On Saturday afternoon, a friend (also a wheelchair user) and I were trying to hail a taxi on Charing Cross Road. We were there for probably about 10 minutes before we finally got one. In that whole time, only two people came up and asked if we needed any help to cross the road.
Oh London, it's good to be home.
The aforementioned friend is the only person I went to school with that I'm still in touch with (I do actually hear from two people I went to school with, but the other I didn't "keep" in touch with... we ran into each other at a GLAD conference last year. The pedant in me needed to make that clear). He has a far better memory than me.
A few weeks ago we were chatting on the phone and he pointed out that when he first started at my school he came up to me and said "Are you free?"
To which I apparently replied with something to the effect of "Honey, I'm always available..."
Fairly typical comment of me at 13, really.
As my life is speeding by, and my teens have blurred into my twenties, have I changed at all?
Well, a few weeks ago, a youth worker friend of mine was flicking through her... youth... work... magazine. She came across an article accompanied by a photo of me, which she kindly scanned in and Emailed to me. The article was nothing to do with me, but the photo was from when I did some modelling for the Disability Rights Commission. In the photo I'm sitting next to a placard, proudly bearing the statement:
"Open 4 All"
I'll take that as a "no" then.
There is a spectacular irony in the fact that I've been paid to work as a model. I am quite possibly the least attractive person on the planet. My face has cropped up in several places, and I've even been stopped in the street by a man with a newspaper stand who recognised me from seeing my picture in Disability Now. That was a surreal experience.
Does this degree of exceedingly minor celebrity help me be more successful with the ladies? Does it fuck. Perhaps that's a poor choice of word of course, as fucking is an activity I'd like to be engaging in... but sadly haven't for far too long. So maybe it was the right choice of word, I don't know. Perhaps I should let thoughts make their way through my head, rather than just carrying on typing out what's going through my brain at the second I'm thinking it?
But, what comes next? As my life passes me by, and I become a thirtysomething still living alone in a bedsit doing admin to earn a living, will I of resorted to leaving my number in phone boxes around the capital? And more to the point, how many random strangers will offer to help me to do so?