Monday, January 3, 2011

Resolutions for a Blind Man

Being irreparably legally blind in one eye is awesome. I'm basically a pirate with no patch.

However, there are times when it becomes a little problematic. Like when you want to pour a drink from one of those soda fountains that you just push the button (instead of pressing your cup up against a lever) and have it make it into the cup without getting all over your hand but can't because you can't tell even remotely whether the cup is under where the liquid will pour out. Or like when you want to merge onto a freeway without causing a horrific accident in which you smash into a mini-van filled with toddlers and old ladies and then watch the burning bodies of small, helpless children who scream and writhe in agony while you, the sole survivor, attempt too cool the charred, black skin of your upper torso with your tears. You know. Stuff like that.

BUT, I've decided that this year, I will accomplish some things that are blindness related, and hopefully nobody will die in the process.

1. I would like to drive through a drive through and order a food item all by myself.

 Me:"Um, yes, I'd like to order a taco. For myself. Because I'm all all by myself right now."
Cashier: "Sir, you have ordered a taco. Why is your voice quivering with excitement?"

2. I would like to learn to play a sport that involves throwing, catching, or hitting a ball. I would like this sport to not be ping pong. (Have I mentioned that my Grandpa, no kidding, was a competitive ping pong player in his later years? Like, he went to huge playoffs and stuff. If only he had won the world championship, my life would be so much different now...) I would also like to not get hit in the face by whichever ball is chosen during the entire course of a game.

Cue: montage of The Weed getting hit by every type of ball imaginable during junior high P.E.

Cut to: The Weed in the corner of his bedroom rocking back and forth in the fetal position chanting "The ball is my friend, the ball is my friend, I can catch the ball.." and sucking his thumb.

3. I would like to merge onto a freeway. (I have actually done this before without killing children. At 3:00am. With my brights on. While there wasn't even the hint of another headlight for miles.) I would like to do this during the day. Maybe even in peak traffic, but I'm not making any promises. (That I'll get brave, nor that death won't happen if I do get brave.)

4. I would like to see a Magic Eye picture. You know what I'm talking about, right? Those psychedelic looking graphic images that if you look at them in the exact right way and have two functional eyes turn into some amazing picture of a landscape or dinosaur. However, this resolution likely won't happen as it would require an eye transplant. But maybe if I stare hard enough... (When I was a kid and they'd pass those around, I'd stare at them for hours and hours trying to see the stupid image of a penguin or whatever it was. I really wish somebody had come over and been like "Uh, honey, you're blind. You're never going to see the penguin. Here's a cookie.")

Here's another one that sounds like it's clever, but I sure wouldn't know.

5. When an object comes up on my blind left side and passes me, it doesn't matter what it is or how fast it's going, there is a conditioned response from childhood which sees the blob of movement and says: "BIG SCARY DOG!!!" and then I jump as if I'm a two-year old about to have his face chewed off by a pit-bull. It doesn't matter what the item in question is. Someone rides their bike past me on the left? My brain says "DOG!" and I scream like a girl in fear and start to run away. A Frisbee breezes by on the left? I hit the deck. A grandma passes me on the left with a walker? my brain says "DOG ATTACK!!" and I find myself ready to kick the crap out of her. To defend myself.

I would like to not react in this way to something approaching me on the left. Once. Once this year.

Welp, I think that pretty well sums up my ambitions for the year. Anyone wanna teach me how to play basketball? (Warning: do not, I repeat DO NOT come up on my left side.)

PS--Um, remember how I said I used to spend hours as a kid trying to see those Magic Eye graphics? Uh, I think I lost at least another hour of my life during the writing of this post because there was part of me that still believed that if I tried hard enough I could see one even though I know it's physically impossible.

(Photo attributions: here and here)


  1. EXPIRED PARKING METERS!! That is legitimately scary.

  2. Also, my Mom is legally blind too, and while she hasn't seen any magic-eye images that I know about she has definitely done the rest of those things! You can do it! :)

  3. They are pretty cool resolutions. I reckon you can do it. Maybe you just need to find a grandma to practise with before trying it in the big world.

  4. Ah Josh, you made me laugh as usual. I have to admit those walking frames are pretty scary ;)

    Happy New Year and best of luck with those resolutions.


  5. For what it's worth, I have two eyes that serve me quite well, and I can't ever see those effing Magic Eye pictures. Seriously. They suck.

  6. Good luck with the resolutions! For what it's worth I can see out of both eyes but old ladies using walkers and (gasp) motorized scooters still freak me out.

  7. You can totally do it! My best friends is deaf in one year and I always have to arrange myself on her left side, otherwise she doesn't hear anything I hear.

    Be careful with the magic eye, those things can get deadly if you try too hard. Books flying through air are not fun.

  8. It is only common sense to be super wary of grandma's with walkers!

  9. Good luck with your resolutions! Very entertaining post; I like your sense of humor. Happy New Year!

  10. you're not missing anything with that magic eye booshet. i'm 100% sure that 99% of them require a CheechAndChongLoad of marijuana to see anything. save yourself the headache and just play a bob marley cd on loop for three hours.

    ps: i didn't see shit in that "another one" link. but now i'm wondering what that taco time business is all about and my mouth is imagining the endless possibiliies.

  11. I didn't think you could get a driver's license at all if you were blind in one've already accomplished so much!

    Also...I have 2 working eyeballs and still can't see magic eye posters :-(

  12. I have depth perception problems too, because of a cataract I had at age 5. Yeah, that problem old people have. When I was five. I'm a rebel, obviously.

  13. I love your resolutions. Best ones I've read so far. :)

  14. @Chrissy--I didn't notice those. And they are terrifying!

    @Mynx--You're totally right--exposure therapy might be just the thing. Good call.

    @Rachael--They really are--they're kind of foreboding. Like an omen of what is to come for most of us. Unless we die first. Which is no more comforting.

    @Wombat Central--That is actually quite comforting. I am not alone!

    @Kari Marie--I hadn't even thought of how I might react to a scooter coming up on the left side. The motorized noise might send me over the edge.

    @The Tall One--Thanks for the words of encouragement! And yes, a book to the head? Not the most healthy thing. I'll be cautious.


    @Paul Joseph--Thanks man. I appreciate it.

    @YLIDHAG--Taco Time = pure deliciousness. No magic eye abilities required. (However, have the depth perception necessary to not run the microphone down? Perhaps.)

    @Christine--Good point! I should be looking at what I've already achieved.

    @Diedra--As always, destiny factors in with you. Guess who was born with a cataract in his left eye, thus inflicting the blindness? NOT JOKING. Clearly we're both rebels. Rebels with no depth perception.

    @Melissa--Thanks! I try to keep it realistic. You know?

  15. Well Josh, what can I say except how much I always enjoy you when I'm with you, which tells me that challenges serve to create loving, creative, sensitive, courage people. Love reading your stuff!!!

  16. Magic Eye is overrated.....also, it gives me a headache!

  17. oh my gosh. i am laughing so hard im crying. STILL.
    (not at your disability. that would be cruel. mostly at #5. still crying...)

  18. I think you would be great at bad writing contests. Not that your writing is bad, just that you make hilariously ridiculous sentences sometimes, like this one: "[It was] like when you want to merge onto a freeway without causing a horrific accident in which you smash into a mini-van filled with toddlers and old ladies and then watch the burning bodies of small, helpless children who scream and writhe in agony while you, the sole survivor, attempt too cool the charred, black skin of your upper torso with your tears." That is contest-winner-worthy. Especially the last bit. It's Friday, so I've been reading old posts here and this collection of bad writing contest winners: