Tag Archives: Concerts

Everybody Exploits Their Disability If They Can

This was originally posted on May 25, 2015 at 6:24 PM on blogger.com.

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As I wrote in yesterday’s post, my friend Shanice and I attended an All Time Low concert on Saturday night. It was the second to last stop on the Future Hearts Tour. And it was quite fun. The whole day was, actually.

That night was also especially memorable because it was my first concert. Last summer I’d attended the Inaugural Alternative Press Music Awards (APMAS) with my sister so I was prepared for the craziness of the crowd, but it was not technically a concert, so I do not count it.

Upon arriving, Shanice and I were excited to be in the front especially with people already pushing and angry at the people with the Early Admission armbands.While waiting, Shanice was giving me a running commentary on everyone’s appearance while I eased dropped and relayed the conversations. She also told me about the many stares I was receiving.

But, as we all started streaming in when the doors )or in this case, I think it was a gate/fence) opened, the first thing to alert me that I wasn’t the only visibly disabled person was Shanice telling me about a girl sitting on the lap of her wheelchair-bound friend (which I found hilarious).

We were then detoured because they couldn’t process anybody’s mobile tickets so they  sent us to have them printed at the box office. There was some sort of hold up there and eventually a security guard came along, asked if we were all mobile, and told us to go. Shanice was now annoyed because we were in the back and asked if I wanted to push through. I said sure and that I would use my cane to it’s full potential.

After we all rushed in and Shanice and I were discussing whether we would run or not, someone motioned to us or Shanice saw the “accessible” area for everyone with disabilities. (It was being held in a park, so it was standing room only). So we went in. They was in the back or near the back, but they said that they would bring chairs.

Inside were people with crutches and in wheel chairs. One wheelchaired parent was later screaming louder than some of us.

When the concert started, all nondisabled people were kicked out of the area, except for Shanice. I missed the discussion, but they were going to kick her out until someone said that they thought she had to be with me.

After that we were all in little groups. Everybody was making friends while Shanice and I stayed in our own little corner.

As the concert progressed, there was nothing noteworthy from our section. There was one girl, Shanice noticed that kept staring at us and the overenthusiastic mom I mentioned. As well as this girl, with an annoying voice who authoritatively told her friend or whomever about what happened at another or many of the other venues (I got the impression that this was not her first time seeing them). And with the exclusion of the girl in the wheelchair who had someone on her lap, now having the person seated on her feet, I was able to focus on the concert.

Then, near the end of the concert, when Alex Gaskarth, the lead singer of All Time Low, asked who knew all of the words to their song “Time Bomb” was when it happened. He wanted a few audience members to join him on stage to sing. That’s when those who were wheelchair-bound (especially mama) started screaming and those with crutches waved them frantically in the air. I did not know all…or any of the words. I also couldn’t find my cane (of course I would have been waving it as well) but Shanice didn’t hear when I asked.

It warmed my heart to know that I was not the only person to use their disability to her advantage.

After all, we gotta do what we gotta do, right? Make lemons out of lemonade, and all that.

The Irony With The Eyenurse

This was originally posted on May 24, 2015 at 11:25 PM on blogger.com.

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WARNING:

This post may include a lack of empathy that might be jarring to those light of heart. As well as a bit of unnecessary backstory.

So please, proceed with caution.

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Oh boy, to describe my weekend as interesting would be an understatement of epic proportions. I do not know how to even begin. But I will try.

Yesterday morning, I woke, completed my usual morning routine, took access-a-ride (will be writing another post on the horrors of using them) to my friend, Shanice’s job, where I waited at a table, eating a wonderfully prepared breakfast (she is a chef). At around 2:00, we left and headed to the train station. We were on our way to an All Time Low concert (The Future Hearts Tour).

Upon arriving at the appropriate station, we asked a few questions until we were heading in the right direction. While walking, and confirming that we were heading the right way every now and then, Shanice complains of being hungry and suggests looking for food. So we decide to go back to a Subway she’d seen (it was the only thing that interested her)

She orders, we get our food and are back on our way.

As we are walking: cane in my right hand, my other hand holding Shanice’s arm, and Shanice’s other holding the bag with her sandwich, it happens.

Just before we step onto the sidewalk, my cane jerks in my hand and I think, dismissively, that someone’s probably stumbled or kicked it. Nothing new.

But then, in perfect unison with Shanice’s gasped:

“Oh my God.” (through a mouthful of sandwich). I hear it.

It sounded like a cross between a thud and a stinging slap. And I’m stunned.

As it begins to register in my mind what happened, I can’t bring myself to muster the contrite expression I should be wearing. Instead, I am forced to duck my head as silent laughter splits my face into an unremorseful smile.

“Oh my God, are you alright?” a woman asks.

“I’m fine. My knees. I’m an eyenurse so I know how to deal with this sort of thing. I’m fine.” The fallen woman replies in a wavering tone. A tone she continues to use for the rest of our encounter.

“I’m sorry,” Shanice says. “Oh… did you hit your head?”

“Yes. But I’m fine.”

“Oh my God!” a new voice, a man. “Is she alright?”
“I’m fine.”

Shanice and I continued to stand there, just beyond the curb as the people began to “scrape” the woman off of the ground (the way it was later described to me).

“I’ve got her,” the first bystander announces, her voice straining a little. “I’ll take her into this store. See if they’ll have ice.”

“I’m alright.” The grounded nurse says.

The man leaves.

Shanice, who had sounded so distraught, whispers:

“Do we have to go in there? Would it be socially unacceptable if we just left?”

“Shanice!” I exclaim. “But you sounded so sincere.”

She laughs shamelessly and we’re quiet for a moment or two. Then, through an unspoken agreement, we reluctantly head inside. The sound of shifting ice in some sort of plastic wrapping greets us as we enter.

“Remember,” the passerby says. “Change it in intervals of 20 minutes.”

“My knees . Yes. And I need some for my head. Thank you.”

“Don’t forget to change it.”

“I know. I deal with this. I’m an eyenurse. What do you do.”

“(insert medical term here)” I think I heard the opth- prefix, but I wasn’t sure then, and am even less certain now.

“Oh! So we do the same thing.”

“Yeah.” The woman replied, or something along those lines. She sounded noncommittal and like she was ready to go. Which she did, after checking on Eyenurse one more time.

“I’m so sorry,” I say at last. I’d finally had enough time to process all of what had occurred. Shanice follows suit, apologizing once more.

“I’m alright. It was my fault. I should’ve been paying attention.” Then she says that she’d been concentrating really hard on something, or really focused on where she was going, and takes the blame once more. “Tell her not to feel bad, it wasn’t her fault.”

“Don’t feel bad, okay? It wasn’t your fault.” Shanice repeats, in a saccharine voice as she pets my hand. I irritably poke her side.

“You girls can go,” Eyenurse says bravely. “I’ll be alright.”

Shanice apologizes again, the lady takes the blame once more, and we’re out of there.

Oh, the irony! Eyenurse tripping on the blind girl’s cane. And then, given her profession, she doesn’t know that she can address me directly? Shanice jokingly remarked that it was because I wasn’t wearing my glasses, so I couldn’t hear.

She also described, on our way to the venue how the woman fell. Evidently, she’d cut in front of us and she just saw her body go down. She said she didn’t process it until her head hit the ground.

Shanice was angry that her sandwich had been interrupted. And I was still faux upset that she’d actually repeated what Eyenurse had said.

We continued laughing and talking about it up until the show (which was awesome and a whole other blog post) and even into today. Priceless.

Also, thinking about Eyenurse, she struck me as that nurse (or person in general) whose always hovering nervously, ensuring that your alright, even after countless assurances. The person to actually make you uncomfortable in her attempt to be comforting.

I rarely feel remorse for those who trip on my cane if they’re walking toward me. You should be paying attention. But they get mad at me, as though I’m the one at fault… for being blind? For having a cane? For my spidy senses not tingling and alerting me to their presence?

If I see the person beforehand, then I will move aside, but don’t rely on my vision. I do feel a little bad if I’m walking behind the person and they trip. But those are usually only stumbles. The people who go down are almost always walking toward me or turning into me, or something.