Two unrelated experiences with elders since i got back to Mtl:

1. Yesterday i took a sunny walk to the grocery store at the end of block to buy eggs and rice cakes and tomatoes. It was an epic self brunch kind of afternoon. As I walked I stretched and did some leg lift exercises. Better out in the fresh air than inside. I was feeling good, happy that my leg didn’t feel too bad, that I was just strollin along without thinking about pain. As I raised my head from a particularly luxurious bend over stretch an oldish lady said, what’s wrong? Is it your back? I said no I’m just doing some exercises for my knee. Smiling. Not feeling annoyed yet. Then she reprimanded me for not taking a cane. Yes friends, she yelled at me: il faut prendre ta canne! Ta canne! And demonstrated what she meant by charade showing me an air cane. Then I went and bought groceries.

2. As I was coming out of Beaubien metro today on my way to a scooter rental place, with the hopes of driving one home, you know i don’t like to wait, an 80 something lady asked if she could help me as I heaved my bag over my shoulder after getting off the escalator. It was a long commute and one that I undertook planning to do one way, and with the promise of not walking much the next few days. I knew it would fuck my knee up. I said no thanks I’m ok. Then we struck up a conversation. She noticed I was an anglophone (speaking french) and asked where i was from, said i had a beautiful accent, to which i responded, that’s the first time anyone’s ever said that to me! She asked my what i ‘had’ and then we talked arthritis, anti-inflammatories and age non-expected body types, she expressed that she knew something wasn’t ‘normal’ when she saw such a young girl with a cane. I told her perhaps it was not normal for many but its very normal for me. She said i had a beautiful smile, and she supposed i couldn’t work given my ‘maladie’. So nice and sweet and discriminatory at the same time:/ She hugged me and said, tu es courageuse! (You’re courageous!) I said thank you and take care. We walked our separate ways. Slowly. With our canes. A normal interaction for an abnormal reason.

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