Let the record show I entered the new world at 1:17 pm, March 7, 2012. I presented my new iPhone to the Apple Store with one modest request: teach me how to place and receive phone calls. Texting and data and fancy apps can wait. With help, I got the hang of speaking into my phone and being spoken to. Even when overwhelmed with details, I kept the faith. I left the Apple Store feeling optimistic if not confident.
Now it’s twelve hours later, the middle of the night to be exact. I’m so agitated that I cannot sleep. I can’t place a call. Or receive a call. Even Siri won’t speak to me. The screen locks up. My finger swipes are ineffectual. These are the times my character defects overpower me. Blame and self-pity erode my spirit. I feel the defeatism of playing catch-up in the sighted world.
I need a sense of balance. I need patience and instruction. “A man can be destroyed but not defeated,” writes Ernest Hemingway in “The Old Man and the Sea,” and he had much bigger fish to fry than I. Modern spins repeat the theme. Blind or sighted, there is a learning curve. I am not alone. I will prevail. Accessibility rocks.
Still, wise counsel and tired clichés fail to mollify the roiling in my gut, the tension at my temples. In this midnight hour, I am prone to extreme, reactive thoughts. To hell with technology – I’ll count on my fingers, and when I get to eleven, I’ll use my toes. And if I weren’t spoiled, I wouldn’t be stressed. This is kooky talk and I know it, even in my darkness. With dawn, I’ll gain fresh perspective.
I feel better now. It helps writing things down. I’ll take an aspirin for my headache and baking soda for my tummy. I’ll put my old Samsung Haven phone and my new iPhone under my pillow and pray for peaceful sleep and accessible technology.