It's been 17 months now since I met the man of my dreams. He's in a wheelchair, and I am not. I think that in my youth I may not have considered him a suitable candidate as a potential mate. The chair would have intimidated me. It intimidated me still when the day came that he did cross my path, but thankfully, by that time I possessed the maturity to keep an open mind and actually speak my fears to him. He did not make me feel foolish for my awkwardness, he just gently guided me smoothly through the ice breaking period allaying my apprehension that I would say or do something foolish or insensitive.
His chair has no arms, and he calls it his "sporty model". I have observed him carefully each time he "knocks it down" to put it into the back seat of his car and then snaps it back together from his position in the front seat when he reaches his destination. I am memorizing how to do it myself, not because I want to do it for him or that I think he needs me to do it for him, for he certainly doesn't, but because if he ever needs me to help, I won't have to be taught the process at that time. I am still shy about asking questions, but I know he would allow me to take it apart or put it together myself if I ever asked him to.
We live in different states, so we don't see each other frequently, but when we do get together, we usually embrace in a way that is far more intimate than anything I have ever experienced with my former boyfriends. I sit on his lap, straddling him and facing him. I wrap my legs around his waist and rest my ankles over the wheels of his chair behind him. I feel his arms encircle my waist and I pull him close against me. I never remember such a superb fit when standing face to face with prior lovers and embracing. We sit and chat and touch and kiss for a long time. This is one of the most intimate expressions of affection I have ever experienced. I think if he was not in his chair, we would briefly touch and then pull apart, each retreating to a place of safe separation to discuss current events or the planned activities for the evening, etc. But because we are both seated together, face to face, arms no place to go but around each other, our intimate embrace is prolonged. I savor these moments with him.
He often spontaneously invites me on his lap in this manner. Sometimes because he wants to move to another room in the house to show me something, he will give me a ride to our new location. At these times, I lift my ankles off the wheels and hold onto his shoulders with my hands, my legs outstretched behind him while the wheels are moving. I relax my legs again when we arrive at our destination. Sometimes, we roll soundlessly across the hardwood floors to the kitchen where he will stop at the silverware drawer and withdraw a spoon, roll back about a foot and open the freezer door. He retrieves a small container of Ben-n-Jerry's Ice Cream, and spoon feeds me ice cream while I sit on his lap. At these times, my heart feels like it would burst from within my chest.
His chair no longer seems unusual to me, or an encumbrance. I see the chair as an extension of his body. I love his chair, just as I love the man himself. I can see how blessed I am to have this wonderful man in my life and while I would wish for him that he could walk again (he says he no longer wishes for that), I do not see the fact that he cannot as any kind of a deficiency. He is perfection in my eyes.