Definitions & Diatribes
People always ask me what it’s like going blind. What can I see? They assume that since I have poor vision, I must also have faulty hearing and a low IQ. They shoot me dirty glances. They ask me what it’s like. It feels like I’m going insane.
Blind. Partially sighted. Legally Blind. Snow-blind. Blind as a bat. Blind like Stevie Wonder. They say the eyes are the window to the soul, so are blind people soulless? Soulful eyes. Big eyes. Margaret Keane’s big eyes. Bug eyes. Eye of the tiger. Eyes on the prize. Rolling snake eyes. The terrible movie The Eye with Jessica Alba. The stink eye. Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl.” What if the eye of the beholder is blind? Cat’s eyes. Slant eyes. Lazy eye. Behind blue eyes. The Cyclops with one eye. Mickey blue eyes. One-eyed Jacks. Crazy eyes. Bedroom eyes. Living in the public eye. The apple of my eye. The shitty Eagles singing about a woman with lying eyes. Blind drunk. Three blind mice. Blinding lights. Will Ferrell making fun of blind people in Anchorman 2. Manfred Mann’s “Blinded By the Light.” Al Pacino wanting to commit suicide in Scent of a Woman because he’s blind. Tunnel vision. Laser-like vision. Univision. Steve Wynn saying, “I wasn’t born with a lot of eyesight, but I sure have a lot of vision.” Fred Armisen teasing partially sighted former New York governor David Patterson on SNL. Mr. Magoo. No joke there. Just think about Mr. Magoo for a hot second. You’re really a sight for sore eyes. That awful Val Kilmer, Mira Sorvino movie At First Sight (taken from a tacky Nicholas Sparks book). Out of sight. A sight gag. The sighted guide technique. Hitting a seeing eye single. Get some shut eye. Get a bird’s eye-view. A room with a view. Morning view. Jonathan Davis from Korn singing, “I can see, I can see, I can see I’m going blind.” Paris Hilton singing about the stars being blind. Vision quest. Vision test. Field of vision. In someone’s line of sight. Spectravision. Visual aids. Visual reminders. Visual stimulants. Visual jokes. Things are clear. Things appear cloudy. Things are staticky. It’s kind of like, you know, when you go to a movie in the afternoon. A matinee, and you walk out and it’s light outside, and it takes your eyes a little bit of time to adjust. It’s like moving through an obstacle course where the objects constantly change. It’s like having photos continuously deleted from your memory. It’s like losing someone you care about. It’s like the couple of days after a concussion. It’s like being a leper. It’s like someone keeps moving the goal post further and further back into the rafters.
What’s it like going blind? How should I know?
Jon Steinberg is a writer currently obtaining his MFA in Creative Writing from Saint Mary’s College of California. Raised in Orange County, Steinberg opted to attend The University of Arizona following high school. After earning his BA, Jon lived and worked in Dallas, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Steinberg was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a rare and progressive eye disease that has rapidly led to near total blindness. He has recently completed a memoir, And So It Went, which chronicles the experience of losing his eye sight as a twenty something and inspired him to live with an impassioned fervor. He’s in the process of shopping the book to agents and publishers.
Tiegan Dakin is a teenage writer, artist and blogger of English descent. Her work of many varieties appears or is forthcoming in Random Sample Review, After the Pause, Blue Bonnet Review and Gravel Literary Journal, among others. She works as Chief Editor of The Drowning Gull when she isn’t focussed on her studies. You can learn more about her here: https://harbourwave.wordpress.