With his left hand he pushes the wheel forward, at the same time stepping hard with his left leg on the ground. The wheelchair tends to move not forward but slightly to the left, so he constantly needs to readjust the direction. I cannot see his face, but his hair is long and greyish white. Yellow sweater.
It’s taking a painfully long amount of time for him to cross the narrow street; it seemed the wheelchair almost went opposite direction to what he was trying to achieve.
At last, he reached the sidewalk. With the slight hill. As a passerby, you wouldn’t even notice the incline, but for him that must have been a challenge. I thought I should probably cross the street and help him. While I was contemplating – and no, it didn’t last longer then 10 seconds which seemed like few minutes to me – he managed to overcome the incline and continue crawl along the sidewalk. I could see his right leg, or whatever was left of it, trembling (or did I imagine it?), I could sense the whole body going tense. I could almost hear that desperation and determination at the same time. I cannot really explain my vision of this, but mostly it was brought by memories of my tortures during walking (or trying to) when I had my own health issues. And not a single passerby offered help: not blaming, as I looked more like a drunkard or stoner rather than young woman struck by chronic horrific pain. Would I be grateful to a stranger offering me help on my way when I couldn’t stand up or was simply stuck? At first yes, of course, but at second thought I would feel really depressed thinking that I did not have ability to go on anymore, to do it on my own. And I think mainly why I survived those couple years was that I knew I could do it on my own, that I was strong enough. So looking at that man with his right side paralyzed, I kept thinking that he would manage it on his own. That he must and that he will. I almost started to send him vibes “go on, don’t stop, you can do it.” I was ready to run and help if something went wrong but I knew that he’d make it.
This was very emotional for me to watch – and not only because I could relate to this man in his helplessness and yet determination to go on. The wheelchair he used was a manual one, as you already could guess. The manual one with two handlers on the top. It is meant to be pushed by somebody else, helping him to go over this hill and many others, too. They just looked so empty. Too empty.
In a sense, we all have these handlers behind us, and sometimes (or most of the times) they might seem empty. Should we rush to take them and push each other? I believe we like when we do it on our own, but when we cannot we appreciate when somebody is nearby ready to help us..