I Can’t….What?

EpilepsyDrivingNYC_night_high_speed_car_driving-hdOf all the things that people have said to me I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Who does that? Who is that ignorant? I mean, come on man, you can’t be that unaware of life and people.

When I moved to Washington State in 1998 the first friend I had was this guy by the name of Daniel. He just happened to live across the street from this other kid named Eric.

One night Dan had me over to stay the night and do shit that young kids do. I was a freshman in junior high. Our goal of the night was to see how long we could stay up, I only made it 26 hours before I went home. We listened to music and played Diablo-the first one-on his laptop.

That night Dan called his friend across the street, who I didn’t know at the time, and said, “hey, do you want to come stay the night at my house, I got a friend over.” Eric said something on the phone but I didn’t know what it was and the next thing I heard was, “You know the handicapped guy?” He paused for a second and continued with, “You know that new girl from Nebraska?” Another pause, “Yes, the one that you think is hot.” Yet again another short pause, “It’s her brother.”

17 years later Eric is by far one of my best friends, so much so that he is the number one contender to be the best man at my wedding. Granted we became friends because he thought my sister was hot, but I tend to have that effect on people; once they get to know me as a person they tend to fall in love with me. We have been though some great times, and even some bad ones too, but we have always been there for one another when we needed a friend to talk to. Although I would never be his roommate, that always ruins a friendship.

Eric has this friend named Jon, Jon is now a friend of mine too, we call him Jon Boy. Jon is a white guy with brown eyes, black hair, pretty tall, and in decent physical shape with a tattoo covering his right arm running all around, reaching from his wrist to the very top of his shoulder. Most girls-maybe some guys too-would definitely agree that he is by far the most attractive friend that I have. To be honest I’m kind jealous of him, all of his girlfriends are super hot, the type of girls that are way out of my league.

One day I was sitting at home on the weekend and I was pretty bored so I did the only thing I could think to do at the moment, I called Jon Boy to see what he was up to.

“Hey man, what you doing?” I was listening intently, hoping to hear that he was bored too, “Yea man, I mean Mike is here and all but you can totally stop by if you want to.” That is exactly what I did, I got in my red Volvo 850R that I sadly beat the shit out of, it had an upside down right headlight on the left side of the car with a grey hood that came from a different front end that my dad got at the local junk yard.

One day this guy turned left too late and smacked right into me totaling my sweet ride that had 240 horsepower, for a 5 cylinder engine with a turbo. When I first got the car it was painted a candy red with every window-other than the windshield-tinted, six spoke 18 inch rims panted a gun-metal black with a glossy chrome wrapping all around the exterior of the rims. It was a nice car, a rare care, that I wish I still had.

I pulled into his driveway 15 minutes later and sent him a text message, “Hey, can you open the garage door?” At this age, which really does not seem like that long ago, I would have to guess 2009 or 2010. I was able to walk, but was at the point that I had to notice my surroundings to understand if I could even get from point A to point B. It was like I noticed stuff that most people don’t even think about.

I’d be thinking to myself, “Okay, there is a trashcan there, I can lean onto that, and there is a wall there that I can get to because of the trashcan, and the door is there, I can walk along the wall to get to the door.” Of course I had to walk along my car just to get to the trashcan. Then when I got into the house, which I was already familiar with, I had to plan out a new strategy. I eventually got to the point that I felt comfortable enough around friends to just say, “Fuck this guys, you know me, I’m cool as fuck, I’m crawling around your house.”

A 27 year old-I think I was that old-crawling around the house. I don’t blame people for thinking that it was weird, because it was; but I had a very valid excuse, and it wasn’t because I was drunk either.

To put a better time stamp on this story, Modern Warfare 2 came out, but it was about another year or two before Modern Warfare 3 was released. And that’s exactly what Jon and Mike were doing, sitting down playing Modern Warfare 2 online, split screen style. They were the type of guys that would play the game for countless hours without ever playing the single player campaign.

I was watching them play and both of them were kicking ass, doing multiple shit, things that I would never think about doing. The end of the match came and their stats popped up on the screen. Mike, who was slightly better than Jon, had 18 kills and 2 deaths over the course of 5 minutes, or whatever it was.

Jon saw me looking at the 52 inch HDTV and said, “Hey man, you wanna play?”

“No man, I run around like a chicken with my head cut off, I’m lucky if I get one kill, I’m even luckier if I die less than ten times.”

“That’s why you need to practice man.”

“I get too pissed off and sad at other people before I can even do that.”

At that point the conversation drifted into a past event where Mike was so pissed off, for a really dumb reason too, that he went outside and poured lighter fluid all over his controller before watching it burn in the driveway. Like, what the fuck? Who the fuck does that? But I didn’t have to buy a new controller, so it’s his problem I guess.

Jon lived with his dad at the time, his dad came down the stairs to talk to me. They had one of those split level homes, where when you enter the front door and you could either go up to the first floor or down to the basement. He had to go to work and I was parked behind him. His dad kind of knew who I was although we never really talked before. “Hey Dan, I got to go to work, can you move your car.”

As I grab my keys up off of the floor and start to figure out how I’m going to stand up I said “yeah.”

Mike is…he just doesn’t fucking think about what he says, how it sounds, who he is saying it to, or if it will even offend the person. Out of nowhere, like an uninvited dick pic, Mike says, “They let you people drive.”

I could not think of what to say, I think Jon was waiting to see my reaction as we sat there at stared at each other as if we were simultaneously thinking, “What the fuck?”

After staring at Mike for a while while my mouth was opening but words were not coming out I finally said, “Fuck you too.”

Granted the fact that he was an acquaintance who has known me for a while now, but only in passing or group activities; I was not too offended. He was just stupid, or maybe he had a mental disability that came with a lack of tact and social interactions. Whatever the case I was offended, but not so much that it ruined my day.

I went outside, moved my car, came back, and at some point I left to go back home. I don’t really remember the rest of that day, in fact I could not even begin to tell you about what else happened that day. If I was able to somehow watch that memory like it were a TV show, I could probably remember how I felt in situations that are not even entertaining, but I don’t, so that is the end of that story.

But really man, I think the part that pissed me off the most was, “You people.” I can cut him some more slack if he asked, “You can drive,” or “Disabled people can drive,” or even, “I didn’t know they let handicapped people drive.” But “You people,” come on man.


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