Eyesight to the blind

The man began upbraiding the canine.

blindIt’s not just a pet peeve. It’s more like a wave of raging anger that I get, when drivers make it more difficult for others in these specific ways, involving parking their cars:
1) across the sidewalk (because the driveway has too many cars)
2) blocking the crosswalk (because they’ll only be “a minute”)

These selfish people make it nearly impossible for people with walkers, or carts, or wheelchairs. And they create a very disorienting situation for the blind. I’ve never keyed a car, but these folks have tempted me.

But sometimes other activities make it trickier for the visually impaired, and I saw both of these situations in the past month. Albany was doing a lot of road repairs around the crosswalks, and the work areas were barricaded with barrels and mesh. The Wife and I were leaving the local Indian restaurant when we saw a blind man crossing the street, terrified because his dog seemed to take him too far into the road, but we were too far away to help him.

What was really scary is that the cars didn’t seem to slow down as they buzzed by him. As the dog got past the construction and headed for the sidewalk, the man began upbraiding the canine. We met up with the man and assured him that the dog did exactly as he was trained, but that they had to traverse further into the road to avoid the clutter around the sidewalk. The man was very appreciative to know that his companion had done right by him.

Waiting for a bus downtown, I let another blind man know that his bus was approaching. But the bus went a bit further up, so the man had to walk with his cane to get to the vehicle. Unfortunately, he walked into this square concrete barrier around a young tree, and the man couldn’t figure out what to do.

In general, I hate helping any type of disabled folks, unless they ask for it, or are in peril, because I figure they have their pride and sense of independence. But I directed this man around the barrier, where he could get into the transport.

I realize that, if I were ever to go blind, it wouldn’t necessarily be the end of the world, with various technologies that would allow me to write, for instance. Still, as a sighted person, I am keenly aware of some of the difficulties that the blind face every day. I get just a taste of it at night, or in a darkened movie theater. I can only imagine how it would be to negotiate the world without sight full time.

Eyesight to the Blind: Sonny Boy Williamson II