Somewhere between the dreams of home invasion and terrible service at a fast food taco stand the mind wanders to this thought. Suppose I woke up blind?
It wouldn’t have to be an accident or some terrible disease but just in the morning when I opened my eyes it was as dark as when they were closed. The typical response to blink and rub doesn’t seem to alter the darkness.
There are also other bodily functions that need immediate attention so I feel my way down the hallway as I’ve done thousands of time but have to double check the position of the toilet before I let loose. One step over to the sink and wash my hands. No need to look at the mirror. A splash of water on my face awakens me to this new reality.
Slowly retracing my steps I find my pants for it is cool and my slippers for they never change positions. My next normal routine is to go into the kitchen to make coffee.
Only using one mug and one bowl and one plate, they will either be in the drying rack or the sink. I find the water heater and fill then press the bar to heat. All this is automatic and never needs to be watched. The sugar package is torn open and poured and measured by weight. There is always one spoonful of coffee and one spoonful of creamer so as long as I’ve emptied them into the mug instead of on the counter I can wait for the water to boil.
After the water is poured listening to the sound and hoping now to pour it all over the floor, I steady myself and weave back to my office chair. Feeling for the rubber coaster I place the warm mug and turn to the computer. What did I expect? I can turn it on but cannot see anything. The keyboard I could handle from memory but the mouse won’t do me any good. Probably got that email I’ve been waiting for but will never know. I turn to view the sun come up but seems it will always be midnight now.
As I sip the warm morning drink I try to assemble my daily chores with this new situation. I guess I can take replacing the windows off my ‘to-do’ list because windows now are just glass walls.
What will I have for lunch today? I have some soup that I could probably fumble around with and put in my heating cup, but how do I cook it. I have to see the microwave to punch in the right numbers. I could bake a pizza but same problem on setting the bake temperature. I could call out for a pizza but how do I find the pizza shop number? Again I’d have to touch screen the phone. I can’t even call for help because I’m not familiar enough to know the placement of the numbers.
At this point of the morning I usually go outside, get out my bike, check the yard and then ride to the grocery store. I can struggle my way out the door and gingerly walk across the uneven path trying not to run into a tree or get turned around. No matter how many repetitive times we do our usual patterns we use out senses as reference to time and space.
I unlock the door by feeling the key shapes and find my chair. It would probably be a bad idea to put on my helmet and wander out in traffic peddling only by sound where a car swerving or a pothole could be the end?
Don’t think I’ll be writing any blog post today. Don’t think I’ll be using any electrical saws today. Don’t think I’ll be able to pay bills since I write checks.
I can still play the guitar and listen to the radio. I can still wash myself and find the bed but eventually I’ll starve to death.
As an artist having nothing but black to look at would be worst than losing a hand or hearing or speech. Every sight from now on would have to be from memory.
Then I hear the classical music end and the news comes on the radio and I open my eyes and I’m back in the world I expected to find. I chug along to my daily routine with a brief stop here and there to view the wonders I try to appreciate each and every day.
Here’s looking at you.