My aunt and uncle live on the water in Southern California. When I awoke in their Long Beach house this morning and surveyed the sand in front of their residence, I regarded a profusion of people on the beach and a sign that read, Karate for Children with Special Needs. This recalled affectionate memories of the speech Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger delivered at my brother's USC graduation and his referral to the Special Olympics and how "everyone thought the retards would drown in the pool." As it appeared a pretty popular Special Needs gathering, I adjudicated I would amble along the beach to observe the mentally handicapped Karate-cavort.
While I walked on the concrete sidewalk I watched a small child eat dirt like it was Twix. I smiled to myself. A few steps later, I detected a three-inch-long screw lying in front of me. As customary, I loped a few feet and kicked it. Instead of the front edge of my sandal propelling the twisted metal piece into the sand as expected, my sandal arced like a rainbow and the screw impaled itself into my foot. I felt like Jesus. I stifled my inclination to scream at the two inches of rusted beach-screw in the bottom of my foot. Instead I grumbled like a drowning cow and fell over into the sand.
A woman charged to my side like a mother bull.
"Honey, are you okay? Oh no baby, that looks painful! Let's get you some help," she said, reaching her arm around my twenty-three-year-old body in an attempt to elevate me to my feet.
Instead of educating her that I wasn't a Special Needs child and would be perfectly fine, I held her hand and limped to the First Aid tent ten feet away.
I settled on the table to a seventeen-year-old bawling like he had just lost his imaginary friend but who otherwise appeared healthy, an eighteen-year-old pointing to a bruised shin, and a fourteen-year-old who had stubbed her toe. As I tearlessly raised my foot with the screw protruding from it, I judged some of my decisions and routine accidents with my feet (I've had an inch and a half of glass in my toe for two months, two nails in the bottom of my feet, multiple broken toes/ lost toenails, and an impending feet surgery I was supposed to get eight years ago). I deliberated how one determines they're a special needs child.