Friday, June 8, 2012

Meddle with Metal

So, I'm walking to Taralucci to pick up a cup of the most heavenly ground coffee beans and water when I notice the eyes of strangers starting to dart from my leg to my face to my leg to anything-else-omg-i-think-she-saw-me-looking-at-her. It's quite unbelievable how people try to pretend they weren't checking out my gold leg. Guess what. I saw you. Your dead pan stare at your phone is an obvious cover. The jig is up.
Can I tell you a secret? Guess what I do when I see someone with a missing limb walk down the street? My eyes open wide and I stare like they just walked out of an abusive tanning bed. I stare at them and think, Holy shit, what happened to that guy? His leg looks soooo different. I mean, my leg doesn't look like that. I wonder who his prosthetist is? Ohhh... I hope it wasn't a lawn mower.
I'm not going to try to speak for all amputees but if you ever see me on the street, for Pete's sake, save yourself the burning curiosity and just ask me whatever question suits your fancy. I'm kind of an expert on the subject, "One leg: How'd you get it and what's it like?" Asking difficult or seemingly embarrassing questions is the only way to gain knowledge into the unknown. It's charming how people try to be so polite and avert their eyes to my leg like they're trying to protect me from some awful truth. JIMINY CRICKET, I HAVE ONE LEG-I know I do.
I have never been offended by people who avert their eyes because I understand that it usually comes from a place of kindness and I have never been offended by people who ask me about what happened because it's about the truth. I will tell you that I learn a lot about a person in a little bit of time by how they interact with a robot leg. How do you react when you see a different body?

Gold Mettle


1 comment:

  1. Especially when you are so obviously not trying to hide anything about your leg, it should be safe to assume that you are okay with the questions. As for randoms on the street, however, the fact that you are a complete stranger almost adds equal weight so why they wouldn't feel just asking you out right.

    In undergrad there was a girl in my biology lab with a prosthetic leg. Especially out of knowing you, I really wanted to ask her about it. What stopped me was the fact that it was very clear she took every step to be as discrete as possible with it. In fact, it took me months to even suspect that she might have a prosthesis (yes, I said 'suspect' instead of 'find out' on purpose). Just like how you can't speak for other, they can't speak for you. But yeah, I can definitely see how that's annoying.

    I always really liked when people at beginning of R-MWC would ask me about your leg because then I could break the ice about it without them feeling uncomfortable, and then next time the interacted with you they already knew what to expect (in terms of you're not afraid to talk about it/answer questions) because I had already told them!

    Wow, I did not expect to write all that. Love you!