It’s a big deal to start using a cane. You are no longer hiding the fact that there is something wrong with you. In most cases you have been in denial for quite some time about your need for one. You don’t want to be different, but eventually you get to the point where you give in and pick that damned thing up and start learning how to use it. As I said before, “RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.” For me it wasn’t just the cane. I had been wearing wide brimmed hats for quite a while. Sunlight is painful to me, a friend once put a hat on my head and I have worn it ever since. Quite frankly, I make that hat look good.
Add to that the dark glasses. Three reasons I wear them, my eyes do not really focus on anything and I only have slight peripheral vision in my left eye, so I tend to “look” off to the side. It seems to make people more comfortable not seeing my eyes so I always wear sunglasses. The second reason is for protection. I cannot tell if something is about to hit me in the eyes, so wearing glasses protects them from getting poked. The third is that I am very light sensitive. So I go through my life wearing my hat, my glasses, and using my cane. One would think that this is enough to let people know that I am blind. You think wrong.
Not long after the cane became a part of me, I entered into an elevator to take me to an appointment. Just before the doors closed, a guy with a small person got on. I like to be alone on elevators, but this time it was not to be. Our journey upward began and almost immediately my elevator sharing person said, “So you’re blind huh?”
I’m pretty sure my eyes closed behind my sunglasses under my hat, and I can almost promise you that my head bowed until it touched the top of my cane as I contemplated what to say to this genius. I could say, “No, I see just as well as you understand the Pythagorean Theorem.” I rejected that because I wasn’t sure at all that he even knew what a right triangle is. Then I thought something like, “I’m taking a Fashion Design Class and this is my final project.” No, still too many big words. Maybe “What gave it away?” That’s the one, simple and elegant. As I turn to tell him I hear the little person. Kids do something to me, and I hate it. Kids are my Kryptonite. So I chose to just say, “Yeah.”
I thought this would be the end of our interaction. I was hoping he would have picked up on my body language, and the tone of my voice. I soon found out that I was overestimating the rocket scientist that I was trapped in this elevator with. With only a slight delay he came back with, “Hmmm, that must suck.” I’m not sure what elevator music was being piped in at me, but all I heard was the Great Alice Cooper singing “No More Mr. Nice Guy.” Kid or not, I couldn’t control myself. “Why would you think that? Ever since I was 16 I have looked forward to loosing my license, I now realize how I much I hated the freedom that riding my bike gave me. I have always strived to be a burden on those I care about. Who needs a job? I always hated watching TV, especially watching my favorite sports, but hey, listening is just as good right?” The elevator had come to a stop, and the doors opened. I didn’t know if this was my floor or not but I did know that I had gone as far as I could take with him. As I walked out into the sweet release of leaving him behind, I just had to say one more thing to him. I turned and said as the doors were closing, “Not to mention we have jackets and cookies you MORON.”
As I walked away I thought that I had to contact the “Man Card Association” and ask them to extend the “Urinal Etiquette Laws” to include Elevators. You know, “Face Forward, Never Turn Your Head, And Never Ever Under Any Circumstances Talk.”