I am a walking disaster. The bruises on my arm and hand and legs, and the bump on my head, remind me that I can’t just walk through the world as if I am graceful, as if I can see.
My most recent assault was perpetrated by an enormous pillar in the middle of an aisle in a Sprouts grocery store. The fucking thing was wider than me (which is saying something), and I didn’t see it. I was on a mission for roasted veggie chips in the bulk section, but the pillar had other ideas. I ran into it face first and hit is so hard that I ricocheted off and landed on my ass, hitting my arm and hand against the bulk bins. It sounds comical as I write this, and I did laugh at the time, but it really hurt and got me thinking again about white canes.
Every time I have a more memorable collision, I start contemplating white canes. I wish the damn things weren’t white; I am cool with the red tip, but I want a cane that can be personalized with dragons or flowers or pictures of pugs. I have an array of aesthetic desires when it comes to accessories. And honestly, the cane scares me. I wonder what it will mean if I take the step toward a mobility device and how I will have to readjust to the world around me.
I know all the reasons why a cane would be a good idea; I could avoid collisions and accidents and it would let people know that I can’t see them. The cane would scream, “blind girl coming through”, and the crowd would part to let me pass. But maybe I’m not ready to be that blind. Maybe I need to hide in my partially sighted shadow for just a little while longer.