Anything for a blue badge.
Now the Local Council had got in on the act, sending her a forty page form to renew her blue badge. She sighed. Such bureaucratic heavy handedness used to be reserved for the alphabet people, the DLA, PIP, WTC, HMRC, TLA agencies. But now, even the suits in the downtown offices seemed to approach parked cars with a cudgel. Since when had parking become so contentious?
Yes, she qualified for a DLA exemption, and here was a copy of her current letter of award.
Yes, she had a disability, although when asked to indicate its precise nature and extent within the boundaries of the small box provided, she was unable, sorry, to provide the entire requisite details.
Yes, she had always had a disability, still had it and always would have, God save her soul from its crushing drudgery. She would have loved to lose it, say, or leave it behind unclaimed at a lost property somewhere, but no. Perhaps it would be fairer to indicate how, in her own words, her disability had had her.
No, her disability was not progressive, but Yes, its effects did vary though again, she was unable to indicate the full nature and extent of its variableness even within the box outlined or on the extra space provided overleaf. How does one articulate loss, sorrow, heaviness, isolation, poverty, pain, humiliation and sheer boredom? She did her best, indicating that there were days she didn’t feel like getting out of bed, but she had to, nonetheless; that there were times when she had to crawl, because walking was impossible. That the wind and rain often put paid to her plans for some fresh air. That the complexities of driving into town were only made possible because she knew a place to park nearby.
She filled in the form, doing her best to suppress mounting irritation. She posted it off and within a few weeks her new badge came, all shiny and laminated, and with a picture of her unhappy visage on the back. It was a valuable, vital piece of kit for travel into town, her badge of freedom. Such a pity that she had to reveal so many personal details in order to get it.