You can’t just trip over a table every once in a while and convince people that you can’t see. So, I reach out to touch her hand and grab closer to the wrist then slowly move my hand down, so she notices.
‘Don’t forget that table in the hall has moved a little bit, the rug is the same but its like six inches further out now’
She doesn’t move things around much and when she does, she draws me a little mind map which is so sweet of her. Of course I can see every fucking thing as clearly as you would but from time to time I’ll give my toe a little stub when she’s watching or pretend to fall over when she’s not in the room. I’ll kind of just lie down on the floor then knock something over so when she comes running I am lying there saying shit like ‘I don’t know what happened’ or my favourite, ‘ did something just fall on me?’
‘I really feel like we should go back to the doctor and maybe get some more opinions.’
She’s on this again.
‘I just don’t know if I can go through that again, not just yet.’
It’s been two years and you’d think that getting hit by a car is not something you forget easily but all I really have are impressions rather than concrete memories. It’s a stutter in the recess of your brain like when you can’t remember the actors name but know every movie they have been in.
‘Just give me a little more time OK, I’m still adjusting ‘
I see the look she gives me.
Diary, I spoke to Tom again last night but as usual he didn’t want to discuss it. I don’t know what else I can do for him. I guess I just need to support him, I’m so sure his sight will come back because of what the doctors say. Got to admit though that its easier at the weekends not needing makeup or to spend time on my hair. Shit I’m a horrible person, right? No wonder he won’t talk to me about it. OK diary tomorrow I’ll try.
Yesterday Sal had the biggest gob of food stuck on her front, my grandfather used to call them canteen medals, well she must be very heroic lately because she’s always covered in them. I try to invent ways I can comment on this or her lack of makeup and terrible hair, honestly it looks like a collapsed haystack some days.
‘You sound tired is everything OK?’ I ask her as I make another slightly misjudged hand touch, I’m good at this I think.
‘I’m fine just didn’t get enough sleep’ She puts her other hand on top of mine and we’re suddenly building a weird pat a cake stack.
Her hair looks nice, I heard the hairdryer going of course but I don’t say anything because of my rules. You need to have discipline and rule one is don’t mention anything about someone’s appearance unless they tell you it first. She doesn’t mention the hair so I say nothing.
You ever notice that when you talk to people they move their eyes in a way that they think is imperceptible. Like if you had a pimple, a giant festering pus-filled lump, they pretend not to look but you see the little dart of the eye. Or if you are the person who sees the pimple you force yourself not to look but you do, and they see you do it.
Because of this I wear dark glasses almost all the time because those little eye movements would be a giveaway. I actually spend a lot of the time with my eyes shut. This idea didn’t occur to me for like 3 months and its so obvious I almost kicked myself. With the glasses on and my eyes closed then to all intents and purposes I really am blind. This also helps with surprises.
This one time were on the back porch with our friends Ross and Rachel, swear to God their real names. It was warm and we’d just had dinner together which of course was cooked for me, I sat quietly just enjoying the warm breeze. Ross got me a beer from the fridge, and handed it to me;
‘here’s a beer man, right in front’
I reached out doing my fake clutch at the air, I was usually so good at it but just as I was about to close my hand the clumsy bastard let the bottle slip because it had the condensation you get from cold beer on warm nights. I instinctively grabbed the bottle without him saying anything and held it there for a second before I purposely dropped it on my lap.
‘Wait, you just caught that’ he said
'Yeah I think I heard it slip and I just grabbed, I guess I just missed it'
‘But you had hold of it, I saw you then you dropped it.’
Sal then came out thank God and made a big fuss of the beer spilled on my pants like I’d pissed myself. She wiped and dabbed with a tea towel and I vowed never to go anywhere without my glasses on again.
Diary, its cold today, we are feeling the full force of winter now. I kind of like it because there are no mosquitoes outside and you can always put on more clothes. I’m going to have lunch with Rosie tomorrow without Tom. I can’t wait to be honest, Jeez what a shitty wife I am. I can’t wait to get away from him for a couple of hours, what does that say about me? I deserve a break though right? I mean he is so independent and he has adapted so well to this, I’m so proud of him but I have to do everything and I’m not complaining but it’s a lot. Anyway, tomorrow will be a good day and I’ll make him a nice dinner.
She’s who must be obeyed has gone out with Fat Rosie so I have the house to myself and I can take the glasses off and move about freely. I usually watch a bit of TV or listen to some music; I also look at the internet as its not something I can really do in company of course. I’ve been thinking lately about getting Sal a little cat or something. Something that she can look after that isn’t me. I mean I know I don’t really need looking after but a cat might take some of the heat off me.
I don’t feel bad about what I’m doing after all I was blind for real for a long time after the accident. They thought it was something to do with my brain and the trauma. The doctors agreed that eventually there was no reason it wouldn’t come back.
That’s why my performance is so excellent, you might say I’m a method actor. One day I woke up and I could see again, like magic everything was illuminated. Luckily, Sal had gone to work early so she didn’t see what happened.
The light was so bright at first I thought I was dead or having a stroke. Everything strobed around the edges like fireworks over in the next town at night. Then, there it was, the wardrobe. At first I sat and cried for like 10 minutes I just couldn’t believe it. I was about to call Sal then I found the letter sitting on her bedside table from Mike.
After I read it I knew that If I told her I could see she’d run to him, no question. So, what else could I do?
That night was the toughest when she got home. I spent all day wondering if I could pull this off and, in the end, I decided what did I have to lose? If I tell her I can see she’ll leave me for Mike, no doubt at all. If I don’t tell her there’s a chance I can make her mine.
A week later was when I asked Sal to marry and what was she going say? She hesitated and of course I could see her eyes droop, but she said yes.
We married soon after, I didn't want a long engagement obviously. Sal wanted a church do but I didn't want all the eyes on me watching me stand there . So we we had the ceremony in a friends garden. I got so much attention and sympathy that day about how brave I was. I actually carried it off flawlessly, one of my crowning achievements.
The café is small but is always packed and its hard to get a seat because you can’t make a reservation. I like meeting Sal here because its close to where we both live and we have been here enough that the staff know us and usually squeeze us in as regulars. Plus, they have a liquor license and who doesn’t love day drinking? She’s been having a hard time at home lately so I figured a good chat would help her clear her thoughts. Of course, I’m not a fan of little Tom the twat. He’s been a twat since university and being blind has not made him better. Some people go on to triumph over any adversity, not Tom.
‘Sal, he’s blind not a paraplegic, he can do his own washing, make a meal from time to time, how do you think every other blind person in the World survives’
‘Before the accident I was going to break up with him, do you remember?’
‘Of course, I do’
‘Well I guess the accident ruined both our lives, without it we wouldn’t have married, I couldn’t leave after that, I mean who dumps their recently blinded boyfriend?’
‘I saw Mike the other day ‘I said nonchalantly.
‘Oh?’ She appeared unconcerned but her flushed cheeks were not Chablis related.
‘He asked after you as always.’
‘Let’s talk about other things Rosie please.’ So, as always, we do.
My favourite meal of all time is a pretty simple one, its Macaroni and Cheese. It has to be just right though like really nice cheese not horrible plastic stuff and it has to be finished under a red hot grill so its crispy with some little burned bits where its caught on top. Sal makes a pretty good one I must say and we had it for dinner tonight. There wasn’t something quite right like a slight aftertaste but I guess it was the cheese. I told Sal about the taste but she said hers was fine, I offered her some advice for next time and she pulled a face I haven’t seen her make before. Almost like she was in pain and about to cry, of course I need to be careful not to ask her about this.
‘How was lunch with little fat Rosie today?’
‘Please don’t call her that, she’s my friend’
Rosie is a bitch but seeing her gets Sal out the house for a few hours.
‘What did you talk about?’ Like I don’t know but equally don’t care.
‘You know this and that, nothing earth shattering.’
I guess Mike the wonderful was on the menu for discussion. I might have to engineer a little fall tomorrow.
Sunday February 14th
Sorry diary just a quick one because I’m just getting to my desk on Monday not Sunday. But I have a wonderful excuse for being late, Tom has bought me the most darling little kitten who we are going to call Betty. She is a little tabby cat and will be good company for Tom during the day assuming he doesn’t trip over her. We decided we’ll get her a little bell.
I left the webcam on the laptop on to keep an eye on her today, I’ll get something more permanent set up eventually. I must remember to tell Tom about the laptop tonight when I get home, I rushed out this morning and clean forgot.