Yesterday as I sat on the stoop of a defunct shop, waiting to meet a friend, I heard a wild whoop coming from someone down the block.
A young man, slightly moon-faced and sporting a fringe of mustache, tottered along the street in a lime green t-shirt. He moved jerkily, the weight of his bent body pulling him along from step to step. His fist pumped the air and he brayed with joy. An attendant hovered close, arm extended for support or in case of a tumble.
I looked away, embarrassed by my curiosity and a little ashamed for being fully-functional. But as they passed by, I peeked again. His lopsided gait was explained by his braced shoes: feet in opposition and one ankle turned inward.
He was excited to be walking. I tracked forward with my eyes to see a wheelchair waiting for him 50 meters further on. As he approached it, his hoots became a happy wordless keening.
He dropped into the chair, grinning and accepting the congratulations and praise of his orderlies. I caught his eye and we exchanged broad smiles as he was turned and wheeled away.