First reaction? When I’m taking a nice stroll, I hardly want to be reminded of the incurable nature of my prognosis. Second reaction? Someone is professing his or her undying devotion to a person with the aforementioned initials.
Then I focus on the adjacent outline of a fist posed in a curious contortion.
Finally I catch on. This refers to MS-13, the Mara Salvatrucha street gang that’s making inroads through Northern Virginia. Suddenly the path, which has always felt safe and friendly, doesn’t seem quite so welcoming. I peer over my shoulder as I hurry by the message.
I am saddened to find my little slice of suburban parkland threatened by a violent street gang. I am also reminded that the world doesn’t revolve around me, even though I have multiple sclerosis.