The Letters G and H

This week’s incident is brought to you by the letters G and H for the Gentlemen who tried to Help me.
Normally, I take a bus that leaves from my block, but when I wish to go to a different part of San Diego, I need to walk about half a mile to another stop. It is pretty much a straight course and I cannot conceive of something easier.
Walking the route, I became confused at a particular intersection. Part of the problem was an annoying dog. Part of the problem was my tired, fuzzy brain. Part of the problem was my inability to sort out the traffic sounds to understand in which direction I wished to proceed.
I was approached by an older gentleman who’d been hanging out with his friend about fifteen feet away. He offered help. I said I thought I was alright, but I didn’t even convince myself because I was still trying to sort everything out.
As I tried to parse my surroundings, he kept offering help, so I finally agreed. My suspicion was that he wouldn’t give me the time and space to figure it out for myself, so I took the path of least resistance. He wanted me to cross in a direction I was not trying to go, which I explained to him.
I thought we were all on the same page and crossed with his friend following behind.
I walked to the next intersection and something seemed off, so I pulled out my phone and used my navigational ap. I was not where I had expected and wasn’t certain how to achieve my destination, so I asked a man walking past. He gave me a clear indication of my location and a simple set of directions to follow. Though I missed my bus, I made it to my stop.
I have no idea how I went in the wrong direction. It could have been me. It could have been the gentlemen. Given that I crossed in the way they wanted me to originally, I suspect it was a case of them thinking they knew what was best for me.
One noteworthy fact is that I was not my polite self to the gentlemen, but to the man with clear directions, I was graciousness personified. Sometimes how I am treated profoundly effects how I behave. Another indication I’m human.

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About Jen

After acquiring a degree from Vassar College in psychology, I moved to Western Mass where I ran a peer mentoring network for disabled college students as well as activism and organizing around disability issues. I also conducted research on disabled women’s body image. An Upstate New York native, I eventually followed my heliotropic nature to the sun of Southern California. I divide my time between writing (disability fiction and essays) along with moderating San Diego Bisexual Forum which is one of the oldest groups of its kind in the country. In my off hours I can often be found in my neighborhood live music venue enjoying our local talent.

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