Do you see what I see?
Last night's episode of Nip/Tuck featured a story about a blind woman, who was played by the Noxema Girl. Her character made me think about how different I would live my life without perhaps one of the most important senses. Sight.
Much like Dr Troy, but minus the sleazy under tones, I would immediately be worried about who might answer such an ad. Whats to stop a rapist or serial killer from preying on the visually impaired through this means? They would have no idea as to what was about to happen, unable to find an escape route through the corners of their eyes, or find a phone to call for help, or even to eye a weapon for self defense.
I have seen a few movies with this very thing happening in it. I cringe at the memory. Even now, I find myself slightly panicking when the lights are first turned off and my eyes have not yet adjusted to the darknes. I can feel my pulse quicken and hear my heart pounding in my ears, until finally my eyes adjust and what was unknown is now displayed before me in shades of blue from the moon's light. Fear of the unknown, perhaps?
When my sister and I were younger, we used to blindfold ourselves and try to go about our activities as usual, leading each other around. Afterwards we were convinced that we knew what it was like to be blind. "Its not so tough, " we'd say. Easily said when vision is so easily restored, simply by pulling off a blindfold. I can recall feeling very uneasy when I was blindfolded. My other senses were heightened, the tiniest sound not going unheard. Empowering, but tough to get used to, I'm sure.
My cousin lost her vision in a terrible car accicent on Thanksgiving day, some fifteen or sixteen years ago. She and her boyfriend were on their way to the family gathering when it happened. She had her seat reclined, sleeping without her seat belt on and he fell asleep at the wheel. They ended up crashing into a semi truck. They say if she hadn't been reclined, she probably would have been beheaded. Thats a gruesome thought. Instead, the windshield glass and the impact of the crash ruined her eyes, leaving her blind. Her boyfriend walked away unharmed. Upon hearing that she had lost her vision, he left, never to be seen or heard from again.
She wears prosthetic eyes that are very convincing. I find myself looking away, so as not to be caught staring at her, through those unseeing eyes.
I vividly remember spending the night at my grandmother's house where my cousin lived. Dinner was ready, and my grandma had asked me to round everybody up so we could eat. I knocked on my cousin's door, and when I opened it, I saw her sitting on the floor in the dark. I was shocked and surprised. "Was she trying to sleep? Is she sad? Whats wrong?", I remember thinking to myself. It was then that I suddenly realized it. She sat in the dark every minute of her life now. I felt silly, and stupid, and even ashamed. I now knew, I mean I knew what had happened to her, that she lived in a black, unseeing world. Does that make sense, other than the brilliant epiphany that blind people don't need lights? lol
I can't imagine what it would be like to permanently lose one of my five senses. I think too often, I take advantage of them. Especially sight. It would be the worse thing in the world for me, to not be able to see the smile on my baby's face when I tickle him, or the contented, loving look on Rick's face after we make love.