A bright voice sliced through my morning daze as I stood waiting for the light to change on my way to work.
“Hello,” I responded, taking out my ear buds and rejoining the world as I turned towards the source of the voice, a young man with a backpack, ball cap and Down syndrome.
I smiled uncertainly as he looked at me appraisingly, eyes finally settling on the bright teal tights I had managed to wrangle up over the unsightly, blistering compression stocking I wear every day, an external reminder of the constant danger lurking in my own veins. Was the damned thing showing through the tights?
“Imagine if your whole body was that colour.”
I laughed. “That would be…something all right.”
“You’d look like Katy Perry in that video.”
“Ha. Yeah. You’re right. I guess I would a little bit.”
The light changed and he hopped along to keep up with me until I slowed my pace to match his while he enthusiastically described a wrestling match in which the competitor wearing a costume the same colour as my tights was painfully defeated.
“Wait, so the guy in my colour lost?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he said, stopping outside the door to his destination.
“But you still look pretty cool.”
There was something about the way he said it that was just beyond dispute. Without guile and without agenda, this was not an opinion. It was fact.
And for the rest of the day, when I noticed someone staring at my legs I didn’t heave my usual internal sigh and think, Yes. One Stocking. Yes, wearing it on purpose. Giant killer blood clot. Let’s all move along, thank you.
Instead I thought,
I still look pretty cool.