…And I’m Blind

When the weed patch next door reached knee-high, I rapped on my neighbor’s front door. “You’ve got to do something,” I told him.  He mumbled lame excuses about his lawn mower, his work hours, his wife and kids.  I quoted city codes and cited civic duty.  I appealed to his sense of pride.  I finished with, “I keep up my yard,” and then, after a pause, “…and I’m blind.”

Had I really said that?  Yes, and I was mortified.  I had played blindness as my trump card—out of spite, with intent to injure.  I felt mortified, yes, but justified as well because, damn it, things are harder blind than sighted.  I’ve been both and I know.  With blindness, I’ve had to learn new ways to do old things.  New ways require more time, effort and planning—if they’re doable at all.

But don’t call me superman because I water the flowers and cut the grass.  I no more want to use blindness as a boast when I do one thing than use it as an excuse not to do something else.  I neither wish to hear my neighbors say, “He keeps things tidy—for a blind man” nor, “No wonder things have gone to pot —the poor man’s blind.”  I simply choose to put forth the time and effort.  To me, it’s just the right thing to do.

I hope my “gotcha” didn’t cause my neighbor lasting harm.  I suspect it was a product of anger, self-pity and my need to feel superior.  This I own. But I like to think I was also stating a fact: I am blind and blindness takes extra.  And it’s OK to give myself a little credit.   This may be a rationalization and maybe I owe him an apology.  Maybe I don’t.  I’ll mull that over.  Meanwhile, I just want him to cut his weeds.

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2 Responses to …And I’m Blind

  1. bethfinke says:

    You’re right to give yourself a little extra credit, and especially for writing this extremely insightful, ahem, post –one of my new favorites. .


  2. Andrea says:

    Right on, Jeff!

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