The first question most people ask me, if they dare to ask;Have you always been blind?
This question is quickly followed up with: How did you go blind and How blind are you? I thought perhaps I should give a little background on the blind thing and save those of you who want to know the awkwardness of wondering whether or not its Okay to ask. It is by the way, and its even alright to laugh at some of the crazy things I do. If we can't laugh at ourselves what's the point of having crazy experiences. Besides its great fodder for a writer's mind.
When I was 21 I came home to small town southern Utah from my work in New York City. I loved the city and the movement and energy it held. However, the year and a half I spent there had been emotionally as well as physically difficult and the quiet creosote and cactus of the desert soothed me. I had a good friend who was moving to Canada and I spent a good deal of time with him and his family before he left. We climbed all over the hills and peaks that we in the desert call mountains, even though they are nothing but the embarassing step sisters to The Appalacians, or The Rockies.
On one of these hikes we were climbing up a steep embankment of rocks and boulders and I began noticing; As long as we were going up, I could see where I was going. As soon as there was a drop off, or an incline I would fall. The contours of the rocks, the ground, and the dropoffs looked to me as if they were flat.
This sort of realization probably should have terrified me if I had given it a spot in my mind to roost. Unfortunately for both me and my eyesight, my friend got tired of watching me fall all over myself down the canyon, so he held my hand for the rest of the trip. Stupid I know, getting distracted from blindness just because I was holding hands with the most beautiful boy I had ever seen, but completely true. He was hot, andit didn't matter to me that we were friends, or him moving or whatever else was going on. Hindsight for me, is the only sight I have left and now, it seems ridiculous to me that I could ever have been that blind to what I should have been seeing. Blindness of the mind and heart is so much more tragic than the loss of one's eye sight and stupid or immature as it was, I forgot all about my loss of depth perception.
It would get worse, much worse. My sight began to deteriorate rapidly and with in two years I had gone from loss of depth perception, to black streaks across my sight. From blurry vision and difficulty reading street signs, to the day I sat and watched as my right eye filled with blood and my entire right side turned to darkness.
Surgeries followed, Lazer treatments on my left eye and eventually the removal of my right eye completely. Now I also have a cataract on my one remaining eye, and Glaucoma. I have a little light perception, but I see nothing.
The great part about it is; my world is a beautiful place. No one is fat, or ugly. Your house is always clean, your clothes are always in fashion and no matter how you look in the mirror, to me, you are always 21 and beautiful.