Feeling the warmth of the sun on a cloudy day. A glimpse into a blind billy goat's unique, ever changing perspectives.

2014 03 03 Telephone Poles and Red Sox Hats March 3, 2014

The other morning, I was putting a plastic mixing bowl away in the lower cupboards of the kitchen. I stood up quickly and caught the corner of one of the upper cupboard doors right in the forehead. That one left a mark.


About three weeks ago, I was walking from the front door of the garage, through the inside of the garage to the back door. My foot caught the end of the dog ramp I built a few years ago. Down I went. My fall was halted when I piled onto the top of a Rubbermaid wheelbarrow. That left two marks. One of which was a black and blue on my stomach about the size of Kennebec County. The black and blue, not my stomach. My wife gasped when she saw it a day later.


This afternoon, I pummeled a kitchen chair with my shin. Knocked the stupid thing eleven feet across the floor. I don’t know if that one left a mark, because my shins are full of bumps and ridges.


If it’s not a finger, it’s a toe. If it’s not a toe, it’s another finger. A shoulder jammed by a door jam, a forearm walloped by a walloping butt of a door. A dislocated finger, next to a sprained one.


I remember one of the first head on collisions I delivered to myself back in 2010. I was strolling along Center Street in Newton Mass, minding my own business, sweeping back and forth, when all of a sudden, a telephone pole decided to jump out in front of me. My Red Sox hat went flying, my cane folded into five pieces, and down I went. If I didn’t have my hat on to deflect the blow, my nose would be even more crooked than it is already.


As dazed and confused as Robert Plant could ever imagine, I got to my feet, and as I usually do, or did, I tried to look around to see if anyone saw me. Of course, I couldn’t see a thing, being blind as a billy goat and all, but still, I looked, and then I looked, and one more time, I looked again.


As I brushed off my pride and gathered my humility, I took the hat handed to me by my orientation and mobility instructor. She asked if I was ok, and I assured her that I didn’t have a frigging clue.


My hat went back on my head, I unfolded my cane, and again, I started to sweep.


Eleven steps later, I walked into another telephone pole, and down I went, one more time. All of my progress that I had built up from the day spilled out onto the sidewalk, and my hat went flying, again.


As I gathered what little sense I could muster up, my O&M instructor handed my hat to me, again, and said that probably it would be beneficial if I had a longer cane.


I could do nothing but agree.


This life I find myself in has proved to be a non stop, never ending obstacle course, cleverly designed and set in motion by, umm, me?


What I think, how I feel, how I decide to maneuver through it, everything about my day revolves around my own actions. As I have written before, how I absorb, adapt and advance is reflected onto the outcome of how my day ends up. What I do, how I do it, how I react to it, how I learn from it, it’s how I have become who I am.


I find myself at different times of the day rummaging through familiar territory, so familiar in fact that sometimes I forget that I can’t see. It’s those times that I usually end up veering this way a little too much, or drifting that way inadvertently. It’s those times that I end up banging, or clanging, or smacking the crap out of an unexpecting part of my body. It hurts like hell, but usually for only a moment, and then, there I go again.


73 times I have hip checked the mirror on the Chevy. Thank god for those new mirrors that have the built in flexible joint thing. A hundred and eleven times I have slammed into the silverware drawer, unaware that I had left it open. Five hundred and thirty-seven times I have walked into the kitchen table, thinking I was headed for the living room. Six times I fetched the paper and started walking down the road towards Route 2, thinking I was walking back up the driveway. Those happenstances are kind of scary, but they don’t leave a mark.


As I become more used to being blind, I would hope that the banging and jamming and smacking would slowly come to a halt. On the other hand, as I become more adapted to sightlessness, I would imagine that I might become so used to certain situations that my focus might stray a little to the side, so, perhaps it might prove beneficial to wear a football uniform? How about a goalie outfit, complete with a fat bottomed stick, and an ice pack?


At the end of every day, my toes praise the inventors of hard soled shoes.


6 Responses to “2014 03 03 Telephone Poles and Red Sox Hats”

  1. Glen Foss Says:

    Good writing. I chuckle at your “dark humor”. I laughed out loud at the bruise “the size of Kennebec County”. I cringed at the mental image of dislocated fingers and puncture wounds to the head. I sense your anxiety and chagrin when you walk into the road or a telephone pole. Your writing opens minds to your experience and your challenge. It evolks empathy, not pity. It describes resilience, not resignation. Good stuff.

  2. wwannwrites Says:

    I’ve been blind all my life, and I still run into things or bump into something or other, so I’m here to tell you it’s a never ending cycle, some days are just better than others. Blessings, Ann check out my blog at

  3. Gee, I’d hate to see what the other guy looks like.

  4. Paula Lumb Says:

    Love this. Great, humorous perspective, as always. It takes us to the heart of it all. Thanks for letting us in. LU

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