I can no longer use chopsticks very well. My right thumb doesn't stretch enough and the other fingers get stiff and won't move, so I can't hold things between my chopsticks. The way I eat now has evolved naturally. I've mastered my own way of eating.
The menu for this evening included rice, fried prawns, macaroni salad and soup. first of all, I threw the macaroni salad on to the rice. I do that with all the fine, small stuff. I can manage to hold a fried prawn because it's big, but I'm not particularly good with noodles (although I love udon).
I have to be careful about swallowing. I often choke, so i have to transport the food with good timing, move my mouht in a certain rhythm, hold my breath, and then swallow.
Chika, my classmate, can't use her left hand well, so she brings her mouth close to the container to eat. Teru-chan puts everything, such as the rice, the side dishes, and the ingredients of the miso soup on to her plate to eat them. I'm somewhere in between them. I can use my left hand, so I can hold a bowl. That means I can pretend to look like an ordinary person.
A long time ago, I read a book written by Kenji Suzuki, the TV announcer. In it he said that when two handicapped persons meet an 'arranged marriage' meeting, the first thing they should do is reveal their weaknesses. Is my way of eating a weakness?
"Am I conspicuous because I'm so slow?" I asked the head matron.
"Rather than saying that," she answered, "I feel sorry for you."
It was a rather shocking remark.
I feel sorry that again at Okayo I have to have other people doing everything for me. Handicapped people are classified into two categories: serious cases and light cases. I'm classified as a serious case.