I­ am frustrated because I know my pitch is off—if there was someone who could cue the right pitch I could carry the tune better and more stars would shimmer along. I sing louder in hopes that the volume might do the trick. I am angry. At myself. At the stubborn stars. At the screeching that begins to ring in my ears  . Hymn Sing

I­ am frustrated because I know my pitch is off—if there was someone who could cue the right pitch I could carry the tune better and more stars would shimmer along. I sing louder in hopes that the volume might do the trick. I am angry. At myself. At the stubborn stars. At the screeching that begins to ring in my ears

.Hymn Sing

“The patient is my god in the operating room,” my neurosurgeon said shortly after the towers fell on September 11. This he said to my small gathering of supporters in a hospital waiting room. This he said to assure them that he would not be distracted by world events while he was operating on my event.  "Mustard Seed" won an honorable mention in the Burns Archive Nonfiction contest and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize   Mustard Seed

“The patient is my god in the operating room,” my neurosurgeon said shortly after the towers fell on September 11. This he said to my small gathering of supporters in a hospital waiting room. This he said to assure them that he would not be distracted by world events while he was operating on my event.

"Mustard Seed" won an honorable mention in the Burns Archive Nonfiction contest and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize

Mustard Seed

My devotion to New York is somewhat founded on September 11. New York and I have both been through hell. We are battered, but we are survivors.   Why I Left New York (And Returned)   Photo by Lisa Marie Basile

My devotion to New York is somewhat founded on September 11. New York and I have both been through hell. We are battered, but we are survivors.

Why I Left New York (And Returned)

Photo by Lisa Marie Basile

There was a spawn of tornadoes in Kansas and Oklahoma a few years ago. Reports of a twister on the ground heading to my hometown were broadcast on television and radio. My mother said that the odd thing about that storm was that it was completely silent. No wind. No rain. No hail. The only proof of the existence of a tornado was the siren that wailed for over forty-five minutes. Five people in a mobile home park died in Oklahoma from that massive storm, because the siren was busted.  Being a cripple, a gimp, a limp-a-legger, is like sitting in a silent storm with a busted siren. You wonder when it will strike. You know the storm will never blow away. You know the words will always be there, waiting in disguise.   Almost Right

There was a spawn of tornadoes in Kansas and Oklahoma a few years ago. Reports of a twister on the ground heading to my hometown were broadcast on television and radio. My mother said that the odd thing about that storm was that it was completely silent. No wind. No rain. No hail. The only proof of the existence of a tornado was the siren that wailed for over forty-five minutes. Five people in a mobile home park died in Oklahoma from that massive storm, because the siren was busted.

Being a cripple, a gimp, a limp-a-legger, is like sitting in a silent storm with a busted siren. You wonder when it will strike. You know the storm will never blow away. You know the words will always be there, waiting in disguise.

Almost Right

It's been my observation that if one is disabled, one becomes an expert at waiting. Like any muscle, waiting is honed after repeated use. I often witness examples of the waiting muscle in bodies that are missed by the abled eye. The waiting for elevators that are too full of abled passengers. The waiting behind the abled at crowded bus stops. The waiting in front of a broken subway elevator. The waiting outside an inaccessible building for one's companions to emerge. The waiting at the only accessible entrance in an alleyway for someone to open the door. The waiting for abled passengers to exit the plane or train. The waiting for the abled driver to appear and move their car parked too closely to the disabled parking space. Those who are waiting in any of those scenarios have a Buddha-like calm—not because they are calm, but because they know that they must remain calm for the abled eye that will note their frustration and possibly use it against them. It is perfectly acceptable for an abled person to rant about the inconvenience of a wait, but when a disabled person rants, there is a general assumption of mental dysfunction in the rants, rather than empathy, or, at the very least, the thought that the person is just an asshole. It's difficult to be an asshole when one is a disabled person.   Waiting

It's been my observation that if one is disabled, one becomes an expert at waiting. Like any muscle, waiting is honed after repeated use. I often witness examples of the waiting muscle in bodies that are missed by the abled eye. The waiting for elevators that are too full of abled passengers. The waiting behind the abled at crowded bus stops. The waiting in front of a broken subway elevator. The waiting outside an inaccessible building for one's companions to emerge. The waiting at the only accessible entrance in an alleyway for someone to open the door. The waiting for abled passengers to exit the plane or train. The waiting for the abled driver to appear and move their car parked too closely to the disabled parking space. Those who are waiting in any of those scenarios have a Buddha-like calm—not because they are calm, but because they know that they must remain calm for the abled eye that will note their frustration and possibly use it against them. It is perfectly acceptable for an abled person to rant about the inconvenience of a wait, but when a disabled person rants, there is a general assumption of mental dysfunction in the rants, rather than empathy, or, at the very least, the thought that the person is just an asshole. It's difficult to be an asshole when one is a disabled person.

Waiting