I hate when people say I have a disease. To me the diseased are people who have stuff like bubonic plague. That ain’t me. Please don’t get me wrong. I’ve got nothing against people who have bubonic plague (so don't leave me indignant comments). I’m sure the vast majority of them are fine, hard-working, loyal, patriotic citizens. Like all the rest of us, they raise families, pay taxes and perform community service, when they’re not coughing up blood. But that ain’t me. If I had bubonic plague, I wouldn’t be ashamed to acknowledge it. But I don’t.
Condition. I don’t like when people say I have a condition either. Condition. That word’s too heavy.If you have a condition it sounds like you are or should be hospitalized. “His condition is listed as serious.” My condition would have to be listed as absurd.
Syndrome? That word confuses me. I don’t know when a disease or condition becomes a syndrome. Cripples started having syndromes just within the last few decades or so. Remember the Mongoloids? They didn’t get cured. They’re all still here. But now they have Down Syndrome.
Situation? Someone actually asked me that once. “So, what’s your uh… situation? “ I suppose that’s a better word than disease. “That poor guy has Lou Gehrig’s Situation.”
Quirk? Nobody has ever asked me what my quirk is. But I guess that word applies to me more than disease does. I’m crippled because of what could be called a genetic quirk. And a genetic quirk is way different from a disease, dammit! Nobody says, “Hey look at those two over there. They’ve got conjoined twins disease. “
Abnormality? Malady? Defect? Defecit?
Disorder? That’s the word I like. Disorder. Some cripples hate that word but not me. I think it best expresses what cripples are all about. Cripples are disorderly. We’re a great big monkey wrench. We gum up the works. We fuck up the grand plans. Just when rational humans think they’ve finally got everything all figured out and everybody all neatly groomed and shaped and ordered and categorized, here come those surrealistic cripples to blow it all to hell.
Being crippled makes you subversive, whether you like it or not. You don’t fit. The more crippled you are the more disorderly you are. Your perpetually discombobulated existence discombobulates the intricate combobulation.
And that’s what I love most about being crippled.
Someday I’ll probably be arrested, just for being crippled. I’ll be charged with disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace.Or maybe with possession of a disease