Who here has ever felt the sting of losing a good friend, or perhaps moving to a foreign city? I have. Very recently, in fact.
But that’s not why I’m lonely.
JACO has abandoned me. Packed up and left, gone to vacation in the Canadian wilds. (Does Canada have wilds? I made that up). And let me tell you, this is loneliness indeed.
I’d like to explore my new town. But, you know, I can’t push the crossing lights on the street signs.
I’d like to go clothes shopping for college. But I can’t flip through racks with these flesh and bone arms.
I’d like to carry my own plate at our endless family reunion potlucks. If only I had a robot to rest it on.
I’d like to pursue a real summer job. But my skill set is strictly brainiac until my arm comes back.
I’d like to demonstrate that I can work the elevator in my college dorm independently. But, um, no matter how hard I smack the button with my own hand I’m depressingly unsuccessful.
And hey, I’d like to be accompanied by the shock-and-awe factor of a robotic arm as I go about meeting new people. It helps convince others that I’m not a needy cripple. But for now, I’ll have to be normal and rely on social skills. Ha.
Have no fear, though, JACO has not in fact abandoned me. He’s just in for a bit of a tune up back at HQ (I say that like I’ve been there), and will be returning as soon as the new paint dries. In the meanwhile, though, I’m absorbing a large dose of return to regular disabled life. It’s the slightest bit crushing. And this experience makes me want to shout aloud to my wheelchair bound compatriots: YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU’RE MISSING. But I do I know. I know what we’re all missing. JACO, right now, is doing for the arms what wheelchairs have done for the legs. Find a way to get a robotic arm. Touch freedom.