It’s been 18 months since I lost my sight completely. Ever since this event happened my perception of things has changed. I’m mostly talking about the perception given by visual images.
I don’t remember how I look like anymore. At times, I have flashes of images of myself, but if I were to describe myself now, I would not be able to. There are moments when I place my hands on my body, but even if I know it is there, I can’t describe it or even imagine it. Ok… This is my right leg. It’s short. There is no hair. I removed it this morning. I’m going up. This is a belly. It is very much reduced, but there is some of it left, though. I’m going up, but I will obviously avoid describing the perception that I have of my upper body parts. However, on numerous occasions my hands rest perfectly right there. But let me move on to the face. I have a pair of lips. There is a disgusting zit bellow the lower lip on the left. . But I get a zit or two once every few months, so it’s ok. Otherwise, I don’t feel anything else weird on my face. Does that mean it is healthy? I’m pinching my nose. I can’t describe its shape. I do remember that I have a small nose, though. There is a pair of eyes too. Their color and the length of my eyelashes are absolutely useless things now. But what about my hair? I have always hated having bangs. Yet, that’s how I’ve been wearing my hair for the past months. A lot of random body parts. So I’ll try to put them all together. Sorry, I still am unable to picture myself.
I remember that one day, at Jiko, when Miki, one of the therapists, asked me whether I had any perception of their physical appearance.
“Not really”, I said. “To me, every new person that I meet is an entity with a voice.”
“What do you mean?” she said.
“Well, the perception of physical bodies is not as strong as before losing my sight, unless people get VERY close to me, which seldom happens. I’m slowly forgetting the concept of body. I am even unaware of my own skin, in which I have to live.”
She did not answer me back.
“But how about Sensei”, she insisted. “Can you describe him?”
I thought for a moment or two and said:
“He is a GUY”, and stopped.
“Very good observation”, added Miki. “But is that all?”
I thought harder, gathered my thoughts and concluded:
“Yep, that’s pretty much all.”
Sometimes, when I meet a new person, we will shake hands. Other times, they will put their hands on my shoulders or on my back or even on my head. Quite often they will pinch my cheeks or my nose. There are times when people will bump into me on the streets, by mistake. Over the last five minutes I’ve been thinking of any other form of physical contact that I have with other people, but I believe that this is very much all of it (I’m excluding mom, dad and the big red haired fox) :). I do get hugs every now and then and some guys allow me to touch their faces which I love because they have beards.
Ok … So what do I want to say with this post? Nothing, really. I just wanted to write something, because I haven’t done so in 6 months.
Do you know what great four ways to get in contact with another human body, where everything will take shape, size, length, width and so on, especially when you are blind, are? They are: hugging, sports, dancing and love making. I am, of course, forgetting one other way, which is when someone is beating the crap out of you.
What is a body anyway?