My friend Sam

When I attended FD day in New York in June I met a man named Sam and we spent some time together.

Anyway, Sam and I started talking and he revealed to me that he had a documentary made about him last year and this year he had a book written about himself. But what really sparked my interest was that he mentioned that he is an actor.

Sam has a visual impairment and needs the support of someone to get around.

Sam went to a special college for the visually impaired and majored in acting. He is now part of a theatre group for able-bodied and people with a disability. Sam has also had some roles on TV and walk-ons in movies.

We got on well in New York and we stayed in touched via Facebook. It wasn’t consistent, a like here, a comment there. It was also nice keeping tabs on Sam and looking at his rock climbing photos.

When I found out that he was traveling the world with a friend and stopping in Melbourne for a few days I suggested that we catch up. And boy, did we catch up!

One day we had lunch in St Kilda and we shared our war stories along with our interest in movies. Another day we went to the movies to avoid the 35 degree heat. It didn’t register that he couldn’t see properly until I realized that I had to guide him through the building into the cinema. Of course I had to be cautious because of my walking but then I had to be doubly cautious as Sam had his hand on my shoulder and I had to dodge other movie goers. It was an interesting sight, I’m sure.

Thanks to the kindness of a good-looking usher, he ushered Sam to his seat and I was able to manoeuvre myself into mine. We saw the Perks of Being a Wallflower which follows the story of a young boy making the transition into high school after going through a number of traumatic experiences.  I don’t want to give the whole movie away, but I do recommend it and I do recommend taking tissues. Or maybe I’m just a softie.

Sam and I finished our time together by having dinner in St Kilda. Once again, it was just the two of us and we chatted about the possibility of us both getting a scooter. Big Topic for both of us and quite confronting. Thankfully it was shut down when suddenly I felt myself veering to the right on my chair and the next thing I knew I was on the ground. Sam jumped up to my rescue but suddenlya group of men had picked me up and put me back on my seat. Maybe I should have milked it and pretended to struggle more but all I really wanted was it all to end.

But wait, there’s more.

Before I had the chance to take a breath, suddenly Sam had knocked his Coke over and it spilled onto my fabulously tight and vibrant watermelon coloured jeans. Thankfully, they survived the disaster.

What a way to end the night!

We finished our evening off by acknowledging that there is a connection between the two of us. And there is.

An FD connection that not many people share.

It was great spending time with you, Sam. I look forward to our next adventure in either NY or London.

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