March 3rd, 2005


Love on Eight Wheels

At a table in the center of the restaurant are two people in wheelchairs, faces joined in a vigorous open-mouth kiss. He is a swarthy, spindly weed, balanced precariously at the edge of his battered wheelchair in his eagerness to get as close as possible, while one curled hand paws awkwardly at her shoulder and side. His twisted wrists, spastic movements and general demeanor indicate cerebral palsy. She is a serene lily-white queen in a motorized throne. Apart from craning her neck to keep the liplock in place, she moves seldom. When she does, her movements are slow, but controlled. Their amorous embrace lasts through most of my meal. As it ends and the lovers separate, I can see that her wide eyes are as absent of guile as they are of wit. Neither pays any attention to the other patrons, who mostly adopt an air of studied indifference.