A girl in a wheelchair wearing a shirt that says, “I run better than the government”
A girl in a wheelchair wearing a shirt that says, “I run better than the government”
A friend sent me this a while back. Still makes me laugh.

Sometimes, being in a wheelchair is funny.

Not the actual being disabled part, though that presents its own set of hilarious circumstances which make people uncomfortable and a little squeamish when I describe them.

Many people err on the side of caution when they interact with me for the first time, afraid they are going to say something to which I will take grievous offense and for which I will label then as ignorant and intolerant.

Personally, the clichéd “walk on eggshells” approach annoys me. It’s insulting and patronizing. It’s also incredibly boring.

What I enjoy much more is when…


Image by b0red from Pixabay

The human body is capable of elegance and grace, of great feats of strength, of Olympic-class speed, balance, and agility.

Sculptors chiseled the human form into marble.

Painters captured it on canvas.

OnlyFans put it behind a paywall…and people pay to gaze upon it.

It may be evolution’s greatest work of art.

But…

However wonderful and awe-inspiring the human form is, our bodies can also be our greatest source of embarrassment.

Everyone has had that dream in which we find ourselves naked in front of the class.

Puberty is the most awkward, cruel, and unintentionally hilarious experience of most of…


A homeless man with torn socks and gloves begging for money.
A homeless man with torn socks and gloves begging for money.
Image by Meine Reise geht hier leider zu Ende. Märchen beginnen mit from Pixabay

As I was driving on the freeway the other day, I saw several police cars on the side of the road. The traffic in front of me slowed, as usually happens when people see multiple squad cars in one place.

Why must we become lookie-loos when we see cop cars? Why?!

What was causing the commotion?

The police were breaking up a homeless encampment along the side of the road. A half dozen tents, a few laundry lines, a collection of camping gear…and about two dozen people being detained.

My heart broke for these people. Their lives were difficult enough…


Photo by S Migaj on Unsplash

There’s a reason why the subtitle of my blog is “Reflections of a Chronic Overthinker.”

I wasn’t always an overthinker, though the time before I became one is getting harder and harder to remember.

One of the reasons I started writing about it was because I was hoping to work through some of whatever it is that causes me to overthink things and, you know, cut that shit out.

Things are progressing…slowly.

In the meantime, my propensity to be over-ponderous continues to make my life more difficult that necessary.

Moreover, it sometimes prevents me from pursuing things I want.

Nowhere…


A close up picture of the side of a wheelchair
A close up picture of the side of a wheelchair
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

It’s one of the most common questions people have when they meet me, though they almost never ask for fear of being insensitive.

But, due to a natural curiosity, they so desperately want to ask.

Others don’t ask because they don’t want to know. To them, I’m a cautionary tale of what could happen to them in a single horrible moment. Ignorance may be bliss, but it doesn’t protect anyone from being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Last week’s posts, “Sixteen Years and Rolling…” and “A Parent’s Nightmare…” prompted a few friends to reach out to me…


Image by Daniel Alvarez from Pixabay

In Sunday’s post, “Sixteen Years and Rolling…” I told the story of how I broke my neck and became a quadriplegic. While I was able to recall much of that story, and while I remember more about that night than I’d care to, it’s only one piece of what happened.

After all, I was unconscious for some of it, and some information was initially withheld from me for good reason.

I doubt it does anyone any good to be told they may not survive the night.

What follows is my mom’s experience from the night of my accident.

This is…


Lived Through This

16 years ago my entire life changed in an instant

Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

No, this isn’t the story about the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. Don’t get me wrong, it was a singularly miserable experience filled with pain and tears, frustration and depression. But if you’re looking for “sorrow porn,” look elsewhere.

If you read the title and thought, “That sounds like the worst thing that could happen to anyone,” you would be partially correct.

For some people, suffering a spinal cord injury and becoming a paraplegic or quadriplegic is the worst thing that will ever happen to them.

For me, it wasn’t.

For starters, SPOILERS…I survived. I’m here typing this…


Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

In the eight-and-half decades in which my grandma has lived, I can count on one hand the things which have made her genuinely happy.

Her four grandchildren.

Sorting through the deluge of junk mail she gets.

Accusing Democrats of being the devil.

However, nothing makes her happier than misery.

Being miserable, spreading misery, wallowing in one tragic story after another. This, to quote Marie Condo, is what sparks joy for her.

And the more miserable the rest of us are, the more joy she seems to derive.

Why?

I have no idea.

Here’s the thing. She is oblivious that she’s…


Photo by camilo jimenez on Unsplash

Not long after I was home from the rehab hospital, I was waiting to use the restroom at a Target when I suddenly felt like I was having a heart attack.

My heart was pounding in my chest and I was breathing hard and fast like I’d just sprinted a mile.

I could feel my pulse in my neck, forehead, down both arms and I my fingertips.

My skin was suddenly cold and goose-bumpy, which was weird because I was sweating like honey baked ham. …


Photo by Marie-Michèle Bouchard on Unsplash

I love dogs. Who doesn’t? All fluffy and tail-waggy and happy to see everyone. And have you ever seen anyone happier to ride in a car, even if it’s just around the block?

Dogs are the best!

Dog owners, on the other hand, are a little more hit and miss.

As wonderful as owning a dog is, the shitty part — pun definitely intended — is cleaning up after them. …

Matthew B. Johnson

I’m a Sacramento-based writer, English professor, track coach, C-5 incomplete quadriplegic, diehard 49ers fan, comic book geek, and lover of all things coffee.

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