Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesdays with Dorothy: Frustrations in Life

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A view looking eastward down the street where Dorothy lived

   Another view of Dorothy's street                                         Dorothy's apartment building (left foreground)
Dorothy spent a lot of her time out and about when I first came to know her. She walked all around her neighborhood of Southside, including the Five-Points-South area. She could be seen walking down the sidewalk carrying her big canvas purse over her shoulder.  Once when she was visiting in my office, getting her checkbook out of that canvas bag of hers so we could help her with some of her bills, she mentioned that she always carried a brick in the bottom of her bag. She said that was in case she needed to defend herself while she was out walking around town. I don't know if she ever had to swing that brick-in-a-bag, but it obviously gave her some sense of security. In my conversations with Dorothy years later, some of her stories illustrated why she had felt the need to keep a brick in her bag. 

Things do not always go our way in life. Most of us know this, yet we can still get frustrated when things don’t happen the way we would like for them to. Living with disabilities and trying to make it on one’s own certainly can lead to all kinds of frustrations. One day in our conversations Dorothy shared a few of those frustrating incidents.

A rose in bloom
“I used to go out and walk to most places I needed to go. One time I went with Cliff – I never will forget it, he lived out at Bluff Park somewhere. We were supposed to go to Walmart or somewhere. He kind of got mad with me when I said we would go to Walmart. He said he wasn’t going nowhere. What had happened, he backed into something and knocked something off the back of his car. He said he was taking me on home. I got real, real angry and I said, ‘Cliff, let me out and I’ll walk home from here – just let me out on the freeway somewhere.’ He wouldn’t do it, he brought me on home. I came on in the apartment and I was mad, I had a brown pocketbook and I slung it all the way from the front back to the kitchen, I was so angry.”

“Another time, at Chris’s Restaurant, I got mad and threw a salt shaker across the room. Elmus had said he was going to meet me up there and he never did. Somebody said something to me. They said that nobody was coming. Well. I didn’t take it the right way – I guess I took things too serious – and I got mad and threw the salt shaker. It landed farther than I intended. The man that ran the restaurant told me to get up and go back home. It was a long time before I could go back over there. When I threw the salt shaker, I didn’t realize how hard I did throw it.”

“One time I was walking out there by the church. There was some little boy out there and I was trying to call Cliff on the pay telephone. Elmus come over here half-drunk and he was aggravating me and I didn’t feel good. I told him to get his butt out of here and go on back home. That boy came up here and tried to keep me from talking on the telephone and I shoved him down. I don’t remember who it was now. He came up when I was on the pay phone. I was angry and I shoved him down, He got up and left and I never did see him no more.”

~ ~ ~ ~ 

Next time we will hear about more dangers that Dorothy encountered, including some unscrupulous con artists.

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