This piece was commissioned, written and performed for Sins Invalid's 2016 Birthing, Living, Dying Crip Wisdom show, ODC Theater, San Francisco, October 14-16.Hi, baby cripI know, you feel like a ton of bricks just hit you. They did.But I'm your crip fairy godmotherand I'm here to tell you what's going to happen.I hate to say it, but it's a cheat sheet called, they mostly don't care about us
This is exactly what's going to happen:Your able bodied friends will stop calling.Maybe if you were born disabled they never started.It's going to be real cute for a minute,but then it's not going to be so sexy to them- there's other things to look at on Instagram, you know.They're going to wish you a “speedy recovery”and they will be so surprised when there is neitherspeed or a recovery.They will say “oh you're not disabled, sweetie, don't call yourself that.”They will laugh uncomfortablywhen you state simple facts about your bodyThey will tell you to hurry upevery way they canwith every deep sigh, every, it's fine,every time they'll walk ahead of you so fastthey don't even notice you're not thereThere will be expectations of gratitude!There will be “Hope you feel better soon!”
Most of all there's this:they will forget youThey will forget you use a chair. They will forget you use a cane.They will forget you think in flowers. They will forget that you're Deaf,and they will think they're doing you a favorby forgetting your disabilitybecause that means you get to be human, like them.If they can't forget these thingsthey are going to forgetthat you exist.
They're gonna take your sick personally,I mean very personally, I mean you are in a wheelchair at them,I mean you are puking and shitting for hours at them,I mean you did this, by which I mean, you got disabled, to get at thembecause they, the abled, are the center of the world
and when you existyou're gonna be a rip in the fabric of their universe.You're going to give a shit about things you never cared about beforeThey're going to be so grateful they aren't you
They will stop callingThey will care about you but not other disabled people because we are still losers.They will have absolutely no idea of the hurt they cause with every syllablebut you will.
I know this sucksbut I'm your crip fairy godma and I'm here to give you some important information straightThis is not in any pamphlet the hospital will send you home withIt's operating instructions. I mean to save your life,with what I was taught in the secret guild of other sickoswith what I learned the hard way.
Dear baby crip,it's not all bad news,because here's what's also going to happen.It's a magic spell I am calling into existence.It's Defense Against the White Able Bodied Arts Time here!This is disabled Hogwarts with none of the racism or heteronormativity!This is all our lightening scars on our foreheads glowing,not just one special white boy's
Because here's what's also going to happen,after they leaveafter nothing and everythinghappens on your rebel body's scheduleYou will discover that youdonotgivea fuck.
You will discover that they bore the hell out of youright next to them breaking your heart.You will discover that you still have a body.
It will probably take you yearsto begin to maybe not hate yourself
but I invoke that you will.This is a magic spell,(because we write the future with our bodies every day)that you make it, and make more than you could imagineYou will gain a wild pack of cripssharing vicodin, heaing aid hookups, favorite terps, the shared rampthe inside scoop on the lexapro, the link to the beloved breathing mask.You will drool, type, stim, limp and shake with joy.I invoke that you will move as slow and weird as you wantand others will roll and limp with you in a wild pack of slowness.
You will gain skill in learning to not predict the futureYou will learn every magic trickto shape shift painyou become an alchemistand you are better thanany of the most boring neurotypicals in the world.
Didn't Lauren Olamina, that crip, say: All successful life isAdaptable,Opportunistic,Tenacious,Interconnected, andFecund.Understand this.Use it. Shape God.
Shape godYou, you are god
Disability is adaptive, interconnected, tenacious, voracious, slutty, silent, raging,life giving.
We are crip Earthseedbut we are not going anywhereYou are not an individual health defectYou are a systemic war battalionYou come from somewhereYou are a weWe know shit they'll need to knowWe know shit they have no idea ofWe have survived a miillon things they said would kill us
We prove them all wrongEven death is different herenot a failurebut a glittery cosmos.
What can I do?
I can breathe sky into the spaces of my spasming spineI can can eat Fritos and watch an entire series on netflix with no shameI organize my whole community without ever leaving my bedI can show you how to make a ramp out of some styrofoam and a hot dogI can run a million miles a second panic attack wired for soundI am a hyperempath like Lauren OlaminaI can run this whole show tapping emails on my phone with my foreheadI can jump off a bridge and not fallI regrow my neural pathways into the futureI X FemmeI can surviveI blissI can make sure we all make itI can see my vulnerabilitynot as a crime
So tell me.Whatcan you do?Whatare the magic tricksyou will teach meI don't even know yet,that will bewhat savesmy life.
For Maya Chinchilla