Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Oh. Hey. That’s not good. He/she’s really struggling in that wheelchair. It’ll take hours to get anywhere. Should I go over? Wait. See if there’s someone. Nope. Nobody to help. What would Susan do? She’d definitely help. Don’t hesitate. Just do it. Okay. I’m doing it. Wait. Some disabled people don’t want help. Asking them is offensive. But he/she’s really having a hard time. Hey, if asking causes offense, at least you asked. You’ll regret it if you don’t. Remember: What would Susan do? Okay. Here goes.

“Wanna push?”

“Oh? Yes. That would be great,” replies the somewhat bedraggled and unshaven yet obviously grateful he.

“I live right there,” he says, pointing a gnarled finger at the poshy entrance of a high-rise condo building less than 20 feet away.

Disabled. Loaded. Yet no one to help.


Then, a rush of words as I wheel him towards home:

“I try to do this on my own but it’s hard and I’m not even supposed to be in this thing anymore thank you so much for stopping I really appreciate it.”

“Are you in physical therapy?” I ask.

“Yes, that’s where I’m coming from.”

“They sure beat you up, don’t they?”

“YES and they don’t give you any breaks, either, I was really sweated up today.”

“I’ve been there,” I say. “Were you in an accident?”

“Sorta. I had a heart attack and they gave me the wrong medication and I had a bad reaction to it and it put me in a coma for a while.”

I’m rescued from having to say ‘That’s terrible’ or ‘What a shame’ or some other inane comment because we’re at the entrance where a tall, impeccably dressed black man hustles around the security desk to open the door.

“Could you take me upstairs?”

“I can’t leave the desk,” says the security man.

“No, I was asking her,” says the man in the chair, thumbing his shoulder.

Silence of the Lambs. The creepy pupa dude asks the chubby chick to help him load a chair into the van. I’m the chubby chick. He’s not really disabled. It’s a scam and he’s gonna get me upstairs and starve me and make a swimsuit outta my skin and no one will ever see me again. Nobody even knows where I am right now, just walking back from lunch. But he's old and lives in this ritzy-titzy condo and the security guard saw me and he obviously needs help and oh what the hell, Heather, have a little faith in the universe for once.


He’s Mike. I’m Heather. He’s on floor 9 please. The hallway is all polished hardwood and much darker than I thought it would be.

“Right over here,” he says.

My heart is in my throat as he struggles to put the key in the door.

Now. Now. NOW. If this is one of those scary Stephen King stories from your childhood, NOW would be the time when he leaps up out of the wheelchair -- transforming from a weak old geezer into a crazed psychopath with Super Human Strength -- and shoves you into his lair.

Serial killers have lairs.

Rich old cripples have condos.

I roll him through the doorway, careful not to cross the threshold.

“Thanks again for your help today,” he says.

“You’re welcome. Take care.”

And thank you for not being Ed Gein.


Incredibly stupid? Or just every day kindness to strangers?

What would you have done?
I am listening to: If I Ever Feel Better - Phoenix
I am reading: Salesforce.com stuff
And I am: Chubby and helpful


molly gras said...

I would've done it too, and I would've been scared shitless too (I saw the movie; I know the cliche!)

So yoo-hoo! and way to get positive affirmation that the universe is indeed a good place in which to move around in.

Hedy = 58 Good Samaritian points (every 20 points gets you a gold brick to build your own posh-y palace in the afterlife -- if that's the sort of thing you're interested in!)

Anonymous said...

You're not chubby your voluptuous, and you are always helpful to anyone, always.

You would give the fat off your ass if it would help someone, I know you would.

Susan said...

Hedy - thanks for the props!

I will caution you...I have done some incredibly stupid things in "helping" people...that in hindsight could have gone way bad (i.e. years ago, each morning I stopped and picked up a guy, while he waited for the bus to take him to the station outside of the "transition from prison" house he was living in!).

But, by in large, I have had very positive experiences in helping others. My hope is that they will "pay it forward" and this world might be a better place.

for the human race

Cindiloo said...

I would have done the exact same thing; but afterwards I would have had to make a stop at Macy's for some new britches.

Moe Wanchuk said...

next time, grow a pair....and go in!

Anonymous said...

We have been so pumped with fear it has left us paralyzed. In fact helping a fellow human being is safer than getting in your car and driving to the grocery store... or taking an America Airline to another city... it's so sad that people don't help others... I always help when I can... no fear. Nice job Hedy!