sleep in you. That I never transfer out of you into a theater seat. Can you imagine what they’d say if they saw me taking a few steps with my walker? Good God, the fallout that would cause.
This affects your image, too, you know. You and your progenitors have established your reputation as symbols of failure, as prisons on wheels. What would they say if it leaked out that you’re really enablers, huh? Enablers of mobility, of freedom…of independence, even! What if I went to the press and told them the truth: that I never would have gotten an education, made a career or left the dang house without you in my life? Two can play at that game, my friend.
Come on now, baby. I didn’t mean to be cruel. You know you’re the best thing that ever happened to me. So what if you’re not my first, or even my fifth? So what if my chair throughout college cradled my backside like no other? It didn’t mean anything. It was nothing compared to what we have. We’re going to be together forever, just you wait and see.
Or at least until insurance says I can roll you to the curb.