To many who live with disabilities, a cure is a cherished dream. To almost anyone, the idea that someone would want a disability seems perverse. People automatically react with the colloquially dismissive term “crazy” to the concept of an able-bodied individual seeking a physical handicap. Yet such people exist and their condition has a name: Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID).
The parking lot is sparsely inhabited, though the handicapped spaces are already half full. We meet here most Saturday mornings before the onslaught of eager shoppers starts to clog the hallways of this sprawling, climate-controlled, mini-metropolis. In titanium-lightened wheelchairs and battery-powered transporters, we embark on a scripted journey, trying to enjoy dwindling scraps of independence before chronic diseases rob us of even this limited exercise of freedom.
"Stuff My Non-Verbal Brother Says" and "Childless, Hormonal College Girls at a Baby Shower"
I lost the ability to convincingly imitate my brother's various vocalizations since his voice dropped. He has a deep man voice; I'm an alto and sound like five-year-old him, at best.
Smiling "Rawrs" while looking in your direction, rising in intonation as you near
I like the noise you're making, clanking down the hall. Tornado siren shouts at 11:05 on a Sunday Hurry up, Pastor, you're running long…
It was my sister’s wedding day, and you were who I was thinking about, imagining what could have been, the worst kind of daydream. Standing there beside her in the first piece of formal wear I’d ever owned—a black strapless gown because she was going for the classic, black-tie look—I stared at her, assessing the look in her eyes. It was a look I’d never seen before, one that said my future is here. Here wasn’t a place I’d ever be. Not with you. I wouldn’t have a future with you. I wouldn’t have anything with you. There was no us.
I was trying to ignore the fact that it was another day focused on her. It was just another day, and yet it was the day. It was her prerogative to say to Mom oh so audibly, “I don’t want her crutches showing in the pictures!”