I want to say first of off Happy Birthday to my Robin. I saw a video of Abby and I opening gifts for her and it made me smile. I miss her so much. I want to thank the instructors, trainers, and staff at the Seeing-Eye for all they do. The instructors have to train a string of dogs walk miles upon miles in rain cold or shine, and I do want them to know how much I appreciate them. Maybe I’ve been a bit harsh on the school lately I’m just frustrated. They gave me 2 great dogs that made such an impact on me, and I don’t want to hurt the hard work from those people. That being said maybe out reach or communication needs to change. If I go back it would being to the Seeing-Eye because of how they do ownership of the dog, plus no dumb extra stuff like graduation etc..
Recently Abby rode home with a cab driver and he said Joe doesn’t need to get a dog because technology is so much better now. First off technology has improved, but it’s still clunky at best. I think now the only thing that is 100% is I know where I am with GPS. Meaning I have an idea with in 30 feet or so. Cane technology hasn’t gotten any better. I actually got 4 different cane tips to play with and they all seem cheep and not useful but my old faithful marshmallow rolling tip. Canes even have gotten worse since people want them thinner and lighter they just break so much easier now. Sure they have laser canes so fancy but not practical.
I tell you what I want Aira is awesome but sucks if your cell connection sucks which is more than I’d like with Verizon or at&t. What I want is a device that can keep you in a straight line. I have to look drunk as hell walking down the street, because I veer left and right. The dogs kept me straight and also could follow the sidewalk making it less work for me. I miss that so much. To that cab driver or to anyone else who is sighted who thinks they should weigh in on what a blind adult should do how about you put on a blindfold and just walk 10steps then remove it and see where you are. Honestly look at something put the blindfold on and move 10 steps. I bet you veered off track a bit. Now go to a busy street or have a damn lawnmower factoring in and see how walking 10 to 20 steps is now.
My other annoyance has been passing people. Man Robin and Frasier were so good about maneuvering me around people it was just awesome. Today I got behind another blind person and couldn’t get around them. Every time I would go right to pass they would veer right so I kept tripping them lol. It’s so frustrating though to not be able to pass someone when I want.
This next story my friend shared, and I can’t believe it. This guy kills a blind man by running a red light. This infuriates me that no one seems to care. What if it was me or Abby? We’re going off parallel traffic hoping you guys pay attention. Driving has become such a wright when it should be a privilege in this country. Recently I was crossing a light and a car blew its horn first off don’t do that. I don’t know if your honking at me or something else. I think a car was trying to turn which I still the light and they were signaling me to wait. It’s just scary out there even easy intersections have become difficult because no one enforces the laws we have. I like in this article it points out what the sighted person was doing he is going to work, but what was the blind gentleman doing? All I know reading the article he was blinded 20 years ago. Maybe he was walking to see his granddaughter, or just exercising this is a piss poor article and the writer should be ashamed. I guess even though the sighted guy ran the light the blind man was just in his way. It basically paints the sighted person as this working class citizen and the blind person who was by all accounts correct in his street crossing worthless. In the comments tell me I’m wrong and misinterpreting this article.
Usually I share something to Facebook then don’t post it here, so I am reversing that today for this one. I figured this would be the best platform to describe this story. People often ask me questions about being blind, and that’s fine. Honestly I love educating you, and if you don’t ask you don’t know. Then I get guys like what I am going to talk about below. I just don’t understand it, and how you can be so clueless. I am a human after all, and the way he went about it made me feel all most like different. I know not everyone thinks like him, but it really is disturbing.
I called T-Mobile to see about switching, and kind of learn about the coverage map with some zip codes I would be in. I get this guy named Don. I tell Don that I am calling in to ask about coverage areas, because I am blind and can’t see the map online. He then proceeds to ask so are you half blind or all the way blind? I answer totally blind because of cancer. He says man your blessed. Me yeah I guess.
Don I have to ask what’s it like being blind?
Me I don’t remember sight, so it’s all I know.
Don that’s crazy. I’m just trying to picture being blind.
Me I don’t know that you could do that.
Don so if you didn’t have to sleep would you do that?
Me I think sleeping is the body’s way of resting so I think I need it.
Don Let’s just says you didn’t need sleep though would you?
Me I guess so since I could get more done.
Don How do you know you’re awake?
Me what do you mean?
Don I mean how do you know you’re not dreaming?
Me I am moving and talking to you.
Don what tells you you’re awake and not just dreaming.
Me thinking I just want to know about T-Mobile now. I hear my alarm and wake up.
Don do you live in a different reality?
Me No if I could though I just wouldn’t pay my bills and skate right on through.
He doesn’t laugh
Don what do you see?
Don I can’t imagine not being able to see nothing. What’s it like?
Me if you put your hands behind your head what can your hands see? I don’t remember color for me I don’t think about it much.
Don your blessed man.
I thinking I thought we already established this.
Don Would you want to see again?
Me No I don’t think so I’ve researched and read about people who regain some sight, and it’s painful for them. Because they’re used to not seeing anything and then they can see light all the time. Even if you have a blindfold on you still have light perception.
Don yeah what was your zip code again
I thinking was finally done with this.
Don Do you have friends?
Me yes I have some friends
Don that has to be hard I mean to find someone who just could understand you.
Me I can still communicate verbally.
Don You must be able to feel things really intensely?
Me I’m not Daredevil, I think I notice more but my senses are not heightened.
Don kept going on for a total of 55 minutes before getting back to T-Mobile.
I put most of this conversation down; because Don was a guy I’d say by his voice in his 30’s and honestly had no idea about how a blind person could do anything. I don’t know what number of sighted people feel this way, but it’s really alarming to me. I understand you wouldn’t know what it’s like to be blind so you have questions, just like I don’t know what it’s like to see. I guess the only difference is most of you seeing so it is what it is. To think though that I live off in some la la land is just interesting. Needless to say I am staying at Verizon. Big red all the way at least I think there color is red. Maybe I should ask Don?
This vacation thing has really been tough on me. I figured out what I’m doing, but to get there was a real trip in itself. I talked about this a bit on my radio show yes you read that right I did a radio show again on Saturday. I had my friend James who used to drive me for my other gigs back in the day drive me. The first thing he says to me when he pulls up early in the morning is you sound full of energy again. The broadcasting thing drains me; because I really have a hard time with saying okay I need to step back from this. The show went well in fact really well. I didn’t feel the time gap of it at all.
This vacation thing I will be honest. I started out wanting to go camping, and I talked to Mel, and she was like are you nuts? Logically to me camping as a blind person doesn’t seem that challenging, but I admit there would be hurtles. She said you don’t have to prove anything to the people that love you so why are you taking a risk? I didn’t have an answer for her at the time, but Wednesday and Thursday I came home didn’t eat dinner, and just slept on my couch and bed. A month ago I was dating this girl on the low. She started dating this guy and I was out. I ran in to her one night at the Tin Roof. I hate that place by the way at least the one in Louisville to small, and to loud. Anyway she asked me to sit with her and her boyfriend who wasn’t weird at all insert sarcasm. This guy was like a woodsy guy vary masculine put that on the fact I was already going through this issue with not driving it meant depression for me. I decided that I would just go do this camping idea as a way to prove to myself that hey I can do it. After I started talking about it publically my mind changed. My friend Steve called me up asking me why I want to live in the 1800’s when I don’t have too. That was a great question. If I had kids or maybe a sweaty romantic getaway maybe camping would be alright, but otherwise I chose another idea. I’ve always wanted to leave the United States just to travel somewhere different. I never have. In Toronto they have a hotel attached to the ballpark. Now I ask you that just has my name written all over it I mean how can we get any more convenient for blind people? I’m looking in to taking a bus out to Niagara Falls state park we’ll see if that happens, but I will be going to 3 Jay’s games.
With that I had to ask could I take Robin. It’s her birthday, so if she can’t go I can’t go. That’s how I roll she’s got to come with me on her birthday. I called her school, and spoke with a lady who said Canada is fine with service animals, so it’s decided. Stay tuned for updates from Canada. Also as far as proving things to people who don’t matter Mel is right. At the end of the day to some people I could swim across the Pacific, and I’d still be helpless or blind. I think if you don’t believe in you it’s hard for someone else to. I could look at my failed relationships and let it consume me with thoughts I don’t deserve any better or you can look at it and correct things and move on. If you don’t believe that you do you never will.