Harold had had enough. In addition to being a paraplegic due to an unfortunate accident that occurred between himself and another drunk driver, he also had to put up with the behaviour of those that assisted him with his daily living requirements. He could get around the house on his wheelchair and could fulfil most of his needs. But then they came. They came because the government required them to come and ‘help out’.
They would put their faces in front of Harold and ask him, “How are you today Harold?” And they would ask him about his favourite football team and if they thought they had a chance of winning this coming season. The problem was Harold didn’t follow sports, he had never followed sports and the care assistant’s chirpier than thou attitude was not doing the situation any favours.
Every time Harold would be asked one of these questions. Harold would respond by saying, “Shit…” And just look off vaguely into the distance.
“How was breakfast Harold?” They would ask.
“Shit…” Harold would reply.
“How was your sleep last night Harold?” They would ask.
“Shit…” Harold would reply.
“What do you want to do today?”
“I need to shit…” Harold would reply. And then they would take him to the bathroom and assist him to go to the bathroom.
Harold’s attitude didn’t help much with the care workers. But the care workers attitude didn’t help much with Harold. They would talk about how life is filled with adventure, fun and games. And then Harold would look around, seeing himself in his wheelchair or motorized scooter and think that it was all a load of shit.
Seeing as Harold didn’t come from a wealthy family, all he received was the government supported assistance. Which was enough money to feed himself and ensure that he would continue on living. But life had been just that… Living. The care worker thought Harold was an incredibly negative person and the only way that they could cope in confronting such negativity was to put on this facade or face of extreme positivity. They played the role of the care giver gracefully and like a mother nurturing a child, would always assume a pleasant disposition.
And Harold would watch television. He would watch television and see all these other people doing things that he could never hope to do and so the anger and bitterness seethed and contracted in his mind until he had these little outbursts where he would repeatedly say, “Shit! Shit! Shit!”
And the care worker would look to Harold and say, “Look on the bright side Harold.”
Three years past and then one day Harold mentally lost it. He could not take it anymore. So he got on his motorized scooter and hit the road. The care worker did not know where he was going and so called out to him, “Where are you going Harold?”
“Fark off!” Harold replied.
And so Harold drove off, not knowing where he was going he followed the direction of traffic. The sun was still out when Harold had left. Harold kept on driving. He did not know where he was going and did not care. He just needed to get out of this place. Away from the care worker, away from the television that was a constant reminder of what capable people could do and away from the four walls that had enclosed him ever since his accident.
He drove his motorized scooter and he kept on driving. The sun had set and dusk had crept in and darkness had swallowed up the night. He kept on driving, he did not know where he was anymore. The streets looked strange and odd. He did not recognize anything.
It was past midnight and the streets were empty. Outside there was a man smoking a cigarette outside of his home. He saw Harold as Harold rode past and called out, “You go man, go!”
And then Harold smiled to himself.