I walked into Davis today for an appointment at Harvard Vanguard. Crossing Holland Street was more of a challenge than I expected because of a van which had parked right on top of the crosswalk by the curb entrance. It was one of the MBTA's "The Ride" vans and obviously waiting for someone at the doctor's office, but it had completely taken up all the space I needed to make it to the sidewalk. There were huge snowbanks on either side of the curb ramp, but I noticed there was a wee bit of a gap by the front of the van I could use, if I were clever and deft enough on the crutches, to scoot around and make it on the sidewalk. And, rather than do something proactive such as, you know, make eye contact with this van driver and look plaintive enough so as to have pity taken upon me, I crossed the street and scooted around the van's front end, as clever and as deftly as possible.
A young man, probably in his early 20s, came by on his bike and saw me clambering up on the curb. He got real mad at the van for this and, as I started walking towards the HVMA entrance, he pulled up to the driver's side window and gave the driver a real earful.
"You're blocking the entire crosswalk!" the kid hollered. "What's wrong with you? That guy over there on crutches, he had to climb over a damn snowbank to get by!" I was slightly embarrassed at this point because I hadn't wanted to make any trouble nor disturb any naps, but on the other hand I was amazed this guy had decided to stand up for someone he didn't even know. We made eye contact through the van while he was yelling--I smiled and gave a thumbs-up, then headed for the door. He biked off and the van stayed where it was.
It's been amazing how helpful people have been around here to one with a movement injury. You have to keep telling yourself not to take it for granted, that soon the crutches will be gone and you won't have this gigantic tell, that you better remember what people did for you so you can do the same for other injured souls. In the meantime, people hold doors for you, make seats available for you, and give you helpful tidbits of advice such as "be careful" and "don't fall" yet you don't begrudge the obvious. You also don't expect a complete stranger to yell at someone on your behalf, but it apparently happens.
The doctor's appointment went well, and Sonya and I had a very nice dinner in Watertown. I have never left the Deluxe Town Diner in any state other than Insanely Full To The Point Where You Don't Want To Hear Any More Monty Python Jokes About Wafer-Thin Mints Thank You. It's a very specific state to be sure, but one which is all too easy to achieve at the Deluxe.