More from the subway

Yesterday I squeezed onto a red line subway train headed for the Loop. At the next station people, healthy looking people got up from the “Designated Seats” for the elderly and disabled and a young woman standing next to me quickly, ignoring me and my cane, sat her self satisfied ass in the seat meant for people like me; you know, the disabled senior citizen? We’re everywhere and we are her future.

She and the young woman seated next to her feigned complete blindness to my presence standing right in front of them. This may not have been my best moment, but I really, and I mean really, wanted to smack their self-satisfied heads together.

Eventually, our train pulled into the 1st station in the Loop, where I always step off the train to walk to my office. The woman sitting right in front of me, the one who so completely ignored the plight of the disabled senior standing directly in front of her made motions indicating she was readying herself to get up and leave the train.

Being the bastard I can sometimes, be I, I feigned that I didn’t notice her and, therefore, didn’t budge an inch even though it was my stop. I stood still as she tried to get up from the disabled’ persons rightful seat. I didn’t budge. I ignored her.

When in exasperation with my studied indifference to her, she said “Excuse me,” I replied with as much saccharine as I could muster: “Oh, now you see me. For the last 10 minutes I didn’t exist. Maybe next time a disable or senior citizen requires the “Designated” seat, you will gather as much empathy as your parents, in their miserable failure, tried to instill in you and you will cheerfully give up your seat.” I turned and walked away from her with just the slightest bit of satisfaction, but knowing, realistically, my words fell on the deaf ears of a cemented, self-involved blockhead.

About left0089

Columnist at American News Report. Pain care activist. Poet, memoirist.
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3 Responses to More from the subway

    • left0089 says:

      Whenever I attempt to ask anyone to trade places with me on the train I always ask if they are in some way disabled. I know well about the false assumptions that can be made about us which is why I’m careful with my behavior. But, I must say, not once has a younger person claimed a medical problem when I have asked. I won’t claim angelic status, when I see some young people ignoring me I am immediately suspicious because of all the times this has happend. But even, then, I always ask.

      But your point is well taken and I hope others will consider it.

  1. Michelle says:

    I feel it is a need of mine to respond to your story about the Subway. For your information, if you saw me on the subway, I’m sure you would see a young and healthy woman through your eyes. However, I have what is called an “invisible illness”. It honestly doesn’t matter what the illness is but I can tell you that it is EXCRUCIATING, exhausting, humiliating and there is no cure. The moral of this is, you have no idea whether or not someone is disabled just by looking at them and making an assumption regarding their health, etc. You need to realize this and take it into account when you are out there interacting with others whom you know nothing about. Just saying!

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