Posts Tagged ‘driving’

How’s “Seeing Things” Treating You?

The following is an e-mail response I sent to a friend who asked:

hey how are you doing these days? how’s the ‘seeing things’ treating you?

I’m flying high – enjoying a condition that isn’t destined to last. After our last talk, my doctor told me that my pressure is still too high and I’m still killing my optic nerve. These last two surgeries bought me more time, but they weren’t quite enough. I’m scheduled for surgery number nine on the 24th. (28th? On these drugs I’m terrible with numbers.)

Of course, you know me. I’m not going to just sit on the sofa and rot. I’ve been given a temporary gift and I’m enjoying it to the fullest. I’m going to movies and reading – but I’m also doing silly things like coloring with crayons and putting decals on my walls. Oh, and I’ve decided to drive one last time while I have the chance.

Don’t worry, the sidewalks of Seattle are safe. C has taken three weeks off work and we’re taking one last road trip. We drove along the PCH (63 miles of the most beautiful coastline you will ever see) and toured Hearst Castle. On the tour, they pulled me aside and told me of a secret policy for blind visitors. I was allowed beyond the velvet ropes and plastic pathways. I stood mere inches from the most breathtaking art collection ever assembled – and was permitted to touch whatever I wanted. My hands fell upon first century Greek sculpture and seven century old tapestries. In the billiard room was an arch carved by the man who hired Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel and a wall hanging whose replica is hanging in the Louvre – and I got to touch the original. It’s a memory I will cherish forever.

I’m currently on a small horse ranch in Texas – playing with 1300 pound beasts and trying to get a cell phone signal.

I’ve put over 1000 miles with me at the wheel so far – and my wife trusted me enough to crawl in the back and go to sleep while I drove. TBTL has been the soundtrack of my last drive, and is permanently etched in my mind as part of the experience. My return trip begins in nine days and I will drive as much of it as I can. As soon as I get home I go under the knife and will be stuck on the sofa for a month an a half – but I will have the memories of a wonderful trip to keep me from growing restless.

Thanks for checking on me. Oh, and check me out in the New York Times :

– Gerald


Political Correctness and Taking a Driving Test

Found @ Shock Is All In Your Head:

So my mom took me yesterday to get my permit, and that was fun, not really. There was a lot of waiting, and I am very impatient. So we finally get to the first both, and I have to take an eye test. I almost didn’t pass that one. That made me think of Jess and Steph making fun of me because I had my nose three inches away from the book trying to read. So after about 15-20 minutes trying to guess at a line of letters, I got them right and got to go take the real test, which was much easier. So I start and everything is going good and I get this question about how to distinguish blind people from other pedestrians. Now the two choices that seemed at all legitimate were “They are not distinguishable from any other pedestrians.” and “They carry a white cane or have a guide dog.”. So I thought a little and came to the conclusion that saying that all blind people had a white cane or a guide dog was stereotypical, and no one makes them use a white cane of a guide dog, there not like Jewish stars or anything, and I thought it was politically incorrect to say that about all blind people, so I chose that they are not distinguishable from any other pedestrian. I was wrong. Just trying to be polite. But I still passed and everything. I had to get my picture taken, though. I do not like having my picture taken. It’s very awkward. And it was another 2 hour wait to actually get the card. I like the holograms on it. They’re nice.

The moral behind all this is that all blind people have white canes or guide dogs, and if they don’t have them, they’re probably pretending so you’ll give them money.

I’ve been driving less and less.

I can no longer see the driver’s side mirror. It took me a couple of months to figure it out. As soon as I did figure it out I (stupidly) blurted it to everyone I knew, so proud I was of my discovery.

As if the results of my last vision field exam couldn’t have told me the same thing.

It’s time to give up the wheel. Man, this is a tough one.