Books: An Abridged Existence (excerpt)

Chapter 4

The day is half over by the time Sid finally awakens. It is a bright sunny day outside. The sky is blue; the birds are chirping, and the cicadas are making their loud noise. Unfortunately, there are no windows that Sid, or anyone else in the room, can look out of to view the splendor of the sunny day. Instead, fluorescent lighting illuminates the small room that he shares with the two other people. The walls are a dull gray, the beds a blinding white, and the floor a rather pastel shade of purple. Unfortunately, Sid is unable to see this either.

The man on the bed wakes up, and moves to an upright sitting position. He cannot see. He tries looking at his hand to make sure it is still there, but he cannot see it. He tries looking up, down, to the left and right, but he still sees nothing. He begins losing his composure.

“I’m blind,” he thinks. “The peanuts have taken my vision form me. I’ll never read music again.” He begins cursing loudly at his unfortunate circumstances. Never will he be able to read music. He is a self taught musician who relies heavily upon reading sheet music. His new blindness shall cost him his livelihood. It is probably true that there are blind musicians in the world. Sid, however, will never become one of them for numerous reasons. He relies too heavily upon looking at what his hands were doing while he is making music. He never did trust his left hand, and thought that he should always maintain a constant vigilance, for his left hand might one day betray him at a crucial performance.

There were also many other things that Sid used his now lost vision for. He would look at things. And by looking at things, he would be able to make a reasonably accurate guess as to what it was he was looking at. This came in handy when he was watching television. The speakers on his TV were broken, and he relied on lip reading what the actors were saying to make sense of what was going on. Now he will never be able to watch TV again, or at least for as long as he remains blind.

One thing that he didn’t use his sight much was for was walking places. Everywhere he always went was so crowded, and people would block his line of sight significantly because there were always crowds. He would just close is eyes and go with the flow. However, in the event that he found himself all alone anywhere, he would be able to use his eyes to see where he was going.