Flaw

Flip / Wellcome Images

Flip / Wellcome Images

I saw a very fit man on the subway recently, but what I stared at was his flaw. On his cheek was a large smooth birthmark, maybe 2 inches long. I couldn’t stop staring.

I wondered if other kids had teased him young. I wondered if people made fun of him now. I wondered if he thought about his birthmark at all. I realize that my way of thinking had changed fundamentally.

We all have flaws. It’s simply that most can hide them more easily than this beautiful man. And me.

Do you have visible flaws?

Contemplate

Contemplate / Library of Congress

Contemplate / Library of Congress

Recently someone asked me if my personality had changed since my stroke. If so, did I like the new version of me. Better? Worse?

My personality has definitely changed a bit. Do I like it better? Still contemplating.

Have you been changed?

Skinny

Skinny / Wellcome Images

Skinny / Wellcome Images

At the hospital I lost about 20 pounds in a month. The hospital food didn’t help. I gained some of it back afterward but was still skinny. I was just not very hungry.

Did a hospital stay leave you skinny? Plump?

Visitors

Visitors / Wellcome Images

Visitors / Wellcome Images

At the hospital, I was friendly. When a visitor asked me what she could do for me, I told her to go out on the town, have a good time and report back.

My mother said I was more polite in the hospital than out.

At a hospital, are you friendly? Ornery?

Style

Miss Swim / Library of Congress

Miss Swim / Library of Congress

An MIT lab is designing accessible fashion for the disabled.

Zippers, buttons, jewelry clasps, tight-fitting dresses, and jackets with linings are daily grievances for anyone with limited dexterity. -BostonGlobe

Are there fashion items that drive you crazy?

Cobblestones

Quincy Market / Library of Congress

Quincy Market / Library of Congress

Boston’s Quincy Market is a much copied model of urban revitalization. Old falling apart buildings became an outdoor historic chic shopping mall. The designers left the cobblestones on the ground to give it authenticity.

Boom!…. Damn! One of my biggest falls was on the stones of Quincy Market.

Cobblestones suck. Pave them. Pave them all.

Do you have falling stories?

Beach

Bathers / Library of Congress

Bathers / Library of Congress

We are going on a beach holiday to Martha’s Vineyard later this summer. Apparently President Obama thought this was a brilliant idea and will be there too. Then it turned out Hillary Clinton will also be there. I have good ideas.

Anyone else going somewhere splendid?

Cheese

Camerawoman / Library of Congress

Camerawoman / Library of Congress

There are tons of tourists visiting Boston now. Sometimes, when I walk by a historic monument, tourists hand me a camera and ask me to take their picture. Then they jump back into formation and smile broadly. Cheese!

Once I was in the Boston Public Garden when this happened. The only problem was that the camera button was on the right side, my bad side. So I had to explain, in pantomime because I didn’t speak their language, that I was disabled and I was happy to take their picture, but it would be upside down so I could use my left hand to click the button.

The tourists look slightly confused. Disability is more complicated than a vacation.

Do you have amusing disability stories?

Rebellion

Bath / Wellcome Images

Bath / Wellcome Images

At the hospital after brain surgery, I committed rebellious acts. I snuck out of my bed and went to the bathroom by myself, instead of ringing for the attendant and waiting a very long time. I only fell once, sprawled out on the gray industrial bathroom tile, feeling sorry for myself.

Did you commit rebellious acts?

Amazon

Girl in Arms / Library of Congress

Girl in Arms / Library of Congress

After my stroke, my words were wacked. I meant to say “occupation” and it came out “Amazon.”

Here are some more strange words I said.

Do you have strange mis-speaks to report?