| Joe Barnes was excited. This night would be the night.
He was going out and he would show everybody that he was a real man. He wore a neat white
shirt, a new jacket and even new shoes. He had worn his old shoes for over two years now;
he did not feel like getting new shoes very often.
Now he was in the small park close to the sea and waited for a date he had never met
before. After a while, he saw a just wonderful woman walking right in his direction. She
looked gorgeous: The blue, glittering dress she wore magnified her beautiful body, and her
long blonde hair was blown around in the wind. She asked him right away, if he was the guy
who was waiting for his blind date, and when he said yes, she told him that he did not
have to wait any longer.
The had a great night. First they ate dinner in one of
the expensive restaurants downtown. Then they went to the movies and watched one of these
old movies one can see over and over again. After that they went dancing in an old bar and
also drank and talked a lot. He loved talking to her; her voice was so beautiful that he
could have listened to her forever. It was already very late when he brought her back to
her house. Even in front of the door they talked another twenty minutes. Her good-night
kiss was like heaven to him.
He was cold When he opened his eyes, he saw himself in
the small park again, close to the bank at which he had waited. The new day was already
dawning. He was confused, but then he remembered. He remembered her coming towards him,
asking him if he was waiting for his blind date. And when he said yes, she told him that
he did not have to wait any longer: She would not go out with a cripple in a wheel-chair!
He hated waking up and being thrown out of his wonderful world of imagination into this
real world he hated so much. He would never get a girl-friend and he would never get out
of his wheel-chair.
Joe Barnes was found the next day on the beach under
the cliffs. His neck was broken, and the wheel-chair that had fallen on top of him had
crippled his already crippled legs even more. In the letter they found with him, he
summarized all the tortures he had had to stand his whole life. A final note at the bottom
of the letter read:
"I wanted to jump off the bridge, but I could
not get over the barricades against people that want to commit suicide. What kind of a
world is this, where handicapped people cannot even choose the way they want to die?"