The Plan

The latest from Rich Dixon


You left me wondering why we were skipping therapy.

Leonard had chosen a spectacular pristine bluebird sky Colorado June morning, a wonderful day for a walk, or a roll. A great day to be alive – if you were lucky enough to have a life. After Leonard stood around while I made a great show of straining to roll a few feet at a time, he offered to push the chair.

“Let’s get away from this place.” 

At last! He finally accepted that I just can’t do it. He really felt sorry for me.

After about four blocks we paused at the top of a hill, a location I carefully avoided in my limited explorations of the neighborhood. I knew if I approached the precipice of this monster mountain I’d plummet over the edge. They’d find my body at the bottom in a mangled, smoldering pile of wheelchair parts.

I recently drove to the same street, parked my truck at the top, and peered down at the STOP sign at the bottom. I chuckled to myself; that sign would have been a fleeting memory on that distant summer day as I careened past it, covering my eyes with my arms to brace for the coming crash.

On that long-ago day, with Leonard at the controls, that “hill” was a double-black-diamond ski mountain lined with suburban houses. The quiet residential street ended at an intersection with a busy thoroughfare.

We reached the bottom and stopped just short of the cars whizzing past the intersection. Leonard turned the chair and pointed it up the hill. He reached down and locked the brakes.

“See you back at the hospital.”

And he walked away, up the mountain, without another word!

He wasn’t serious, right? He couldn’t possibly be serious.

Do you think he was serious?

To be continued…

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