“Seriously where did all the anvils go? Once upon a time in every Roadrunner, Bugs Bunny, Tom & Jerry episode, anvils were dropped on heads at inopportune and comical times. They were ubiquitous in most Disney cartoons so I inquire, with vehemence, where the hell did all the anvils go?” I said whilst transferring into my passion fruit Quickie wheelchair. My neon pink chiffon shorts got caught on the transfer board so I slid back into the car.

Kevwe took extra care and made sure the board was firmly under my buttocks with no opportunity to snag.
My mother chuckled at my random anvil rant and got out of the midnight Toyota Camry. The driver was trying to figure out the best place to park. When we got out of the car, one of the first things we noticed was the atrocious and dilapidated state of the walk-way. Pieces and slabs and concrete were practically crumbling and falling off the mini-steps that were a good six inches high. Amidst the confused look of the walk-way, it didn’t help that hawkers and I assume other drivers, were blocking our route to the restaurant.

“Seriously, they did not think things through. How do they expect a wheelchair to get over these steps? Do they expect you to fly or something?” my mother was flummoxed. “There’s only one way we can hurdle over. We must lift up the wheelchair with me in it,” I said with utmost certainty.

“We should talk to the owners about this issue when we get inside.”
The driver stood behind me, positioning himself behind the wheelchair. He placed both hands in the right place and waited for the all clear. Kevwe stood in front of me, grabbing the frame of the wheelchair. “Alright, on the count of three, 1, 2, 3 and we have lift off.”

“Careful, careful, you’re carrying precious cargo,” my mother fretting and being her usual overprotective self. They set me down gingerly. I wheeled over to the entrance which happened to be at the top of a lot of steps and of course, there was no elevator in sight. There were wooden steps all the way so we knew what had to be done. Kevwe sat in front of me, placing each leg round her waist. She clutched at the bannister as a prop to hold onto and lift herself up effortlessly.

“Mama, why don’t you take my phone and record this for my Instagram? We need to raise awareness of the limitations and challenges that people with disabilities experience on a daily basis so they can visualize what I go through.”

“Great idea sweetie,” my mum took the phone and set it to record the scene before her. Holding tightly onto Kevwes’ shoulders, we travelled up the steps one at a time. The clickety clack of my mothers’ heels sounded like a sweet melody but also a gentle reminder that a fall would be catastrophic. We got to the restaurant in one piece. The driver holding the wheelchair, my mother holding the phone and Kevwe was holding me up on her back. The manager held open the door. The wheelchair was set on the tiled floor. A few seconds later, I was seated at a table with the drinks and food menu in front of me.

My mum was new to Izanagi so I was eager to hear her thoughts. “I give this place zero stars out of five. They really should have put in an elevator. There’s no way you would have gotten in without help which makes you totally dependent. What would have happened if Kevwe was not strong enough to lift you or she wasn’t here? We should make some suggestions to the manager.”

“Now that we are in, the ambience, the cleanliness, the décor is stunningly simple. I love what they’ve done with the space. The Japanese curtains, the lanterns, even the wooden tables are minimalist in style but gorgeous,” she said, with admiration. “I’m so glad you like it. Wait till you taste the sushi. While we wait for our order to arrive, we should talk about what movie we are going to watch at Filmhouse Cinemas.”

-Efena Otobo

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