May 272016
 

Not a blonde woman. A blind woman.

My friend S and I were chatting. S is, other than my wife and L, my only pre-blog friend who actually has the URL. A number of friends know that it exists, but, to my knowledge, none knows the URL. So S clearly holds a privileged spot of trust in my pantheon of friends.

Anyway, we were chatting. First, about the BDS movement. Do you know what that is? I told him my main complaint about the movement is its lack of an “M.” He guffawed. Instantly.

We chatted about concerts, about a particular venue. We discovered we had been at the same Leonard Cohen concert a few years ago without knowing the other was there. Which is funny, because at that same concert, L was, totally coincidentally, seated in the seat next to mine.

“I saw Stevie Wonder there, too,” he said.

“I bet he didn’t see you,” I said. Not cleverly. Or sensitively.

I told S that I recently received an e-mail from a blind woman, closing with, “I’ll see you there.” In contrast to my Stevie Wonder insensitivity, my reaction to this e-mail was intellectually curious. I found myself thinking about that usage of the word “see,” about how much or little sight is actually implicated in the sort of “seeing” of this particular usage.

“How do you know she’s blind?” he asked. I explained that I’d met her. I’d interacted with her. Seen her cane. And her dog. I admitted to the possibility that she might just be faking it, but thought that extremely unlikely.

“How did she find out what you look like?” he asked. “Did she touch your face? Your body? Did she care?” I think he asked. But I’m not sure, because as his questions brought into focus what he was imagining, I became distracted by his mistaken assumptions.

“This wasn’t a DATE! It’s someone I met as me, not as N, in a thoroughly above-board, even professional context!”

Which got me thinking….

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