I was second in line at his autograph table. Being in a wheelchair, I'm quite accustomed to unexpected delays and detours, so as soon as the con hall opened on Saturday, I planted my VIP-badge-wearing ass in his line and camped there like a soldier at a bivouac. Karl arrived promptly at eleven, sporting his case of chronic bed head and dressed in a natty, light blue button-down. I was immediately mesmerized by the case of chronic bed head, so much so that I was staring at it when I rolled up to him. Then he looked at me with his open, expressive face and greeted me with a cheerful, "Hello," and I froze. He was gorgeous. His face was a rosy pink, as though he'd either just scrubbed it or had taken some sun the day prior, and his eyes were far lighter than I'd expected from photographs.

"Hello, Mr. Urban, sir," I said after I'd gathered my wits, and stuck out my hand.

Normally, I can shake hands. It's splay-fingered and spastic, but it's recognizable as a handshake. His table, however, was far too high for me, so I had to crane and grope blindly, and my fingers kept sliding off his hand. I was mortified and awkwardly patted the top of his hand because I had no idea what to do.

Karl was unfazed. "Fistbump?" he suggested.

So I gave him a fistbump, and he grinned and asked my name so he could sign the picture of Bones I'd chosen. I told him, and as he signed, he talked about how excited he was to be in Louisville and see all the vendors. I asked him if I could thank him for Kennex.

"Oh, thank you," he said. "That show was so much fun to do."

"I needed him," I said. My voice was a strangled wheeze because the spasticity of CP clenches the muscles and worsens under stress or anxiety or adrenaline, which was now flowing by the gallon.

If he was confused as to why I sounded like Flipper choking on a cod, he gave no sign. He just looked me in the eye and listened intently as I tried to explain what Kennex meant to me. I know it came out a garbled mess because I could hear it. My voice could now shatter glass, and the tension in my throat had made my speech all but unintelligible. Karl patiently listened.

I held up a copy of my letter. "Look," I managed. "I know you didn't understand a word I said, but this is what I meant to say." I held it out.

He took it. "Thank you very much." He offered his hand for another fistbump. He took my Roomie's picture and asked, "Is this for her, too?" It wasn't, but Roomie said it was, so he signed a picture of Kennex. I don't think he was supposed to do that, but the con lady next to him, who had seen me trying to talk, developed sudden blindness and didn't charge me for the second autograph. I thanked him and extended my hand for another fistbump.

"Come take a photo with me," he said as I started to leave.

"I have an op, but I don't know if the booth is accessible."

"It's not?" He was genuinely surprised, and he and the con lady turned to look toward the photo booths.

"I didn't see a ramp."

The con lady furrowed her brow. "It should be flat to the floor."

Karl leaned forward on his elbows. "If it's not, and you can't get to me, tell me or a member of the staff, and I'll come to you."

"Yes, sir. Thank you."

The con lady was right, as it turned out. The booths were flat to the floor. What I had been seeing--and mistaking for the photo booth--was a small stage for costume contests and full cast shots. The booths were tiny, cloth-draped cubicles with a backdrop and a laptop and the photographer.

I was first in line for the photo op. The same con lady emerged from the booth, spun me around backward, and said, "Look who I've got, Karl."

From behind me, I heard, "There's my girl." Jovial and enthusiastic, as though he had genuinely been hoping I'd turn up. He took me from her and rolled me onto the mark, and then he dropped to his knees beside the chair and smiled.

I was so tempted to touch his hair because it looked incredibly soft and smelled like fresh spearmint, but I restrained myself. Instead, I just surreptitiously eyed his profile and marveled at how lovely he was. He radiated cheerfulness. He propped his elbow on my armrest and draped his other arm around the back of the chair.

"I'm sorry, but my eyes won't stay open."

"It's all right," he said softly, and looked at the camera.


The con lady reached for me, but he gently nudged her aside and pushed me himself. He was so very careful. Most first-time pushers fail to take into account the presence of footrests and the feet thereupon and will therefore smash them into corners and walls and doors, but he moved very slowly and made sure I touched nothing on the way out.

"Thank you," I said. I wanted to cry because here was this man I had come to adore, treating me as though I were something valuable and not a piece of freight to be transported or an obstacle to be overcome. I held myself together only because I was afraid a sudden spate of convulsive, ugly sobbing would make him think he'd done something wrong when he had done something right and an immeasurable kindness.

"No. Thank you," he said, and then he was gone, and I was so full of stunned adrenaline that I could only sit there until Roomie came out a few seconds later.

It's two days later, and I can't stop thinking about the smell of his hair as he knelt beside me or the care and respect with which he treated me. He didn't have to improvise when the handshake failed. He didn't have to give me two autographs. He didn't have listen patiently while I struggled and the line waited. He didn't have to invite me to the photo op and promise to come to me if I couldn't fit or get to him. He didn't have to maneuver me himself or walk me out afterward. He didn't have to kneel beside me and tell me it would be all right if my eyes closed. He did those things because that's who he is, because he cared, and because he's not just blowing smoke when he says everyone deserves dignity. He did those things because I mattered as much as the next fan in line. I cannot thank him enough for that gift.

Thank you, Karl. Thank you for being Bones and Eomer and every hero you have ever played. Thank you for being kind. I hope the letter I so clumsily placed in your hand brings you happiness and satisfaction and pride, and I hope I see you again someday so I can thank you for the first time around.
One thousand three hundred and ninety-seven words.

According to Tumblr culture, this picture merits a trigger warning.
Well, that's huge dollop of shit.

An even bigger one is the toolbox I saw gloating over it.

People are gross.
One thousand and forty-one words since last update.

I lost nearly a foot of hair today. I'm not sure it's the most attractive cut for my face, but it's so much neater, and now I won't look like a homeless waif when I meet His Urbanness.

I also got the car checked and tuned up today. It is ready for our latest odyssey. All hail car, for it is mighty.

I might've lost hair today, but I found this:

It's so adorable, but do all men just stop maturing at twelve?

I also found this, which is hardly so innocent:

Just...you'll see it. Holy GODDAMN. It's like a garden hose.
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Jun. 17th, 2014 09:59 pm)
One thousand two hundred and twenty words today. Every bit of it was Black Hat porn, and now I am decidedly sticky. Let us not elaborate further.

For SHAME, Karl! LOL.
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Jun. 15th, 2014 12:57 am)

In forty-two days, I will be face to face with this man. Send help.
Nine hundred and seventeen words today.

OMG, con attendee, what did you do to rile the golden retriever?
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Jun. 11th, 2014 04:58 pm)
Three thousand five hundred and twenty-nine words since last update.

No! Stop that! He's a Disney creature.
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Jun. 9th, 2014 08:50 pm)
Nine hundred and ninety-nine words today.

Ngggh. Karl, why do you do this to me? You just keep getting hotter.
Dear Mr. Urban,

Let me preface everything that follows by saying that on the main, my life is fairly ordinary. I pay bills and watch too much TV and read too few books, and I keep my mind busy by writing silly stories no one reads. Most of the time, I like my life, and while I can't say I wouldn't change it, I can say that I wouldn't give it up. It's mine, for better or worse.

I have moderate spastic quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. That means I move through the world with a set of wheels under my ass and possess all the grace of a drunken marmoset on an ice floe. I list and lean and flop, and I couldn't stand up if my life depended on it. Heaven knows I tried when I was younger, prodded on by desperate parents in denial and enterprising doctors with visions of miracles in their heads. But it simply wasn't meant to be, and never mind the surgeries and the therapies and the well-meant prayers. I can't say I've made peace with it; there are days I still rail and seethe and argue with God, but I've learned to live with it.

It also means there are days when I don't want to do this anymore, don't want to wake up and fight my body just to make it out of bed and to the bathroom. I don't want to be stared at or prayed over or used as an object lesson in How Much Worse It Could Be. I don't want to be ignored by cashiers and waiters and other people at the grocery store who pretend not to see me, or given dirty looks because I'm slow. I don't want to hear the ticket taker at the movies surreptitiously whispering to my partner that they admire him for taking me out in public. I don't want to be told I should be grateful for my blessings by people who merrily proceed to metaphorically piss in my face with their head-patting condescension, or that the hardships in my life don't matter because I was put here by God to punish my parents and make them better people. I don't want to eat dirt and be told not to mind the taste because it's the best the likes of me deserves.

On these days--and there are ever-increasing numbers of them as I grow older; it's easier to believe the best of people when you are sixteen and filled with the optimism of the future than it is when you are thirty-six and twenty years into the realization that the wheelchair is forever--it's so very tempting to give up, to simply get into bed one night and not get out again. If I quit, then this can be over. No more exhaustion or loneliness or shame, no more wasted energy or disappointment, no more hurt, no more living with the knowledge that I don't belong. I could just stop, and even if there were nothing at the end of the dark, it would be better than this.

So I want to thank you for John Kennex. I know it was a role that required personal sacrifice for you, but I'm glad you took it. I needed him. I know he wasn't a perfect analogue for my disability, but he was disabled, and he was there for the world to see, not as an object of pity or a walking educational tool for rubbernecking clods with more curiosity than tact or a karma totem for people who needed to feel better about themselves, but as a man just trying to get by. He was grumpy and angry and confused. He was everything I've ever felt about being disabled, about being so very different. He was also smart and driven and decent under all the curmudgeonly pissiness. He was real. He was human, allowed to be flawed in more ways than his missing leg, and I can't tell you how much it meant to see him there, living his fictional life on the screen. I will miss him, but I will be forever grateful for the brief time I had him. He helped me keep my head above water, helped me make the decision to keep putting my wobbly feet on the floor every morning and trying to see the good in the world.

I'd also like to thank you for Bones McCoy. I know DeForrest Kelley lived in his skin first, and I will always adore him, but your Bones reminds me of a dedicated orthopedic surgeon I had as a child who tried so very hard to make my limitations easier to bear, and who never forgot that I was a scared little girl in a very scary, painful situation. He went on to head a children's hospital, and I went on to high school and university, where I met my partner. He didn't "cure" me, but he made my life better, and whenever I see your Bones, I catch a glimpse of him.

So thank you. Thank you for wearing their skins for a while. Thank you for the long hours and the time away from your family. It would be melodramatic to claim you saved my life, but you've certainly made it better, brighter, and more bearable on the bad days, and there are no words to express my gratitude for that.

I hope to tell you this myself one day at a con. If our paths should cross, please be patient with my palsied hands and fumbling mouth. If they never do, then I wish you well and look forward to your future projects and hope that all the blessings you have unknowingly given to the world are returned tenfold.


Shannon Lowe

P.S. That surfing video you posted to Youtube never fails to cheer me up.
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Jun. 5th, 2014 08:37 pm)
Nine hundred and eighty words today.

While I can't foreesee myself picking up stakes and moving to Tumblr full-time, it is a cornucopia of pretty, pretty pictures and a low-stress means of dealing with fandom.

Dear MBAM,

Bite me. No, I will not install a program update for a program I just installed a few months ago when it was hours old, and I should not have to update the entire build just to receive database updates. I've used you happily for years, but no more.

I wonder if he does it with that same jubilant expression of Teletubbyesque joy.
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Jun. 2nd, 2014 03:28 pm)
So, I got a Tumblr. Feel free to follow me there if you wish. I'm not sure how active it will be, but I've had fun reblogging dumb pictures.

Uh, Karl...woooow. Uh, I'm sure we need to talk about this, but...uh, I need some time first.

He wears whumped well. He also reflects my mood today.
Four thousand seven hundred and thirty-seven words today.

That's right; today, I wrote nearly five thousand words of unadulterated Priest porn. Apparently, the universe needed a total balance job after that godawful book. It needs to be cleaned up a bit, but it's otherwise done.

This guy tapped some serious ass.
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( May. 29th, 2014 08:12 pm)
One thousand four hundred and seventy-one words today.

I should not be looking at things like this when my hormones are out of control.
One thousand two hundred and forty-two words today.

But remember, disabled people, you matter!.

I'd rather look at this than ponder that, to be honest, and while I'm aware that the bulge in his tights is probably a cup, I'm going to pretend otherwise.
One thousand three hundred and thirty-two words today.

laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( May. 21st, 2014 10:16 pm)
One thousand and thirty-three words today.

I found this on the FuckyeahDrMcCoy Tumblr. It's beautiful, and whoever did it should be commended.


laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)


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