An arseholed chav pushed me off a three-storey building. It is what it is. At least that’s what I said my first few years in the wheelchair. I can’t stand that bloody phrase anymore. It’s just a smarmy way of saying “I’ve given up”. Now I see my wheelchair for what it really is. My crystal ball. Not to gaze into the future or any such bollocks, but into the present. To see the world as it is, with new eyes, like that Proust bloke said. When my legs worked, life was just hunky-dory. I coasted on through. But when I lost movement from the hips down, everything changed. You can’t compare the before and after. Some people do and they beat themselves up over it. If you don’t like being ogled at, you better not ever find yourself in a wheelchair. Everybody looks at you. I hated it at first. So I stayed in. That’s when I started using computers. That was the summer of 2005, six months after my fall. Before that I had what you’d call moral issues against it. Actually still do. But though I didn’t like computers, I disliked being stared at even more. At the end of the day I’m no hermit, so I joined some chat groups, bought a web cam… the works. I became a modern person. It opened my eyes to the world. Not that it’s a world I like. I was protected from it before because I had functioning legs. I could, metaphorically speaking, walk away any time. Not anymore. I can’t just go off on a gander. Now everything has slowed. Everything, that is, except my thinking.