My brain is slowly clearing. Motivation returns as I received permission from the Orthopedic surgeon to “roll my boot” as I walk with crutches. Oh what a feeling! On the insistence of The Beard, I attended the NCW writing conference. I wasn’t planning on going because of the ankle and all of the obstacles that go with it. The Beard had other ideas. Apparently I’m going a bit daffy. I used my knee walker.

In my normal state, I tend to give those folks on crutches, walkers and electric scooters a lot of patience, a lot of room and any help I can offer. There’s no hurry in the grocery store in my world. As I’ve ventured out and about, I’ve become aware that my injury is a Rorschach test of a kind. I’m typically on the scooter, but in the grocery store I’m the one cruising around on the little carts.

I encountered the same phenomena at the conference that I have in other contexts. There are empathetic people and there are, oh do I call a spade a spade? We’ll go with dolts. There are dolts. In general, dolts blend in with the rest of the populace. They appear normal. No horns, no scales, nothing out of the ordinary. Dolts are the folks who push past a woman on a knee walker. They don’t open doors. They don’t look you in the eye and they get huffy when you’re in their way. 

I noticed another phenomena about empathetic folks and dolts. Dolts tell me how I injured my ankle. Skiing. Snowboarding. Climbing. They don’t ask, they state with assurance and authority. People with empathy ask, “What’d you do?”  Joanne Kennedy, a hilarious Romance author, overheard me at the conference and encouraged me to make up a much stronger story. “You’re a writer for goodness sake!” I made a game of it. I made up a different story every time. Okay, I came clean in the end….I didn’t feel right when people exclaimed, “No! Oh my! That’s amazing.”

The thing with writers is that they almost always ask questions, so only a handful of dolts at the writers conference. The last person I spoke with was a definitely a dolt, but he asserted Ninjas. How could I be insulted by that? I agreed that ninjas were involved along with ice imps and a failed triple Gaynor. He said, “Cool.”