one day in montrill, i was coming out of the metro when i was stopped by a woman looking to pass off a blind man. i guess she was leading him as far as she wanted to. when faced with the question, “are you going his way?”, i couldn’t for the life of me, say no. that short walk was peppered with confusing conversation (it took place in english, french, spanish, and other indeterminables) and ended with the realization that there are those among us who are completely dependent on everyone around them in ways that the rest of us have no idea about. how can we?
when i heard an excerpt of this story on this american life, i knew that i had to read the book. it’s been quite the journey through imagining the life of a blind man becoming a blind father, and it’s a story that works just as well in print as it does in stereo.
“After reading that much I was glad I couldn’t see. I was already blind. I didn’t need to become an idiot, too.” (35)
“To this day, whenever I hear the page of a magazine flip, I think of pelvic exams. We were in a waiting room and waiting for one. I listened to Tracy thumb through Marie Claire while I eavesdropped on the receptionists and the other patients, all of them flipping other magazines, perhaps readying other pelvises for other examinations. I’d heard the same scene the day we confirmed we were pregnant, and again when we waited in the hospital for a D&C to remove any residual tissue from the miscarriage. It makes you think differently about the magazine industry and its audience.” (21)
“These could be signed out by the receptionist, just the way we borrowed books in elementary school before computers obliterated the ritual of signing them out, thus depriving a generation of children their weekly occasion to invent adult, rococo signatures. This was not an office, not a clinic, but a cozy, charming storefront boutique. It was like hot soup or a favorite sweater. This was a place where moms were made, not patients or diagnoses.” (48)