I have decided that I want to punch Tom Coates until he bleeds a lot. I'll even use my off-hand if it makes anyone feel better.

Tell me something: How do you manage to live your life mercifully free of having met anyone with a congenital birth defect, long-term life-changing injury, or rapid-onset physical impairment? Seriously, what kind of wretched, pathetic life do you have to have experienced for that to be something that never entered your field of experience? That is, apparently, what Coates managed right up until he managed to hurt himself by being a ridiculous imbecile, and then he managed to blunder his way into my world.

Apparently, he really wasn't capable of coping with the possibility of having just one arm mostly out of commission for a few months. The very idea of surgical alteration or, heavens forfend, using assistive technology was a screaming anathema. His terror level went right past red while he fretted over how me might possibly live with such a hideous impairment.

Would anyone want to have sex with someone with a gimpy arm?

This is what happens to a world where you get to live a nice, sheltered California life, one supposes. You don't grow up knowing anyone with a disability. You don't get older and meet people with heart issues. Why would you even consider associating with someone who has a wheelchair, or a prosthetic arm, or something else so nightmarish? It never happens. It's completely unimaginable. The towering, self-involved ignorance on display is like a massive, shuddering vastness of Jello-o made from electric stupid.

I'm not offended. Offense means I think he did something that strikes against me and what I stand for. No, what I am is disgusted, which is a whole different scale of thing, where I look at what has been done and said and thought and consider it covered in a thick mucus made of human excreta, wrinkle my nose, and consider the best approach may be to simply burn it.

If I'm offended by anything, it's the fact that no one around him wound up for a nice, solid punch to the face and then a sneered, bitter, "Get over it, princess." Hades knows one of his physical therapists should have been responsible for that; all the ones I've ever worked with were pretty straightforward about the brutality since they've actually been interested in getting me ready to live with who and what I am, not just making pleasant conversation while they collect their checks.

If you see Tom Coates, punch him in the shoulder. Repeatedly. If you use a weapon, I won't object. Then tell him to reconsider a life in which he can get all big-liquid-eyed about the possibility that his life might get unutterably altered by a physical impairment, and then, once he's good and prepared, introduce him to some people who've dealt with it for more than four months and didn't turn into a big, whiny, tear-doused pussy at the possibility.
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