Brother Cameron remembers, very distinctly, what the color green looked like. It was everywhere. It’s the most boring thing that won’t leave his head. It’s a very unwelcome house guest that he’s tried shoving out the door multiple times, but it just sits there all the time. Everybody says he just sees black, or white, or shadows in a blurry, colorless void. Everybody knows what he sees, but himself, apparently. He didn’t think he could see anything, and he thought that was the fucking point of being blind.
He’s heard of some guy who uses echolocation and teaches it to other blind people. Yes, echolocation, that thing bats and treasure hunters with giant machines in the ocean use, is being used by people. They’re just walking around clicking and chirping like seven-year-olds who invented their own special language. Some other blind person climbed Mount Everest. Another one is one of the most accomplished athletes of her time. He’s sure there’s one that saved an entire family from a burning building. Some of the best selling comic books are about blind vigilantes.
He’s done some amazing stuff in his own life too, though. Like that time he threw a basketball and it actually hit the rim. When he was a kid he was able to determine the correct size socket to help his dad put his bed together once. Hell, today he ate spaghetti, and the Abbot said that he got none of it on his shirt (he did though). It’s all about perspective, right? Well, from his perspective, this fucking sucks.
Oh yeah?! he always want to scream, oh yeah?! It looked “fuckin’ awesome”?! Please, tell me what else I’ll never be able to experience.
“The last thing anyone with a handicap wants is to be pitied.” “These people are just as capable as you or me.” “The blind can see things we can’t.” He’s heard all the cliche bullshit. John Milton once said, “To be blind is not miserable; not to be able to bear blindness, that is miserable.” That asshole didn’t become blind until he was 43, he wasn’t blind from age 5. Brother Cameron is not normal. He’s not just like everyone else. There are about 40 million people like him on earth. There are almost 8 billion people on earth. That’s a half of a percent that can’t see and the rest that can. This all amounts to the fact, that most likely, all the people who “won’t pity” the blind man, don’t know the things that he can’t get out of his mind.
All those damn pictures he can remember but can’t see. He doesn’t really know what the memories looked like. He knows green. He doesn’t see it, he knows it as a mosquito inside his skull. His mind feels like it’s trying to bulge out of his skull while it’s actually just trying to make sense of anything he had seen while he was a baby. He would love to be pitied. Not helped, just for people to know that his life is infinitely worse than theirs. He’s had 2 supportive parents, a roof over his head, a couple of shitty friends, a fairly nice little sister that listened to him. He can read faster than anyone in The Abbey. He can eat whenever he gets hungry, and his bed is very comfortable. Someone else has nobody, is shivering in the night under a bridge, hasn’t eaten in 2 days, still has scars from where they were beaten as a small child, and can barely sleep. Somebody else was forced into prostitution by some extremely messed up shit. Somebody has always needed a giant machine just to be able to breathe. He could feel sorry for them, He would feel bad and pity those people. He would. He would cry at the news that there are orphaned kids dying of starvation somewhere, if he didn’t have his own shit to deal with.
He walked straight into a tree once. He broke his nose by walking straight into a fucking tree. His cane didn’t warn him of that shit. It’s not an eye. It’s easier after a while, but not when you’re 8. There are blind people who ride bikes. He has two arm casts somewhere that prove that he’s not one of those people. That man who climbed Mount Everest, good for him. Brother Cameron’s sitting there, not wanting to get up ever. That’s the reality of it.
He saw a sunset. It was beautiful. How does he know? Somebody told him. Somebody told him in highschool that he looked amazing when he was all dressed up. Somebody told him that the mountains are “majestic”. If they’re so great, why is climbing one so difficult and deadly? Somebody told him that the CGI in this movie is amazing, but the CGI in that movie sucks. Somebody once told him that this color looks ridiculous on him. Yes, somebody even told him that this world needs help. Somebody said they see the injustices and want to help. Somebody told him that you don’t need sight to see what’s wrong.
He tells himself, “Damn, I wish I knew if what everyone says was true.”