The Man in the Wheel Chair

He sat in a non-electric wheelchair, the kind you see in most hospitals. In the gloom you couldn’t tell how beaten up the wheelchair was, if it was new or old, if it was rusting or if it still had the shine of new chrome. In any light you could tell how beat up the occupant was. He sat contorted to one side in the chair. His right arm bent against his chest. His left leg sticking out, foot slightly curved in the cheap sandals he wore. He was in a t-shirt and blue shorts, wet from the continuous drizzle. He wasn’t shivering yet, but you could tell he was uncomfortable from the grimace on his face, though you couldn’t really say if it was from the rain or the uncomfortable contortions his body was paralyzed in. He must have been on the far side of 40, still young enough to hate being trapped in a wheelchair, or maybe there is never an age where being trapped in your own body is comfortable. He smelled, but not the smell you associate with the regular homeless. He smelled like those who couldn’t thoroughly shower mixed with the smell you get when rain and sweat collide. He surprisingly didn’t smell of alcohol though he had just come from the bar. His speech was slurred, though how much from paralyzation and how much from intoxication was hard to say.

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