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Gordon's D-Zone Arcive (2006-2014)

Monday, August 20, 2007


Left: a phoro of a thunder bolt striking somewhere in Romania. Courtesy of pinkfloyd from stock.xng

About two weeks ago, I had a terrible experience that seemed to have left its mark on me in ways I still have to figure out. As I was running a shower, I feel a jolt of electricity running through my back. I am taken aback as I didn’t really know what had happened. Apparently, a wire had given up on hanging on to the lights (it’s an unused house).

I made it alive mainly because I always use rubber shoes in the bath – as I’ve slipped once in the past and it was a long time before I could feel whole again. But here I was, dripping with water which was still running… struggling to avoid the wire and at the same time get out of there.

But what upset me was that all of a sudden I realised that everything I was or had been could be erased by a single spark of AC power. And a filling bath would have been a sure death trap for me. Perhaps my quick thinking arose out of the many times I had impairment-related problems. Such as when I cannot open a sealed bottle and use a spoon to let some air in the watertight container. Believe me, it has resolved many food crises in my lifetime.

But then, there are more deep questions. About what will come of me after I die. And what will people remember. Not that would be really important to me if I’m dead. And yet, on seeing so many features on local television on young people who have died, you start wondering.

Will I be remembered as always loving? A fighter? Or even a hero amongst the physically impaired? And even if there’s nothing really wrong with praising the dead, I fear that I cannot stand the hypocrisy sometimes. Of course I made mistakes. Of course I was bad. Of course … I am human.

As I write this, I am in the last stages of my degree. This experience has struck me with an important question about my life. About whom I want to be. On one hand I am driven by a passion to remove misinformation and barriers that have limited me and still do. But on the other hand, I wish to be doing what I like and love doing without having to justify myself to people. Or be disturbed in my daily life unless I require assistance of one form of another.

Perhaps I am fighting those who insist that disabled people ‘must prove’ their worth to be included in society. For, I know already, that this is an unfair double standard applied on the basis of ‘impairment’. Indeed, I we have proven that despite our exclusion, we want change. But aside from the collective struggle we have, I want to tell others that I don’t have to prove anything to the world to be in the world. And if it weren’t for the people who abuse the system, the process of change would be quicker.