I wasn’t sure if I’d really covered this part of being disabled properly or not and then I realised I haven’t blogged for a while and there was this thing I wanted to write about so I should just write it and see what ends up on the page.
I take rides with strangers.
There I said it, it’s out, OH MY GOD!
It happens regularly, it’s mostly women or guys whose partner has made them pull over and ask.
There are a few different approaches to it.
1 A car will pass me, slow down, reverse, ask.
2 A car will ease to a stop ahead of me and the driver starts clearing the passenger seat and as I go by they yell out the window.
3 A car does a U turn and asks.
There are my own rules into accepting the ride as well.
Do I feel safe, Is the person local, How far I am going.
I have said no. Sometimes I am just short of my house and sometimes the driver freaks me out. Either in their manner or they sound drunk or on something. I have met some interesting people doing this.
A children’s tv presenter actually gave me a ride to and from my film school interview. She picked me up on Onewa Road. It was co incidence we were going to the same place. She mentioned she had seen me around the neighborhood. She knew I had been in a wheelchair and was curious as to why I walked up Onewa Road every day.
WHAT A STALKER!
Except that’s also common. I am a fairly visible disabled person in the neighborhood and a lot of people knew me (in appearance only) as “That guy on the sticks who goes up the hill every day.”.
One ride was quite late at night. About 00:15. I had just finished work and taken the bus home. A white car raced passed me and then backed up and pulled into the street I was turning into. Two twenty somethings, a guy and a girl, got out of the car and started running towards me. They offered me a lift home.
I wasn’t far from home about 10 minutes walk. It’s late, I’m tired. They don’t seem threatening or very big (I can take them in a fight I rationalise). So as we get in the car they ask about my night, they are very energetic and happy….aww shit.
I know what’s coming at the end of this ride (and if you’ve read this blog so do you). While I carefully cover a laugh I ask them about their night 3…2….1
“We’ve just come from our youth group our pastor was talking about healing people and we were thinking about it when we saw you.”
“We decided it was a sign from God and we were wondering if you’d allow us to try and help you.”
“Thank you for the lift”
“Can we try heal you?”
Sigh….I let them…..it didn’t work.
One of the best people I met was a retired builder. Every now and then he does a bit of work on people’s houses. He has one of the best voices I have ever heard and yes I recommended he seek out an agent for voice work. I haven’t seen him in a while but I hope he followed through on this.
I am well aware of stranger danger but the at this point I trust my instincts.