I Love the Feel of Cane on Steel

“Watch it!” says my friend Bronson.  “You’ll hit that pole with your cane.”

I say, “I hope so.”

“How so?”

“So I know where it is.”

Sweep.  Tap, tap.  Whack!  “There it is,” I say.

“Doesn’t that get tiresome?  Whacking things all day?”

“Yes.  But I gave the dog the day off.”

Sweep.  Tap, tap.  Boink!  “Parking meter,” I say.  “Nice hollow sound.  Stop signs sound dull and stupid.”

“But do you really need to whack everything?”

“Yes.  The cane’s not like sonar.  It doesn’t beep when it gets close to things.”

Sweep.  Tap, tap.  Thump!  “Sounds like someone’s boot.”

“Sorry, ma’am,” says Bronson.

“Pardon me,” says I.

“No, excuse me,” says she.  “I wasn’t looking where I was going.  Are you totally blind?”

“No, but you’d think so, with me slapping things.  I see shadows.  And I’m afraid you were in one.  I apologize.”

”My fault.  Gentlemen, have a nice day.”

“That worked out well,” Bronson tells me.

“People tend to be gracious.  They step aside.  But some people don’t look where they’re going.  They end up hurdling the cane.  Somebody could get hurt that way.”

Sweep.  Tap, tap.  Tap.  “Curb,” I say.

“Ever get hassled? Asks Bronson.

“I used to whack the bumpers of cars I thought came too close to me.  And I’d hurry slowpokes along with a tap to their ankles.”

“You liked the sound of cane on shin?”

“I didn’t smack them.  Just nudged them.    I had more anger then about this blindness thing.  I don’t do that stuff anymore.”

“Smart move.”

“I keep my cane low so nobody gets hurt.  Some cane users wave it around like it’s a sword fight.  They could put an eye out.”

Sweep.  Tap, tap.  Bonk!  “Sandwich board,” I say.  “What’s today’s special?”

“Soup du jour.”

“My favorite.”

Sweep.  Tap, tap.  Clank!  “Open door,” I say.  “Tile floor.  Carpet runner.  Hostess stand?  No?  Then I’ll take your arm.  I’m hungry.  Let’s eat.”

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5 Responses to I Love the Feel of Cane on Steel

  1. bethfinke says:

    Love the sound effects.

  2. Educating, one tap at a time.

    • Jeff Flodin says:

      I hear sound effects in varying environments. Like your blog, Beth, when lost in the winter wonderland and how muted and soft and even tender the sounds are until, that is, when the sounds stop and you realize you have no idea where you are. In those times, it’s kinda nice to have your hand in the harness.

  3. Carl D. says:

    I’m sorry I missed reading this when it was fresh. I loved the TAP – TAP. My new instructor has me rolling the tip from side to side. I have lost my dignity. The long cane technique of tap – tap; will always stay with me.
    God bless you Jeff for seeing the highlights in a blindmans’ world.

  4. Cool blog! I edit an Internet ‘zine for a writers group. We don’t normally pick up how-to, what’s new, adjustment, or “This is my cause” pieces since we primarily focus on literary material. All that being said, I love this post, and would like to submit it to my editorial team for consideration for inclusion in our Fall/Winter issue. By the way, would you have any interest in joining our group? It’s “Behind Our Eyes,” a nonprofit organization for writers with disabilities. Most of us are blind. I can give you further information when you respond to this comment.

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