It’s taken me a while to write part 2 of this series. Part of the problem is that I’ve had to piece memories together in my head. This isn’t an easy thing when you have chronic short-term memory loss. If you haven’t read part one of this series, you can click here to do so. (A new window or tab opens so you can easily continue with this post.)
Shortly after I got the car, I, also, got a job at a financial company located in the industrial park, Denver Tech. Center that’s south of Denver in a suburb. It wasn’t the greatest of jobs but with my disability, I knew that I was fortunate to have it.
In many ways, finding a job as a person with disability was easier back then than it is now. Employers used to feel that if I wanted a job, they were willing to try me out. The only thing they insisted on was that I agreed that their insurances wouldn’t cover anything connected to the disability and it would be treated as a prior condition. This would include health, life and personal injury. It sounded fair to me. It still does. Yet, employers of today have it in their heads that at some point, I’m going to sue them for something. Well, no one said that people weren’t foolish.
I did data entry at this company. Yes, boring work. I sat in a cubical with a balance sheet spread out across my desk, punching in the numbers for their computer. Back then, one computer filled an entire room. My desk, along with four others were lined up against the wall of this room with their 5 feet walls on either side to insure a quiet environment for each desk. It certainly wasn’t my dream job, of course, but it was my first full-time job.
I, also, hooked up with someone I knew before the stroke. No, he didn’t go to my high school. I worked with him at a part-time job I had at a cinema. I was the one in the booth taking the money and doling out the tickets. He was one of the ushers. I didn’t think one way or the other about Mike then. He was just a co-worker, nothing more. However, unknown to me, he wanted to ask me out but couldn’t muster up the courage.
The one thing that was scaring everyone away from me, the stroke, was the very thing that made it possible for Mike to approach me. Did he think I was perfect before? Nay. Could he have thought I was out of his league before? Maybe, although I can’t fathom why.
Truth be known, I do know what it’s like to be afraid of someone who has a disability. Before the stroke, I worried about how the person would react to my line of contact with him or her. I was afraid of saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing. There are a few, a very few, who still think they can “catch” the disability if they get too close, but I think most people are more afraid of doing something to upset the person with the disability — so they avoid the situation instead of taking the risk.
Mike was willing to take the risk.
Mike and I dated until the last of September that year. He had decided to go into the Marine Corps. He felt that his parents were disappointed in him, and had it in his head that if he was a Marine, he’d automatically be accepted by them. I asked him to write to me once he got out of boot camp so I’d have his military post address. He never did write, but I saw him a year later.
I’ll be telling you about how my life progressed in later posts. I want to batch them in an attempt to make them easier reading.