Legally Blind – An embarrassment of riches

Today was a bad day.

Losing my sight in general isn’t something I can mark with big occasions. Sure, there was certainly my detached retina back in 2003 or so, but by and large it’s a long, incremental process. The last four years or so, I’ve begun losing my small reading vision. It’s not always possible for me on a day-to-day basis to read cooking instructions, dietary details, or pill bottles. I still have workarounds, thankfully – taking pictures with my phone helps a ton, and my family is great about assisting me when they’re around – so I don’t tend to notice or think about the loss of reading vision.

That has to change after today.

I went grocery shopping with my mom today. Nothing major, just our usual out-of-town shopping at Super 1 Foods, which is usually one of my favorite stores. I brought my cart full of stuff to the front, not really thinking about much as I ran my card through the machine. Nowadays I have to practically press my nose to most those machines to see the screens. It’s just a thing I have to do. Today it asked for my PIN. I entered it. And when I looked up to take my receipt, the clerk was holding out quite a large amount of cash and a fistful of change.

“What’s this?” I asked, smiling pleasantly.

The woman, sweet and extremely helpful, looked puzzled. “It’s the cash back you requested.”

The machine did not, in fact, ask me for my PIN.  It asked me how much cash back I needed.

Now, thankfully, this month has been an okay one financially. I could transfer some money around and get it covered, and I did – plus we made it home in time to deposit the money I withdrew back into the account, and it only cost me double humiliation of the pity on the clerk’s face at the store followed by the utter bafflement of the ladies I dealt with at the bank.

I’ve had a few drinks tonight. Some beer, some vodka. It’s the first time I’ve tied one on in a while. My poor mom thinks I’m angry at her or upset because she wasn’t around to help me with the debit card reader. She’s asked me, no joke, probably eight times tonight if I’m okay. And honestly, I don’t know how to comfort her on that one. I will be. Of course I will be. But I am humiliated by something completely out of my control. I am angry, not at her or anyone else, but at my condition, especially because this is just another day. There will be more unexpected humiliations like this. There already have been, stuff that makes me ill to think about. It’s one more thing I have to ask for help with. And you know what? That fucking sucks. There’s no way to sugarcoat that. Today was an absolute crap day. Tomorrow will be better and I will adapt. I always do.

But today, I get to feel alone in a spectacularly shitty way. And there is nothing to do but grit my teeth and take the beating.

Screw you, eyes.

Author: therealcamlowe

Writer, occasional victim of pug crop-dusting.

7 thoughts on “Legally Blind – An embarrassment of riches”

  1. Hey Cam, just to let you know I still think you are the best. Hey remember that snowstorm we got caught in coming back from Helena. It took us forever to get home that day. You couldn’t see and neither could I. I think we both thought we were never going to get there but we did. We just had to keep driving very slow and steady and have faith we were going to make it. We did. I was concerned your mom would be worried and when I dropped you off she said to me that she knew you were with me so you were ok. I was so impressed with her faith in me. You will get over this bump and bad day. There is always tomorrow. We have to have those days that really suck so that we appreciate the good days. Every time I am driving in a storm I remember that day and just remind myself that with patience, perseverance and a little faith I can make it. You can make it too. Love you and hope your day is better tomorrow.


    1. Thanks so much. I really appreciate the thought. And with a couple days retrospective, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

      And yes, that storm! Ugh. Still one of the worst I’ve ever seen. I went on to write a scene inspired by it in my book Bone Carvers.

      Anyways, hope all is well and you are doing great. Thanks again for the kind words.


  2. Mr. Lowe, I purchased Ghost at His Back from you when I was at the Red Ants Festival. It is a great story. I have since purchased the rest of the series and am working my way through them. I just wanted to tell you that it is nice to find a writer that keeps a person interested in their books. I have given the first book to my daughter, she said she would post about it on face book (I don’t do social media). Please keep up the good work and best of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

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