Friday, May 8, 2009

Freaks are free

The other day, I went to the movies. I wanted to see "Earth." I had my attendant drop me off in front of a local megaplex. After all, I’m an adult, a big boy. I can get and pay for my own ticket, thank you very much.
Maybe not.
"Earth," I said, when the young woman at the window asked me what movie I wanted to see. I also put my wallet up on the counter.
"What?" the woman asked, not understanding my speech. This was nothing new. It didn’t help that I was talking through a small hole.
Okay. One word, one syllable - "Earth." How hard could it be? It wasn’t like there were dozens of movies with titles like that.
Apparently, it was plenty hard. I could hear the woman talking to other people in the office. I could see her looking around desperately. Help!
"Earth," I said. This was more than the third time, but maybe the charm would still come.
No such luck.
"Go to the door."
Okay. This was something new. This was going to be an adventure. I scooped up my wallet and went to the door.
Inside, a smiling woman greeted me. "What movie do you want to see?"
"Earth," I said with renewed hope.
All I got was a sheet of paper put in my face. "Point to the movie you want to see," the smiling woman said. I saw that all the movies playing there were listed on the paper. This was a step, at least. What’s more, the woman thought I could read. All hope was not lost.
I panicked. I couldn’t find "Earth" on the list. Oh, God, what if the smiling woman thought I couldn’t read? What if she thought I was a babbling vegetable? What if----? Wait - it was right there, at the top of the list, in Theater 1. I pointed. Good boy!
"Oh. That’s right there, in Theater 1." The woman smiled and pointed.
I held out my wallet. I owed $7.50. "That’s okay," the woman said, her smile getting even bigger. "It’s on us!"
What? Why? I’m not some charity case! I’m not an idiot from the sidewalk! I’m a college graduate and a writer, a columnist, a performance artist. I’m a blogger, damn it!
Then again, they had put me through all this shit. Besides, times are tough. My S.S.I and my Section 8 have been cut.
"Thank you," I said and went in for free and enjoyed the show.
Maybe I should be dropped off more often.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I was going to say the way people treat people as this article describes is all to common unfortunately. The same happens to anyone who has a disability, either mental or physical. The thing with a visable handicap is not fair to always be judged on appearance first and then on communication, and finally on behavior. The one comment I have is the experience of getting meds from my pharmacy. More than a few times the person taking my prescription and filling it has been overly nice or overly sensitive, when really they should have been professional.
    My feelings have been hurt all my life, with my speech being slow as to a point of being mistaken as lethargic. My attitude is after the person mirrors what they assume is my mental capacity, makes an effort to speak slow and obviously struggling themselves to treat me as an intelligent equal. Not to demean slowly, but to assume I cannot understand, hence discriminative to a point of intolerance for the differences and not realizing this is what makes us inhumane.
    I just hope feelings aside, there are those who respectively try to remain nuetral in how communication is given and received.
    I want every person to be included and done with dignity, respect and understanding diversity is not only a culture to adapt to ethnically, but is emotionally, physically, and verbally, as nobody likes to be on the end of ridicule and joke. I have seen this and felt this first hand. Oh, and when you treat people with respect, you get it in return. Love, Daryl.