Baby Steps

Baby Steps

Act 1

Todd Fringer

Scene 1
Onboard an airplane, seated in the right side aisle seat just behind 1st class. Todd, a Quadriplegic, sits with his friend Mark. People are getting off the plane and Todd is the last to exit.

Todd: I count to three and Mark hoists me up. I struggle to straighten my legs, fighting the onset of severe spasms. My legs begin to support my weight, but instantly shake uncontrollably. Mark maintains his grip, steadying my body while I wait for the spasms to subside. The spasms last for an agonizing forty-five seconds. (Todd takes three laborious side steps into the aisle and is supported by the walker.) I take some deep breathes. The air feels heavy. The smell of the musty carpet mixed with cheap cologne and body odor remind me of a crowded Vegas lounge. I focus on the twenty feet ahead of me to the door, and the security of my chair. To move my legs I concentrate on relaxing my muscles while simultaneously contracting them to move, a catch–22. This battle I fight with every movement.
I take a step, a baby step, with my left foot followed by the right. My walker makes a dull thud each time I move forward. A rhythm forms—(stage directions pending) Thud, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, and thud. Pain, I welcome the pain, my persistent companion. Pain reminds me that I’m still alive and able to take steps, baby steps. After several minutes I approach the exit.
The air rushing in is hot, mixed with jet exhaust, and burns my lungs. I conquer the walk and look at my chair as the fruits of my labor. My chair, my lover, calls to me. (Actor perks up as he approaches the chair).
I approach my chair and my heart sinks. My new power wheel chair, my sanctity, is wounded. (Shouting) “Mark, look at my chair! It’s fucking’ broke.” My leg rest is dangling, a tire is flat, and the controller is smashed.” (Pause) Mark is so busy with our carry-ons that he doesn’t notice the condition of my chair. (Emphatically) “What the hell happened to my chair?” My question hangs in the air, unanswered by the two cargo handlers that delivered my chair.
End Scene

Baby Steps

Todd Fringer

Flagler Beach, United States

  • Artist
    Notes
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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