Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Yesterday I saw a girl in a motorized wheelchair on Penn Avenue. She looked like she was in her late teens. She had a very pretty face. Her hair was perfectly long, straight, and brown. She had great big Hollywood-looking sunglasses, well-applied make-up, and a great big smile. Everything below that smile was pretty deformed. Well-dressed, just not well built. Not very many people have that much soul. Immediately upon catching sight of her, my politeness reflex struck me. I looked away. It’s not nice to stare. However, in that moment, I realized that I wasn’t staring. I was admiring. As I thought more about it, it occurred to me that she was likely proud of the way that she looked that day, and wanted people to notice her. Through my ignorant reflex of thoughtless politeness, I had contributed to a larger, heartless cultural misconception. By the time I had realized this, she had already passed with her friends, and I was already an asshole.