Smoking in the girls’ room, sneaking a drink, napping
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Dan Wakefield is a novelist and the author of several spiritual memoirs, including How Do We Know When It’s God? (Little, Brown). He lives in Miami Beach, Florida.
I think crippled is the best word because it’s the most accurate. As a writer, I think language is supposed to be strong and definitive, and should speak of what is. Even the sound of crippled tells you something. It has a harshness about it that speaks to the condition. The writer’s job is to communicate an experience, and when you abstract from it with terms like “differently abled,” there’s no way you can communicate the pain of not being able to use your legs and the rage that is an inevitable concomitant of that pain.