BEEP-BEEP, BEEP-BEEP. The alarm clock rings and I pull the covers over my head. BEEPBEEP. After another minute, I tire of the alarm's incessant call. I crawl out of bed remembering today’s itinerary and wish I could just stay home. Taking a deep breath, I strive to remain calm and relaxed. Yet the anxiety begins.
As the time nears for the bus to pick me up, my heart races along with my thoughts. A dull headache has worsened throughout the morning just knowing I have to see HER.
"The Computer Rainforest" and "Wildflower Engine Block"
I’m an artist. I confine myself to one simple medium, but my art is one of a kind. Working in fear and pain, much the way Picasso worked in oils, I utilize whatever tools I have around me to complete my dark masterpieces. I specialize in the macabre, emulating the dark essence of it, capturing it in all its dark twisted beauty. Death, sweet death, is my greatest creation.
My pieces are never seen by others, and while one day I hope that my creations bring me notoriety, I make them for the soul purpose of my own enjoyment. They are my creations, though they didn’t start out that way. At first they belonged to God, but I stole them from Him, and I made them mine own.
“There sure is a lot of scar tissue in there,” the ophthalmologist said, peering through my pupils while shining the brightest light imaginable into my eyes. But he was a man of few words, and he said little else, beyond occasionally asking:
“And which is better?” while rotating various diopters as I stared blankly at the barely visible Snellen Chart, projected on the wall from an unknown source. And then, about fifteen minutes into this:
“Well, you’re not legally blind,” he deadpanned. I didn’t respond. This struck me as an odd remark; I had never really thought about the issue.
There the world, and the people in it, were damaged. Surgeries. Broken bones. Sprained muscles. Strokes. Diseases. But no one was written off. Everyone was there to try. Try to regain some mobility, some strength, some independence.
Here the world continued on as it always had. Work. Family. Dinners. Dishes. Laundry. Bills. Hugs. Kisses. Time-outs. I was the hamster on the spinning wheel, and I feared my legs wouldn't keep going. I was afraid of falling off, falling down, and being unable to get up.
I’m here because my roommate says I’m not open to new things – which, of course, she made sound like the chance for untold adventures, but has really led us to waiting in a truck stop on the way to Disney with a bunch of other disabled tourists. The only new sensation I’m filled with is a sticky banquette against my crippled butt. It seemed like a good idea at the time, sliding over, to try and be daring, and most of all, diffuse some of the fear, pity, and tiny sips of revulsion I see in the eyes of the other patrons.
I wonder if our four blind tour guests can tell we are being stared at. I almost envy them, until I think about The Voice, that sticky, gooey, too-loud baby-tone that the broken and slightly fucked-up quickly learn to loathe. Too nice, too slow, and too loud, as if we’re deaf, and yet, cheerful, as if we’re freakishly giant babies lured here by their new children’s menu.