I'm walking with a stick at the moment. The reasons are very boring, and it's just a temporary measure, but goodness me, I love Mr Stick. I can't go out without him.
Mr Stick is mostly so I have something to lean on on the Tube. Interestingly, only once has it caused someone to offer me their seat. It was an elderly religious Jewish gentleman. Aghast, I insisted he stay where he was, but thanked him very loudly. Which caused the teenagers with seats to shuffle a little. Healthy, fat bastards.
Much as I love Mr Stick, he is a bit embarrassing. Not since I was dating a teenager have I got so many frankly startled looks. And the worst thing is you suddenly realise that Stick Users are everywhere, and all of them have far greater need of Stick than me. The last two days I've been preceded off the Tube by a blind man and a woman in clear agony with her hip. It means I shuffle off feeling somewhat of a fraud.
A bad thing about Stick is that I'm getting used to him. He's literally become a crutch. The thought of a stagger to Kings Cross without him is now unthinkable. And it's terrible tempting in conversation to use Stick to point at useful things. Plus I've stabbed three people accidentally through their flip flops.
The worst thing about Stick is that tourists somehow assume I'm available to give directions. The other day I was out for a short stagger when two giggling girls blocked my path demanding British Museum. I stopped, fumbled to switch off my MP3, unhooked the headphones and pantingly pointed them in the right direction. They vanished, still giggling. Exhausted, I reached for my MP3 and promptly dropped Stick throught railings into someone's basement. It took half an hour of knocking on various doors to get it back. And then I realised I'd given them the wrong directions.