Sunday, August 12, 2012

Blind leading the blind

I swore to myself that I would try so hard to not write about writing, because why should I write about writing when I could actually just be... writing?  But I've been stuck in a rut with my main squeeze of a project lately, so I've been reading a lot about other writers going through the same thing.  (also, 5 month olds are a real time-management-killer.) And you know what?  All writers seem to deal with this problem.  It doesn't matter if they are little newbies like me or if they are some of my most favorite badass authors of all time.  The main theme I've learned is to just keep pushing.  Sit your butt down and write.  So I was thinking about this and then randomly free associated to a memory from my high school days and decided that I will think of this memory from now on when I get in a rut.

I'm not known for my grace and I never have been.  My mom tried to get me to do ballet to counteract my clumsiness in hopes that I would gain some elegance, but this just didn't happen.  So, you can imagine my anxiety when my Anatomy and Physiology teacher, Mr. C, announced that we would be doing a new lab where we would find out what it was like to be blind.  We'd be split up into 2 people teams - one of us the blind person, one of us the "guide dog," and then sent on a mission to complete.  However, the guide dog didn't do any actual guiding, unless said blind person was about to potentially kill herself (spoiler alert, my ho bag of a guide dog really fucked up here).  The guide dog's real purpose was to tell on the blind person if they took the blind off (instant fail). Oh, and we also had a 15 minute time limit.  If we didn't make it back in 15 minutes, we failed. In case you were wondering about Mr. C's judgement, he also had us do a lab where we analyzed our own urine.  I mean, really, what could go wrong?  High schoolers are practically adults, afterall. (yes, someone did spill their pee, and praise the lord, it wasn't me.)

So anyway, I got my blind mission.  I had to start from the classroom and go down to the basement, then meander through the halls to the weight room, find the pay phone, and dial the number to our classroom.  While doing this I had to note any particular instances where I felt disoriented or discrimnated against.  I feel like you should know that.  So I started on my journey and cleared the first stairs no problem.  I painstakingly found my way to the stairs that led to the basement.  Up until now, no one had given me any trouble.  I'd heard horror stories of people getting messed with by other students.  Mr. C's blind lab was pretty legendary.  I approached the steps leading down to the basement, and this was where things started to go terribly wrong.  There were 3 flights of them.  Somewhere halfway down the first couple steps, I rolled my ankle.  I thought I could recover, but no.  No, I couldn't.  In slow motion, I realized this was happening, and I was indeed falling down the stairs, blind, in my high school.  In what seemed to take an eternity of awkwardness and painful run ins with some cold tile, I flopped around until I came to the first landing.  I should've have just stayed there, but I had a mission to complete, so I struggled to get to my feet.  No dice.  I proceeded to fall down the next flight of stairs.  And then the next one.

Finally realizing my mistake, I decided to take a break.  I mean, I had no more stairs left, so I could've gotten up, but I felt like I really deserved a break.  I lay on the cool tile, listening to my bitch of a guide dog laugh from the top of the stairs.  Really I can't fault her, because I was laughing too.  In fact, I think I almost pissed myself I was laughing so hard.  I guess I could've completed TWO labs that day instead of one had that happened.  But I decided against overachieving.  Mary, my guide dog, was kind enough to let me remove my blind fold to find my cane.  The rest of the mission went well.  The unfortunate thing was that someone must have seen me because Mr. C got a visit from the assisstant prinicipal saying students were no longer allowed to go down stairs blind folded as it was unsafe.  This meant that I couldn't write about how disoriented and discriminated against I felt after falling down three flights of stairs while my protector laughed at me.  A real shame.

But I did get a good lesson out of it.  Keep getting up, but know when to take a break and laugh at yourself, especially if slightly delirious.  Then finish the mission.

I managed not to fall up these stairs.  (yes, that's possible... for me).

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