Drunk or disabled?

I’m so lucky to be alive, so lucky to have 95% ability in my left side, that I sometimes forget my left-sided weakness is in fact a disability. Sometimes I don’t feel “disabled enough” to feel it warrants that distinction. Like somehow I’m making light of others’ disabilities by calling my 5% injury a disability.

But anyhow, that’s all an aside and really not my point right now. The point I’m trying to make is I do have a slight limp that becomes more apparent when I’m tired. Thing is, having a brain injury means that I’m almost always tired. Other thing is, having a limp means you get to say cool things like, “I walk with a limp like an old school pimp.” (Thanks, LMFAO.)

“How much have you had to drink tonight, miss?” This bouncer was not the friendly face I usually see at the neighborhood bar. I guess Corey wasn’t working that night.

Confused, I just smiled. “Well, nothing yet. I’m trying to grab a drink with friends here. Is Corey working?”

He looked at me suspiciously, blocking the entrance. My friendly remark had only seemed to make him more skeptical.

What was he getting at? No, I hadn’t had a drink. I was hoping to go inside the bar so that I could have a drink.

After a pause, he frowned. He asked again, “So you haven’t even had one drink?”

I live in a neighborhood where I can walk to bars and restaurants. On this night, I had walked about a mile to meet up with friends. In other words, I had been walking long enough to my body to feel tired and to limp a little bit.

The realization hit me: I must have had a lot to drink to be limping like I was.

“Ohhh…” I started, hurt and embarrassed by his discrimination.

“So you’re wondering why I walk like this? Yeah, it’s really not drinking that caused it. I have a brain injury.” I lifted my eyebrows, hoping he could feel the daggers I was shooting.

“I was paralyzed on the left side of my body,” I stressed each word, shrugged my shoulders.  “Occasionally I limp a little.”


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