Except when she opened her eyes, there the damn thing was, hovering just infront of her nose… staring?
“Holy Hell…” she muttered breathing out.
The glowing visitor continued to hover.
She moved her head to the left, it floated left. She moved her head to the right, it floated right. Cross eyed she looked at the glow and decided if she was going to be nuts, she should probably go all in at this point.
“What exactly, do you want? I see, quite clearly that you want something. I doubt highly that I, as a non glowing… creature have anything of value to you. I do not want to relinquish my soul, I do not want affirmation of a higher power, it is doubtful that I can help… you (?) achieve a cosmic goal. I am a teacher, a blind teacher at that. What would you have me do? Leave the Shire to destroy a ring? I’m not about to go through a looking glass. I’m not interested in discovering if my wardrobe extends out the back into a land of goat people. You’ve got the wrong girl. I never got my letter, so unless you are interested in upping your reading score or learning Braille, I just don’t see what you need from me!” She told the glowing ball in great frustration. It continued to hover in front of her face. Slowly it, floated up as if to stand about five in a half… no six feet into the air. She rolled off the back of her chair. Using most of her strength, after all it had been a long day, she lifted her chair up and back onto four legs. Looking around she saw a bright red blob on her white carpet, her robe. Picking it up, she put it on and stood once again facing the glowing orange globe.
Knock knock. Her front door sounded and she heard Mr. Thane her downstairs neighbor holler in, “You alright there girlie? Do I need to call someone? I heard a crash, and I know you probably just tripped but…. it was loud.”
She rushed to the door, and called through, “I’m fine! Just tripped over one of my chairs, you know,I can be so clumsy!”
“Are you sure? I don’t mind calling anyone, Gladys would have my hide if you were hurt, bless your heart.”
“No worries Mr. Thane, I will live. Tell your wife thank you!” She put her ear to the door and hear him sigh and shuffle off towards the elevator. She let out a sigh of her own. Turning around, she hoped her hallucination was gone. Nope. There, the glowing orange orb hung over her bed.
“Oh boy, you must be a man. Look I’m not ready to get into bed and certainly not with you… So if you’re looking for some sort of host parasitic or symbiotic, you better back off! I’m talking to a light. A light that isn’t there.”
Eyeing the globe warily, she counted her steps to her counter, then to the table, past her musical keyboard, into her bedroom to her desk. Searching for her on switch she utilized VoiceOver and slowly and clearly told her computer to google hallucinations and traumatic events (she felt she really wasn’t traumatized, but then again she was the one seeing things.), hallucinations and head injuries (though she didn’t noticed any bumps or lumps in the shower), and finally, a good old fashioned psychotic break. Unsastisfied with the results, she shut down her computer.
Going to her nightstand, she had Siri call her school’s automated call out system and scheduled a day off.
Turning around, the orange ball of light seemed to be gone, but maybe she needed to go ahead and sleep. Tomorrow would be better.
She woke up stiff and aching, not quite sure why, as the events of yesterday slowly cleared those morning cobwebs away. She began to remember the sounds and feelings of the pavement that bit into her skin and being patched up by the paramedic. Cobwebs still hung in her mind as she gingerly sat up in bed. Making sure she felt up to it, she swung her legs out to the side of the bed and came face to face with the detail her mind so graciously left out.
There, I front of her face hovered that orange glowing ball.
In complete exasperation and a little fear she jumped up and didn’t even bother to count her way to the bathroom. The huge winged back chair was electric blue, bathroom was a pit of darkness; nothing too hard to find. Smacking the switch to engage the lights she slammed the door, went to the bathroom, did her morning facial routine and applied gloss to her lips. During this period there was no orange ball. Flinging the door open she sailed across her bedroom to the closet, doors also painted electric blue, and shoved those open. Looking through her closet for her favorite sweater, a bright red one her mother said complemented her skin tone, she went down to the bottom shelf and snagged the topmost pair of jeans and threw a pair of black shoes at her bed.
Almost intrigued, the orange globe seemed to dance around at her activity. Grabbing undergarments she turned and faced the sphere and said forcefully, “Out. Now.” It glided into the bathroom and went behind the door.
She dressed like a woman possessed, perhaps because she was, and made her way to the living area/ kitchen again without counting but passing by her red living room set and ignoring the rumble of her stomach, she scowled at her red appliances. Making her way to the door, she snatched her cane and yelled out into the apartment, “Are you coming?”
The orange globe zoomed out of the bedroom and zagged around her as she opened the door. “Chill out… thing…!”
She turned towards the elevator, and sped down the hallway. Out into the streets she turned to her usual bus stop, the globe hovering beside her as she weaved in and out of the mass of people filling the sidewalk. Large red canopy on the right, cross the street, in the distance she smelled breakfast coming from the Mexican restaurant by her stop. Pass the blue travel agency and other little stops, cross the street again. Third block she could smell the cumin and chiles but Joe was not there today and given the time, she was not surprised. Onto the bus, she rode past her usual school stop, exiting when the bus driver let her know that she was at Huntington Regional Hospital.
Getting off she tap, tap, tapped her way into the front doors. Getting to the front desk, she asked the way to the emergency room. Kindly, a staff member led her to that section of the hospital. She was guided to the check in desk where she explained who she was, provided her personal information card and her insurance card. Explaining about the accident, the patch up, and the light in her vision, she was directed to the waiting room.
She knew she wasn’t dying so she would be there awhile. She was hoping to read but closing her eyes and leaning back made the exploring orange globe disappear. Exploring because it floated all around the waiting room, flying into open privacy windows at the check in desk, around the various blurred people and floating in front of the admittance doors. There it hovered for quite awhile, almost as if it were waiting.
Eventually she was called back and described her symptoms. Given that her sight was not completely gone, she was given some basic visual tests. Many she failed, as she knew she would. She was asked to explain the “auras” she saw to the doctor but try as she might, the doctor was confused. She wasn’t seeing many but one and it kept moving around. It seemed to really enjoy the doctor actually, hovering over her shoulder and over the notes she was taking, almost as if it were reading along.
She was scheduled for tests, MRIs, scans and blood work. All day she was poked, scanned, bombarded with strange smells and sounds (the MRI machine sounds like a large train in your ear, quite unsettling).
While she waited, the orange globe would follow her from place to place then wait by the door or the elevator until she was moved in that direction.
It was decided by the doctors that besides dehydration, low electrolyte levels, that every scan was clean, normal, and clearly not worth a visit to the ER. However, doctors decided that she would be checked into a room to receive fluids, and to await a specialist.
From what she understood, half of the third floor was general check ins and half was intensive care. She was being escorted to a room at the end of the general unit right next to the doors leading to the ICU.
Her nurse, Sandy was a chatty woman. Plumping her pillows and talking a mile a minute, Sandy talked about how strange it was for her check in, that the other two people involved in yesterday’s crash ended up here too (which was common knowledge if you watched last night’s news report which, she did not). It was so sad because didn’t you know their very own Doctor Flores was one of the crash victims. How sad it all was. Once she was comfortable, Sandy efficiently found a vein and hooked her up. Her chattering seemed to interest the orange light, it glowed almost excitedly as Sandy spoke.
Once Sandy left, she was once again alone with the sphere. It glowed brightly, and rushed to her. Circling around her it landed warmly on her hand that had the IV in it. Almost like tugging, the light seemed to want to pull her to her door. The sky outside the hospital was dark and she wanted to finish up and go home. She wanted to go home alone. She wanted to never see the color orange again.
The doctor returned and told her she was going to be admitted overnight, for obeservation. She was asked if she still saw the light, and she told her that a specialist was coming in the morning to see her, and a routine conversation with their psychologist would also happen in the morning.
She didn’t blame them. While she never attributed human characteristics to the globe, the fact that she was so aggitated worried the doctor. Heck it worried her.
So she had settled in. Until the light became very insistent. Paging her nurse, she asked if she could possibly get dinner? It was dark outside but it wasn’t too late to eat. Sandy happily left to go order her some dinner and she decided to get up and use the restroom.
Maneuvering the fluids was not actually hard to do with her cane and soon she finished her business. Then she heard it. A code was sounding in the floor and floods of people rushed past to go into the ICU. The orange light rushed at her and then to the door, flying out into the hallway.
“What the Hell,” she exclaimed and she rolled her IV through the doors right before they clicked shut. A couple of nurses could be seen turning the corner as she realized she was alone with the light in front of another room. The orange sphere slowly floated into this room.
Inside, it was dark except a small light illuminating a patient and the orange orb. It slowly trailed up the body of a person illuminating dark colored hair and a dark complexion. The dark blob was short peeping through white bandages and the body long, leaving her to believe, possibly in a sexist way, that the patient was male.
The orange globe went very close to the patient’s face and slowly floated away to her once more. Again she felt an almost tugging sensation as the orange globe floated to her hand and seemed to pull it. She walked to the bedside where it was obvious someone had been keeping a vigil. A coat or sweater of some sort, brown and large, was flung over the back of the chair and various colorful wrappers for unidentifiable foods littered the table next to the chair. Faintly, she smelled a fimilar blend of spices, Chili and Cumin and looked towards the bed.
Her breathing caught.
The orange light hovered over the man’s face, for it was his face that she actually saw. She had never seen her own face, black hair and and skin tone aside, but his face was strong. He was darkly handsome, black hair, golden tanned skin that looked a little washed out. He had rather attractive eye lines, crows feet if you will, denoting he laughed or smiled often. He had a wide mouth that again, based on the lines looked like he laughed a lot. His head was bandaged and she could just make out the actual fibers in the wrap.
Completely transfixed, she walked closer to him, towards the sight of him. She touched his cheek gently, and he was warm. He was real. The orange light flowed into her palm and gently tugged her hand towards his chest, taking her sight with it. Just above this chest it hovered, pulling her hand downwards. It stopped, waiting.
Suddenly feeling very driven to push that light into the man’s chest, she did just that.
Light exploded around the room and shimmered a bright orange deepening into red and then completely going out.
The heart rate monitor started to excellerate, becoming steady and strong and in shock she pulled her hand away only to hear a very faint voice say, “I’m sorry.”
Turning towards the voice she realized the man on the bed had spoken. She backed up and sat down hard in the chair by his bedside.
“I’m sorry I was so insistent but I really had to get back…” he trailed off.
A surprised shout came from the door as a familiar voice said tearfully, “Hijo estás despierto!”
It was Joe. Joe from her stop. “Hija, what are you doing here with Mateo?!” He asked, walking towards her. “Are you alright?” She felt his hand in her shoulder.
In a daze she turned towards who obviously had to be Mateo, who said simply, “Well papá, I was lost but she found me.”
Coming around to Mateo his father knelt and kissed his son’s cheek and the before she knew it, he kissed her cheek as well.
“I told you hija, you should meet him!” Said Joe smuggly, as he reached for the call button.
Mateo shifted in his bed slightly so he could see her better. “Though it seems a little backwards,” he said weakly, “since I truly believe I’ve spent the last 24 hours with you… what is your name?”
“Angelica.” She said, “Angelica Stromwell.”
Men folk, just skip this one. I love you dearly but I don’t think you want to know. Some of you ladies might want to run too.
Look, it always the same.
When was the last time you had your period?
A year (two) (three) ago.
What day exactly?
I don’t know, that was a long while ago.
Well we need to know because…
My uterus shriveled up and died. It has a vancancy sign. It’s hoarding it’s eggs, it’s anti sperm, it doesn’t remember how to ovulate. I do not have a period. I do not take birth control. I am not pregnant. It is medically impossible. TRUST ME.
Ma’am I need you to pee in this cup. We’re going to do a pregnancy test. (I know they test other things in urine)
I’ve spent thousands of dollars on specialists, drugs, MRIs, and little men with cold scauplas to decide what’s wrong with me.
The last period I had was April 2014. I know this because my hormones were still high enough from childbirth for one to occur normally. (The stars aligned, etc for me to even have a child. The odds against me were overruled by divine intervention. I think God just enjoys hearing Doctors say, “You can’t.” So he can say, “Bah! Watch this!”)
Prior to that, it had been 5 years since Aunt Flo visited. Before that I menstruated a measly 7 years. Compared to the rest of the world, I’m still a teenager.
I do not ovulate. I have enough eggs stored up to make thousands of people parents. (Seriously) It is not natural. But it is what it is.
I admit, not buying pads, not having mood swings, not searching the land for rare steaks to injest, was extremely appealing. I mean no one wants to do this for 7 to 12 days.
So truly, when I say being visited by the red tide, for the first time in 3 years, wasn’t exactly a welcome, expected event.
First, I had zits.
Deep facial zits. I couldn’t make them stop.
Then I lost my appetite. I just couldn’t eat. Didn’t want to. My stomach hurt and I felt lazy as heck.
And then, much to my bemusement, I had a sign. I laughed and thought, “Yeah right, maybe I should visit my doctor in June though.”
And it came.
Can I tell you I didn’t miss cramps? Bloating? The want to not move from under my blanket fort that I erected on my bed? (I am FREEZING. )I want to eat all the cows.
And there is so.much.blood.
I know it’s stupid but I forgot.
I told my husband:
However, this is distinctly odd. I will have to see if it returns next month… like normal people’s do. Will shark week be every month or a once every three years when a planet is retrospective and such?
Until then, I ride the crimson wave and remember the joys of womanhood.
She waited at the last crossing, waiting for the chirp to sound letting her know it was safe to walk. Though the chirp did sound and she did start to make her way across the intersection, it was unfortunately not as safe as anyone who was crossing would hope. As soon as she got half way across, she heard the grinding of gears, the squealing of tires and the unmistakable sound of metal hitting metal but not stopping. Dashing straight ahead, hoping in vain that she was going truly straight, that there was a sidewalk ahead, empty of twisted metal and glass, she ran. She hoped. Surging forward like some sort of awkward bear, she tripped and felt herself falling, cane flying, arms stretched out to catch her fall, the screeching of the tires getting closer. She heard people screaming and her own heart thumping madly, echoing in her chest.
Her eyes open, seeing nothing save her ususal blobs, she lay on her stomach searching for the wreckage. She was, thankfully, unharmed except a few scrapes and possibly tears in her clothing. If she could just make her limbs move, and stop the mad thumping in her chest, she would be up and about in no time. Normally a person, once discovering they were fine, would rush to the accident and help. The problem was, she couldn’t. Even if the shock of the accident had worn off faster, what good would a blind woman be in rescuing others from the wreckage if she didn’t even know where the door to the car was?
Still laying on the ground she could smell gasoline, hear the steady drip of fluids from the mangled mass of cars, and hear that the crosswalk sign was no longer chirping. She managed to get herself up on her knees sitting back on her feet before trying to stand up. If she was moving people would leave her alone and focus on the wreck.
“Are you okay miss?” A voice shouted.
“Yes, yes! Please focus on the accident, I’ll manage!” She yelled towards the voice. People ran past her to the wreckage behind. Looking around her for her candy striped cane, she saw something.
Yes of course normally she see blurred objects, colors, lights but this time she saw something. It was small and glowing faintly orange, spherical and she felt as if it was… almost staring at her. It was not blurred. It was not what she thought of as solid. It was not behaving as a light would. It zoomed out towards her. Quickly she thrust her arms out as if to stave off an attack. (Because you know light bounces off flesh so well.)
She waited for impact and yet, nothing happened. Opening her eyes and lowering her hands she searched her surroundings.
Blurs, movement, lights, sounds, but nothing distinct as that orange sphere. Looking back, whatever it was, it was gone.
Shaking her head, she told herself the shock was causing her to imagine, and she located her cane. Cautiously getting up, a well-meaning bystander came up to her and asked if she was okay, told her an ambulance was on its way, and would she like some help getting to the sidewalk? Normally, she would refuse aid, she was self sufficient and perfectly capable of detecting a sidewalk. However, today, help was appreciated.
Sirens got closer and soon a large white blob pulled up and people in blue jumped out and after a quick examination prepared to away someone. The woman, for it must have been, called out to the paramedics and before she could stop the woman, she was receiving a quick check up. Questions were asked, knees were examined (her pants had ripped at the knees and she had some nasty cuts there) and she was given quick and effucent first aid. Assuring all involved she could make it home, a male police officer overruled her judgement (isn’t that just like a man?) and she was driven home.
But the thought remained. What was that light she saw?
Logically, police lights were mostly blue nowadays. She left her cane but the front door. Ambulances had red lights. She walked to the kitchen, hitting the side of the countertop a bit with her arm. Tow trucks had… tow trucks had orange lights! A wreck, obviously would need a tow truck to carry away the damage. Yes indeed. She opened the fridge to pull out a yogurt and get a spoon, second drawer to the left of the stove.
She ate her yogurt and threw it out, counting the steps to her bedroom. She went to her closet to pull out a new cami underthings and yoga pants (behind the jeans) and stripped, getting into the shower. Excellent bandaids held fast as the water worked its way down weary muscles and roadwarn skin.
Toweling off, she thought of Chinese food, and wrapped a towel turban style around her head. Padding out into the bedroom she turned her head towards her nightstand/ cellphone to activate “Hey Siri,” and call the nearest Chinese takeout joint when she was met with a rather large, glowing orange sphere. Right in front of her face.
Like any red blooded,independent American, she yelped in surprise, lost her balance and crashed backwards into her winged back chair and toppled, quite helplessly, into its waiting wings and then both she and the winged back hit the floor.
Moaning in pain, she grasped at the wings trying to heave herself up and decided rolling off would be easiest. Rolling into a comfortable sitting position favored by most children. She cautiously turned her head.
Still hovering where she had stood was the orange light. Just as cautiously as she turned to see it, it seemed to float very slowly and gently to hover in front of her face.
“Well Hell. I must be dead.” She said to absolutely no one in particular.
A quick overview:
The artist’s process/explanation (long)
A Bible verse for EVERYTHING
Swear Like a Mother
Ironman what have they done to thee
Cartoons that made me snort in a most unladylike fashion
(And now you know what she’s up to- Adam Ellis- check out the FB link and the comments for a funny 6th frame: https://www.facebook.com/buzzfeedadam/posts/1525785467472654:0)
I like my men extra crispy… lol
Save the Planet!
And finally, I hope if this happens at my concert tomorrow night, I do this:
Or that my bass drummers don’t do this:
I have a particular child in mind… please don’t…
lol I hope you enjoyed my Media Mondays Post! Do you have any media that tickled your funny bone or made you think? Let me know in the comments below! Thank you for reading! 🙇🏻♀️
It was back in February when I received a mysterious deposit. I had just, in January, updated my insurance policies. I added a thing here, moved a no longer existing policy to the new version there and set up my flex information for myself and dependent care. It was EXTREMELY important that the dependent care was correct because frankly, we cannot afford daycare without it. I was to receive a certain amount monthly divided up into 10 months.
February rolled around and I received my usual dependent care (let’s just call it the dc) deposit and a week later, a mysterious deposit from the same company for almost two hundred dollars.
“Oh no,” I thought, “they are breaking up my dc into small payments! No! I did not agree to that.”
So I called up my flex care company ready to complain. A pleasant woman answered and took my information. I asked about my flex spending account and my dc accounts. She agreed that both paid out so much a month, and so much was taken out of my paycheck a month to payback my accounts. Normal stuff. Then I bring up the extra deposit and the woman on the phone looks through my account and sees no paperwork or requests or notes put in for me to receive extra money. In fact, there was no note of an extra deposit in the system!
“Oh honey.” She says, “You must be receiving a reimbursement for a procedure or your wellness visit.”
“That normally would make sense,” I said to her, “except I haven’t been to the doctors since my mandatory post pregnancy appointments ran out.” (I know, I’m bad, I should go)
“Well you do get MRIs, I see some charges to your account. Maybe you overpaid. I’m sure whatever it is, you’ve just forgot and it’s finally come back around.” She says to me in a slightly patronizing fashion.
“I really don’t think so ma’am,” I reply slightly offended.
“I am sure that the paperwork simply hasn’t processed yet. This is your money dear. No one would just put money into your account unless there is paperwork.”
I make sure I will still get a deposit for my dependent care (yes of course since this money is obviously a reimbursement! Uhuh.)
I’m like… alright… I guess…
So like a COMPLETE IDIOT I spend the two hundredish dollars on bills (because I can’t seem to shake the darn things).
Two weeks later, I receive an alert for a deposit. What?
There it is again, another deposit for two hundredish dollars.
Son of a biscuit. I spent that two hundredish dollars. Now I know. It wasn’t mine. It couldn’t have been! One deposit I barely believed was mine was enough to make me paranoid but two? No. That’s a confirmation.
So I call. I explain. I am patronized. I demand they put a note on my account. They say it cannot be a mistake! It must be my husband’s flex, there is NO RECORD of an extra deposit.
Ry, explains to me he does not have our joint bank account linked to his flex in anyway. I ask him to check because at this point, I am thinking maybe I am insane. I mean, two different employees have checked and assured me all is well.
Ry calls them up on his end and they agree, it’s not possible for them to deposit money for him into our joint bank account.
So. I bump that money to savings and I call again.
It was a little like that on repeat.
5 deposits later (3ish months in all), I almost say, screw it.
But I know. I know when they discover this error they will want their money. They may take my paycheck (now I know they can’t), they may drain my flex spending, they may take me to court. Whatever they decide to do, they will still want their money. So I move all that I still have to our savings account. I think I earned a few pennies while it sat there.
So at this point I’ve called maybe 8 times. On a lark, I say to myself, “Let’s just call again.” So I do.
Enter employee with common sense. Can I mention she sound like she’s from a big city? I can just tell this woman has her ducks in a row. I tell the story again, I explain again. I talk about the notes and the assurances and how it’s seems incredible that this money is supposed to be mine. And she listened. She thought it was crazy. She made me a call back ticket and kicked the problem to the finance department.
Not even a hour later I have to let a call go to voicemail (because I am teaching). The company has called be back with a different chirpy woman congratulating me on my integrity, my honesty, my ethics and how in two days they will be taking back the money they accidentally deposited and to not hesitate to call them back for details.
I mean, yeah I want details. How do you just deposit almost a grand into someone’s account?
I’m thinking, maybe I have a social security number almost perfectly like someone else’s, you know mine is xxx xx xxxk and theirs must be like xxx xx xxxl. Or maybe our account numbers with the company are like that, one number off.
So I call, ready to sympathize with the number mix up, only to discover another chirpy woman.
I do the basic pleasant “How do you do,” and ask if she has any notes about the current situation. I explain I know that they cannot tell me too much but I figure a number mix up is something that can be admitted.
Do you know what they tell me?!
“Well your name was similar to someone else’s. There was a mix up.”
“Wait. So they mixed up our names.”
“So my address, my account number, my checking account number, my actual social security number, all of these very unique identifiers were completely disregarded and they went by our names only when deciding to arrange deposits. Even though they had theses other identifiers, that I am told are crucial to identifying who I am with the company, the instead used or names. Even though when I call your company you will not allow me to speak with you without having to rattle off these other unique identifiers instead of just my name” (seriously I said this, without mercy, or remorse.)
“Yes, well you have to understand your names were very similar.”
Are you serious? I mean… Okay people. My name is Katherine Elizabeth. You put any darn last name you want behind there and I have the same name as hundreds of thousands of people. Just using my entire name, spelled the way it is, there must be fifty thousand or more. My name is as basic, as generic, as completely uninspired as a white person’s name from the south could possibly be.
I mean, I mean seriously. My name…. my name is similar! It is?!
Sorry. I was just. I mean. Honestly.
So realizing that I am dealing with a Winne the Pooh Conpany:
I explain that I am indeed ethical and amazing and all that stuff they said. However they also have to realize they told me it was my money. Not just once. But 7 or so times. You see that call log on me? Every time except the last I was told I could keep the money. Now you want it back. Well I spent the first deposit. You can have all your money back, please take it away, but you have to wait until I get paid in two weeks. I would be short the next month (I’ve been short the past two months actually, I had to borrow from family to make it through) but unless they want their withdrawal to bounce in two days, they better give me two weeks. And it’s not like they need my permission, they already explained they can reach in and snatch it at any time. So snatch it in two weeks.
She meekly said she would talk with the supervisors of the finical department. I thanked her and hung up.
At the end of the school day I had no messages. I wondered, did this mean they denied my request?
So I called. Again. And the woman that picked up this time said she saw a lot of notes on my account and while she wasn’t sure about the two-days-until-the-money-will-be-recouped note, she did see that there was a note that said they were making a withdrawal from my account on the first of the month.
And while that was nice to know wouldn’t you believe it, they took it out five or 6 days after the first if the month?
So ends the saga of the most idiotic bunch of nothing I was blessed to experience this year. I hope you derived as much hilarity from this situation as I felt in utter disbelief during the ordeal. Similar names indeed.
Somebody’s behind shoulda been fired, just sayin’.
It’s the routine of it all. To the left of the bed a nightstand, a glass of water a palm length away from the light switch. Slippers on the floor, just to the right of the stand. Walk 8 steps and there was a wingbacked chair with her robe over the back. Turn right, walk 5 steps pass the bed and into the bathroom. Immidately on the right was a sink with a mirror (which did her very little good), then 3 steps and a toilet, 3 more steps to a walk in shower. Towels are to the right of the shower, when exiting or of course to the left when facing.
Walking out from the bathroom keep walking straight, side step the chair, and it is twenty steps to the closet. The closet was divided into hanging space and shelving. Top shelf hats, midddle cubbies for long sleeved articles of the far left, middle short sleeved, right side tanks and camisoles divided into bins. Waist high bins with underwear and bras, again divided, but by color; next shelves casual pants and finally cubbies with shoes. Hanging articles were divided on the rod by circular clothing rod divders with Braille spelling out what was what. She wore only jewel tones, mostly solids, and mostly those colors for the sake of others. Honestly, how does she know which colors suit her more and less than others?
More counting got her to the living room and kitchen, there she had absolute order, it was almost regimental. Easy food, simple meals, quick and efficient. 8 steps to the refrigerator, 7 steps to the stove, 10 steps to the kitchen table, 15 steps to the closet for her coat, and lastly, her cane by the front door. That’s when the counting couldn’t be, well, counted on.
Once she left her apartment, walked 30 steps to the elevator, went to the ground floor and walked 15 steps out the front entrance… well, she knew she turned right and there was 3 city blocks to her bus stop to work. It rarely worked out in steps. Too many people and therefore too many variables. Too many voices loudly, talking about their days, nights, shifts, lives, steps and clomps and brisk clicks of heels hitting the pavement. More colors more blobs, tap, tap, tap.
“Watch the stick lady!” Some man shouted, followed by a shushing of his female companion, “Don’t say ‘watch’ Frank, she can’t, bless her heart.”
Sigh Indeed, bless her heart. “People,” she thought, “are aggravating.”
For all of her parent’s attempts at self reliance and independence, they left out a critical lesson, relationships with other people. Sure they had a fantastic relationship, it was just everyone else, she could not be more unable to connect. Either everyone only saw the stick and that’s all she was or decided that she “didn’t look blind,” and believed she was faking it for tax breaks, disability checks and the like. Except you know, you get screened and tested by actual doctors for these things. It’s not like they just take a person’s word for it.
No, she actually had a job. Yes, she supposed it did center around her blindness but it certainly wasn’t her entire being. It was this very job she was heading out to this morning.
She had several ways of identifying where she was going. The Mexican restaurant by the stop, she could smell the spices thick in the air, jalapeños and avocados… chilies and cumin… the hotdog vendor Joe, who insisted she needed to come home with him so she could meet his son.
“There’s my girl! You’re looking great today, I think this is the best outfit yet, perfect for meeting Mateo! He couldn’t say no to that pretty face! What do you say hija?!” Joe yelled at her as she approached the 3rd block in her trek to the bus stop.
“I say…. no Joe! You know I don’t like to be late for work. Mateo will just have to hear about today’s suit and dream.” She laughed at the absurdity. Everyday, it’s always the same.
“One day hija you will be calling me your ‘suegro’ mark me! I am always right! I have the third eye like mi abuela!” He hollered good naturedly as she passed. She didn’t get very far, and as always Joe left her alone once she reached her stop.
Her city was decked out, at least in the main thoroughfare, with chirping walk/ don’t walk signals. It was quite helpful for those on the way to the Sullivan School for the Blind and Visually Impared. This was where she worked, and taught. This school brought in quite a few families to the area specifically for the chance for their child to attend this school.
She was told that the school was a large sweeping complex with a smooth modern exterior. Lots of metal with smoothed, domed, and curved architecture. The school had very well kept grounds littered with sidewalks and comfortable places to read.
As for the decorations… well she wasn’t quite sure about that. She assumed that the inside of the school, especially the front section, was decorated much like a prep school in any part of the country would be. The halls however featured textured ribbons of smooth, bumpy, and rough sections along each wall. Many a teacher and student delighted running their fingertips casually across that cold surface on the way to class. Straight down the main hallway 167 steps, turn right, take another 76 steps and she was there.
Her classroom was enclosed almost entirely in glass, with arches that lead in and out of her room. The idea was, visitors could observe unobtrusively any lesson at anytime.
Her room was brightly lit with a deep blue carpet, spherical chairs surrounded multiple low tables topped with Perkins Brailers and iPads. Multiple half sized bookshelves lined two of her walls. She dropped her bag at her desk, and took out her laptop. She worked with students on enhancing their reading ability, which suited her very well. She loved reading, and sharing that with her students was the highlight of her day.
A pleasant tone reverberated down the halls letting her know the day had begun. Through PLCs, Planning periods, remediation periods and advanced reading classes, she pushed her young pupils further than they though possible. It was tiring work but completely worthwhile.
A good day of work behind her, she packed up her things and exited her room, trailing her freehand down the hall a bit, her leather messenger bag slung across her body and she tap, tap, tapped her way back out of the school.
It was still light, and using those lovely chirping crossing signals, she navigated her way to her other bus stop. There wasn’t any overly ambitious match making papas at this stop, but she had to cross 3 intersections, and walk 15 steps or so to feel around for the sign. As mentioned, once out of her home, counting was inaccurate.
As it was unfortunately today. She waited at the last crossing, waiting for the chirp to sound letting her know it was safe to walk. Though the chirp did sound and she did start to make her way across the intersection, it was unfortunately not as safe as anyone who was crossing would hope. As soon as she got half way across, she heard the grinding of gears, the squealing of tires and the unmistakable sound of metal hitting metal but not stopping. Dashing straight ahead, hoping in vain that she was going truly straight, that there was a sidewalk ahead, empty of twisted metal and glass, she ran. She hoped. Surging forward like some sort of awkward bear, she tripped and felt herself falling, cane flying, arms stretched out to catch her fall, the screeching of the tires getting closer. She heard people screaming and her own heart thumping madly, echoing in her chest.
She had never seen anything in focus. Blobs of amorphous colors and half imagined shapes- for what really are shapes? If you drew them on her palm were they any more real if she could never see them?
Faces didn’t match names only smells, touch, and sounds paired with colors and ever growing and changing smears of light.
Roses smelled like fresh dew and honey and felt like delicate cups of shaved velveteen.
Fresh laundry smelled like sun dried grass with lavender and felt like a hug.
She learned each thing by the smell of it, by the feel of it, and by the color of it. She never saw it really and her dreams would resemble a Monet painting magnified to far and too close.
She enjoyed all the things the world had to offer and she felt, heard, touched and smelled her way though what the world had to offer her.
She used a cane to tap, tap, tap out which way was what and often took advantage of her parent’s encouraging, but demanding, need for her to be independent, self sufficent and able bodied (but alas not able sighted!).
She had taken music lessons on the piano, at first by ear and then using the complex brail system favored by those of her circumstance. Thick scores were made thicker to accommodate the symbols necessary for her to literally feel the music.
She took self defense courses where no matter which way she was grabbed she could twist and contort without usually loosing her cane. People often thought she was blind as in there was absolute darkness in her sight, but like people, there are different types. She caught many a partner off guard when she was able to detect larger movements before she was grabbed.
Her parents encouraged play dates and outings to museums, children science centers and aquariums- all places that had hands on components where she could touch and touching was encouraged. She also enjoyed concerts (though outdoor venues were the best for the simple reason of being able to roll in the grass).
She grew up in the best possible way, not too coddled, not given too much or too little and she was loved.
And while that’s is all well and good, I’m afraid that’s the trouble with things, no matter how prepared someone can be made… it can be all for naught.
First a big thank you to VisionsofSolitude for participating and sharing this gem:
Gosh, my house is SO equal. Lol! Thanks for sharing!
Lighthearted and Funny
Brain Hull Breaks Tiana- impersonations
James Breakwell @XplodingUnicorn ‘s twitter has me cackling like an idiot:
Wicked Talented Folks (I find them relaxing!)
Mei Yu is an amazing artist!
Banana Jamana is also unreal!
You’ve probably seen this but Pentatonics and Todrick Hall’s Wizard of Ahhs
Don’t let others project their fears on you- Taraji Henson
Ohhhh the Comics
(Next 4 are tonedeafcomics.com)
(And the halrious Adam Ellis)
Manga for Dayyyyys
I have rediscovered my love for manga in these bite sized chapters on Webtoon
It has a good selection of genres, artistic styles, and interesting topics. Most series (if not already completed) update weekly and some feature original music by some talented musicians (not usually by the writers or illustrators, there seems to be a lot of collaboration going on, love it!) Check out Webtoons if you’re hankering for something good to read! (You can see some of my picks in the photo. Yup…)
That’s it for this week’s Media Mondays! I hoped you enjoyed this week’s offerings! Do you have any media you enjoyed this past week? Please share below and stay happy folks!