Sometimes it’s so hard to leave my house and I just know it’s going to be hell out there. My own special battlefield.

“Are you blind?”

“Yes.”

“Is that a seeing eye dog?”

“Yes.”

“Can I pet him?”

“No.”

“I’m so sorry you’re blind. How did you go blind?”

“Born that way.”

“I’m so sorry. So you can’t even see flowers. … Can you see flowers?”

“No.”

“Damn it all to hell, son of a bitch; you can’t even see the flowers.”

Son of a bitch, where is the goddamn bus?

“You can’t even see the purples and the reds and the yellows. I’m so sorry for you.”

Thanks, now I feel like crying. Not because of the things I can’t see, but because of your awful, stifling pity. Also, the alcohol breath. It’s stifling too.

“My name’s Damon, by the way.”

You don’t get to have my name. Names are power and I’ll keep mine.

“I couldn’t imagine what you go through, it’s a pain in the ass huh?”

“Especially right now.”

“What? … I’m going to say a prayer for you tonight. … If my girlfriend was blind, you’d better believe she’d be taken care of. … One time, I had an ulcer and I couldn’t talk. That’s almost like being blind.”

I am feeling overwhelmed, like I can’t quite breathe enough. These are times when I’m scared of my own violence, when I think that if he touches me or gets any closer I will completely lose it and in my mind I hear the cracking sound of his fingers as I bend them back and the sound of my screaming at him to get away from me.

“There’s gotta be a way for you to get your sight back. You need someone to back you. I’m an engineer, there’s a fix for everything.”

Sometimes I picture my strength and energy as a force field around my body. No one can get through it. I am stone and statue.

“We should go out for dinner sometime.”

“No we should not.”

“Oh I’m sorry. Do you have a boyfriend?”

“Doesn’t matter. You are making me very uncomfortable and I’m done talking to you now.”

“Bitch. I was just trying to be friendly.”

I consider then that I am not talking to a person, but to a disease and an addiction. That makes me want to cry more.

The bus is here. Thank you thank you thank you bus gods. Even better, the guy doesn’t have a transfer or cash, and the driver won’t let him on. I am weak and shaky with relief. I bury myself several rows in, surrounded by as many people as possible.

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6 thoughts on “Afternoon Flash

  1. I don’t know what it is like to be you any more than you know what it’s like to be me. But I relate to your response to that creep.

    So many men think women should be honored they paid attention to us, whether the attention was welcome or not. If we aren’t sufficiently flattered, and ready to reward them for their efforts, we’re clearly ungrateful [insert demeaning explitives of choice]. How dare we? If they’re also clearly uninhibited thanks to alcohol or just a surplus of testosterone, I can’t help but be wary of the rapid and irrational escalation his kind are prone to.

    His kind’s behavior – a volitile blend of poor manners, primate dominance display, objectification, and male privilege – makes me want to pummel the offenders, and then go someplace safe to wash the feeling of slime off of my skin.

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