When I was going to PT, I was letting the fiction worldbuilding for “The Story” do its thing. Whether that’s all me injecting my experiences into a world or me unearthing a fully-realized world is a debate whose answer, if there is one, will reside outside of this essay. However, going there did give me access to certain scenes where Trishna had been going to PT for years, and then after they meet, John joins.
Spoilers?: Minor (characters and settings)
For introductions, both Trishna and John have physical impairments.
They’ve been characters residing within my head since I was in high school, so that’s approaching 18 or 20 years ago, but only comparatively recently have they shared these experiences with me. Trishna was born with a physical malformation of her left foot. She can briefly stand on it but she can’t use it to support her weight for long periods of time. John’s right thumb and pointer finger, along with nerves along his right arm, were burned off in a fire that killed his parents and forced him into sub-optimal foster homes. He has trouble moving his arm too much and his fingers aren’t the best at typing or using a mouse, but he gets by.
Those elements I’ve known for years now.
What’s new is the PT side. She was born into a family where they were able to figure out disability insurance to get her into perhaps weekly PT sessions to practice walking and other exercises. These thoughts had been lingering around especially while writing my first novel, when I thought of Trishna’s sister Sammohini’s motivation for being such a go-getter at work. I imagined in a scene that I didn’t want to shoehorn into the novel that her motivation was that she saw the good that PT did for Trishna and she wanted to help out as much as she could for them and the rest of the hospital.
I’ve been to now two different PT clinics.
The private business I went to, which I recommend to friends and family but don’t see the need to advertise here, was had more of the design of a gym where doctors helped with basic motor functions. My previous PT experiences were with an outpatient clinic that was attached to a place that inspired Eville Medical. This hospital-attached clinic likely has many specific physical therapy sub-disciplines, if you will, so I could easily see one area for helping with wheelchair patients and another helping with finger and arm exercises.
Since they had been friends for years online, chatting on instant messenger then later including phone, I would imagine that they chatted about Trishna’s PT experiences well before they met up, so when they finally do it doesn’t take much convincing for John to also want to go. What I enjoy about these characters as that although both have physical excuses for myriad issues, they would rather choose to try to overcome those adversities. They are but two characters in a sea of characters with different priorities and motivations. Trishna has deep insecurities about being left alone in situations where she cannot escape. John fears that his hand will prevent him from accessing many facets of life. They both share their fears with each other and mutually understand each other, in that regard, even if they have different perspectives, insecurities, and impairments.
I’m not sure what role PT will play in their narrative going forward.
I do, however, consider that space to be somewhere that Trishna might meet some people outside of her usual socially-isolated living situation. Throughout her compulsory education schooling, she tries as much as she can to socialize and meet with acquaintances, but she is rarely invited, if ever, because they might see her as a burden to invite along and they don’t want to put in the effort, as kids do. Her physical therapist and other assistants might offer advice as best they can, like how I chatted with everyone about myriad topics and as we all do, so at least there is a glimmer of goodness for her. Since “The Scene” happens at the end of Trishna’s compulsory education before she, and then John, go to community college, that serves as a transitionary point for her social and love life, in that sense, and in another sense, they pick up each other when they might not feel motivated to go anywhere.
I imagine they both enjoy going to PT, as I did.
It was great going for two main reasons, first, going was addressing physical issues in my body that were impairing my lifestyle, and second, everyone there was cordial. I became friendly with a few people just after a few visits because it’s easy to establish a friendship narrative, if you will, where it’s easy to talk about a few topics and return to them whenever you meet again. I could easily imagine that being the case for Trishna, where she might want to share her bubbling feels for John for everyone she can before they meet, but she might be shy about the social stigma of meeting people online in the era where “The Story” takes place; in the late-1990s to early-2000s, but abstracted, anachronistically and otherwise adapted.
When John does show up, I imagined it to be a special occasion for everyone.
To conclude this thought, when they go to college, there will be an Accessibility Rights Club that they will join and get heavily involved with. Trishna would probably be motivated by having a great communally social atmosphere in PT and John just wants to feel more ‘normal,’ maybe. I don’t know how long or how often Trishna and John will go to PT, especially during and after college, but that setting feels comfortable within the narrative, so it should be there.
These essays are subject to change from the final product…
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium and PT.|
|Inspirations: After deciding to write about “The Story” twice weekly, I thought about what I could write about, and after having a weird sleep schedule, I found myself awake too late into the day and without having written a sufficient amount of essays, I decided to tackle this one. These essays take longer to write because there’s more brainstorming and thinking involved than just opinion essay pieces, but both have their place. Giving myself the time to realize these thoughts will prevent me from skipping out on them as I had for too long there.|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.”|
|Picture: This is my stopgap template picture. I might design a more clear “hey, this is a template” picture later…|
|Written On: 2020 April 02 [12:04pm to 1:02pm]|
|Last Edited: 2020 April 02 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|