Every night for several years now, as I walk to bed in the dark, I say to myself, “Self, you should blog about doing this.” And then it comes daylight, and I forget.
Today I remembered, lucky lucky you.
It started when I found out about the first cataract, which came on abruptly and advanced aggressively until, within a year, I was nearly blind in that eye. And by nearly blind, I mean when I took the eye test at the BMV, I couldn’t see anything at all through that eye. Not a shape, not a shadow…nothing.
I would have to have surgery, and I was terrified. What if I went blind?
Back in juinior high school, and I forget whether it was seventh or eighth grade, in the English reader (how I loved the reader every year) there was a story about a man in ago times, a meek clerk of some kind, who had his dominant hand crushed in some act of violence, and who taught himself to use his non-dominant hand for writing so he could work. I don’t recally any more about the story than this, which was the most important aspect to me apparently.
It worried me mightily that I could lose my ability to write if something happened to my right hand, so I began at once to practice writing with my left. I never became good at it, but I can make moderately legible scratch marks. And of course, now, if I lost my right hand, I could probably just do most of my writing at one keyboard or another, typing slowly and one-handedly, and it would be legible, but at the time typing everything on a typewriter would have been a huge hassle. So I practiced.
Which is why it was completely in character for me, faced with a loss of eyesight, to practice being blind. And now, still, although the first cataract–caused, Drs L & P say, by an injury–is gone, and a second in the other eye–caused by age and sunlight–is both miniscule and not avancing, and is thus of no account, I still nightly practice being blind by turning off all the lights and walking to bed that way, navigating from corner to doorway to dresser, with dogs felt trotting along before (Kelly) and beside (Cobie). They’ve gotten quite good at this over the years. Even Kelly, who trips me about eight times a day, manages to stay out from under foot while we’re practicing being blind.
Anyhow, now I can stop thinking I should blog about it, because now I have. There’s one thing off the to-do list…