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MISSING THE TRAIN
January 25, 2011
 
Awash in self-pity, I watch the train pull away as I struggle up the stairs. Damn. Damn.

I can scarcely believe is has happened. I can do so many things, so many more things than I could not too long ago. I've felt stronger in recent weeks than I have in at least a year. But I can't run up a flight of stairs. And, because I can't, I've missed the train -- by two seconds, two lousy seconds! -- the train would have enabled me to make my first appointment on time. So I have inconvenienced the innocent person who was on time to see me. Damn again.

I wait for the next train and get on. Then I get the shuttle from Grand Central and the E train down to 23rd Street. An ancient lady and I creep up the steep stairs to the street, and a young woman skips past us. Her light feet seem barely to touch the steps, and she is gone. I walk the long block from Eighth Avenue to Ninth Avenue. Everyone passes me. Everyone. I hate it that I am so slow. Hate it.

Nothing enrages me like my own limitations. Nothing on earth. When I fail at something, every harsh inner voice that has ever lived within me clears its throat and joins the malignant chant of my shortcomings. I am in for an unpleasant afternoon, indeed, if I allow the chant to continue.

But I do not. Nope. Can't and won't. I refuse to give even a minute more of my precious time to useless self-reproach. The disabled cannot afford self-reproach. They have enough to do without it. Actually, nobody can. Admit your mistakes and shortcomings, make good on them as best you can and then move on. Your life and mine -- the rest of our lives, the rest of this year, the rest of this week, the remainder of this day: they belong to us and to God. The future is spoken for, and the devil can't have it. Not a minute more. And I say the Hell with him.
Copyright © 2018 Barbara Crafton
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