Blind mans bluff

To a large degree I feel comfortable about the prospect of going blind. I would prefer if it did not happen; however, the world will not end if it does, although the reduced independence would be somewhat bothersome.

Occasionally I chat with friends about this subject. Comparisons start to come into play. For me, my hearing is infinitely more valuable than my sight. Hearing is conversation and music. Need I say more? 

I am also quite fond of the whole concept of putting one foot in front of another and going for a walk. Not so easy for those in wheelchairs.

On the positive side of things, being vision impaired has introduced me to many people and activities that I otherwise would not have encountered. In particular, skiing. To me vision impaired skiing stands as a beacon as to how life could be. Fully sighted people freely giving their time and energy to assist those of us who are a little different. Human beings working together.

On the less positive side of the fence there are times when being vision impaired does prove to be nothing more than a downright nuisance. 

Rainy evenings in the city are not my favourite. Standing at six feet small, I am at an ideal height to be on the receiving end of the lethal weapon of mass destruction that is otherwise known as an umbrella. On these soggy evenings the good citizens of Dublin tend not to dilly dally too much. Bad news for me.

Street furniture is another one of my pet disagreements with the upstanding traders of our capital city. I am very much in favour of outside seating for bars and cafes. My issue is when the boat gets pushed out too far. If you’re that keen on Australia, I humbly suggest taking a plane.

Elections and referenda fall into a similar category for this particular vision impaired musician / skier. My issue here is election posters and the height at which they are erected. Is it too much to ask that these items are placed at a height of six and a half feet and over? When I want a haircut I go to my cousin’s hairdressing salon. He looks after me very well.

Technology is a great friend to the vision impaired / blind community. Audio described cinema and voice over / speech recognition phones being just two examples. Not so friendly are the fully sighted individuals who insist on glueing their faces to their smart phones as they walk.

Finding a vision impaired friendly pub in Dublin can be something of an issue. Our capital city is blessed with many great pubs. Unfortunately, a good number of them are dark, have various crooks  and nannies, and toilets with marathon-like approaches. Non merci. 

A good pub, to my mind, is one where there are no steps to negotiate, is well lit, has a simple layout, an easily accessible toilet and staff who understand the meaning of my good friend, the white cane.

Fortunately, there are one or two establishments that fall into this category. Conveniently, one such place has a pair of lanterns that adorn the entrance. At night they act as magnetic-like beacons to guide stray two legged ships such as my good self safely into porter.

Not forgetting the saga that is shopping for clothes. I do accept the fact that  If I were to choose to completely reject this aspect of life then there is every chance I will be strolling the streets of our capital city in a naturist-type manner. Me, my cane and not a lot else. There are only so many things that society is capable of handling. 

So, from time to time, after much deep breathing and many weeks of yoga and mindfulness as preparation for the trauma ahead, I cross the line from the relative calm of the outside world and venture forth into the helter skelter existence that is the land of shops. 

Narrow spaces, stock hanging out of ceilings, finding required items, staff who struggle to comprehend the meaning of a white cane are the main issues. Quite a large sigh of relief seems to exhale from my lungs as soon as my expedition concludes.

So that’s the way the cookie crumbles. The pro’s and the con’s of vision impaired city life. So is my glass half full or half empty?

Rhetorical questions, who needs them?

Thank you for the music

A few years ago I attended a public interview with Ennio Morrricone, the renowned Italian film music composer. I am a huge Morricone fan. For me he has composed some of the most beautiful music ever heard. The soundtracks for ‘Once upon a time in America’, ‘The Mission’ and ‘Cinema Paradiso’ are my personal favourites.

When it seemed the interview was over, the great man spoke briefly to his translator. She turned to the audience and said that the Maestro would like to say one more thing: the music is there to take you to a place that is not there. The definitive definition. Music is magic.

I took early retirement from my employment with Dublin City Council some years ago. The first half of my career was office work, the second half involved working with homeless people. I loved my time in Homeless Services; however, I eventually ran out of steam there, started to feel that my fire needed a bit of fresh fuel from a different source and that I needed a new challenge. So I quit.

I exercised my right to retire early on medical grounds due to diminishing eyesight.

I was 46.

A bit young to call it a day, I hear you cry and I too questioned the wisdom of my decision many times. After an initial honeymoon period where everything seemed close to bliss, I then settled down to the stark reality of rebuilding my life without a job at the core.

There were some dark times. Times when motivation levels were less than ideal. I had some ideas for my rebuilding project but nothing set in stone. As things unfolded, there were definitely times when it seemed the stones were rolling a bit too much. All very well for Mick, Keith and the lads. I’m more of a Fab Four man myself.

Then I found music. I had long been a buyer of vinyl albums and then cds, and a regular concert goer; however, I had never made a concerted effort to learn how to play an instrument.

On foot of being a regular attendee at the jazz gigs in JJ Smyths of Aungier Street I decided to try my hand at alto saxophone. With the assistance of my teacher Gavin I made some progress. After a year or so on the sax I decided to try my hand at the clarinet. For a while, I played both but then settled on the softer tone of the clarinet.

One of my favourite pieces of music is a classical guitar ditty called ‘Cavatina’. It features in the film ‘The Deer Hunter’. This prompted me to take a stroll down Guitar Road. Or rather attempt to climb Guitar Everest. Classical guitar is demanding and progress is slow. My teacher Pat is a patient man.

I started attending and organising music sessions in which musicians of all abilities were welcome to play or sing a piece. I began to see the benefits of what I was doing with my time. Music works on many levels. It is therapeutic, it brings people together, it’s a never ending learning curve.

A thought occurred to me – if music works this well for me then surely it can be beneficial to other vision impaired and blind people.

Four years ago, I co-founded a music school for blind and vision impaired people. I am happy to say the school is still in existence, provides tuition in guitar, piano, harmonica, clarinet and tin whistle, and also has a choir.

My involvement with the school prompted me to tinkle the ivories with resident tutor John, and I am now the proud possessor of a full size electronic keyboard. Along with the encouragement of a good friend, the school also got me started on harmonica. Maestro Michael is my harmonica guiding light.

So there you have it. My musical life. A four pronged attack. I’m coming at it from all corners. Slowly but surely I’m climbing the Musical Mountain.

Carnegie Hall gets closer by the day!

Disability drama

Life in the vision impaired lane can be a little dramatic from time to time. Walking into a pole, missing a step or kerb, occasionally colliding with a toddler; something which is usually followed by much not so harmonious wailing. Why do young children insist on being so small and so vociferous? Really.

A few years ago I decided to inject a little additional drama into my humble existence by joining a group with the slightly aggressive title of Smashing Barriers (SB). SB is a drama collective with a difference. It consists entirely of people who are either impaired or disabled, physical and mental.

The name of the group refers to the barriers that are faced by disabled and impaired people when it comes to the whole business of daily living. The barrier of accessing a building with no ramp, for someone in a wheelchair. The barrier of safely crossing a street, for someone who is blind. The barrier of attitude towards those of us who are a little different.

The goal of SB is to break down these obstacles by demonstrating through drama that those of us with impairments and disabilities are not all that different from the able bodied populace. A little different, yes, but not hugely so.

The group was founded by a very determined young lady by the name of Maureen Mc Govern. One of the many strings to Maureen’s bow is that she is a wheelchair user.

The group is managed by another very determined young lady, Kate Harris. It was Kate’s job to bring together a disparate group of impaired and disabled people with a view to putting on stage a full length play. Daunting challenge.Rather her than me.

SB started in 2016. It met for weekly workshops in Ballyfermot, a Southside Dublin suburb. Initially quite a large group of approximately 25, it whittled down to a hardcore of around 15.

Slowly, and sometimes not so surely, we started to work well together as a group. A series of sketches were developed and successfully performed at the Scene and Heard festival in Smock Alley theatre in 2017. It was a great thrill for the group to perform live on stage.

Then came the small matter of developing a full length play. No picnic. Not even a walk in the park. Ideas from within the group were tossed back and forth, up and down, hither and thither, until a story was settled upon.

The play eventually acquired the title ‘Dead or alive’, as in ‘Wanted; dead or alive’. It concerns a group of disabled and impaired people who take it on themselves to relieve their local credit union of some coloured pieces of paper with a view to escaping the clutches of the Health authorities, who are intent on shipping the group off to some sort of purpose built village in the heart of Connemara. Nothing against the good folk of Connemara and the very beautiful west of Ireland; it’s just that our gang didn’t fancy it.

Additional help was enlisted for music, video, voice projection and movement. A professional approach. Doc was our music maestro, guiding us through the three songs in the play and providing some atmospheric piano playing. Jordan was our voice coach, ensuring we were heard all the way from Ballyfermot to Ballydehob. Jenny had us moving better than Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Jasko was our tech wizard. George Lucas, eat your heart out.

The play has been performed on three occasions. Each time to standing ovations. The fact that the audience each time consisted mostly of family and friends may have had something to do with the rapturous reception. I prefer to think we were just brill.

Subject to confirmation of funding, (the dreaded money thing), ‘Dead or alive’ is going on tour to Tallaght and Ballymun in Dublin, in November and December, and one other venue to be confirmed. Miss it if you dare.

Broadway here we come!

Sorrento by dusk

Sorrento is a beautiful place. Assuming that you can see it. My own eyesight is a little bit restricted so I can appreciate the beauty of Sorrento. In a restricted way.

A few months ago I signed up for a week in Sorrento with a travel company by the name of Traveleyes. As the name suggests Traveleyes specialises in holidays for the blind and vision impaired. Given that my own dusky, tunnel vision eyesight falls into the latter category, I paid my money and I opted for the Italian Riviera.

Kick off was the easyJet check in area at Gatwick North, meeting at 16.30, flying at 19.05. Nice times. The tour rep, Caroll, calls me the day before departure to confirm the meeting time in Gatwick. So far so good.

Introduction meeting in Gatwick goes well. Our group is 20 in total , ten sighted helpers , nine Vision Impaired (VI) travellers and Caroll . Three of the VI’s are from Germany and will make their own way to Sorrento. All bar one of the helpers has previous experience of VI guiding .Caroll does a little demonstration around standard guiding procedures with one of the VI’s, John. All is well , ready to bonjourno and roll.

Delayed flight means arrival at Sorrento in the early hours and a swift departure to room and bed.

First morning and my sighted breakfast partner for the week, Hannah, calls for me and my roommate John.

Negotiating a hotel breakfast buffet as a VI can be something of a challenging experience. Which is where Hannah comes in. Faithful servant that she is, she deposits me at a table and goes in search of coffee, bread, ham and cheese.

Breakfast done and devoured, its time for a walking tour of Sorrento with my guide for the day, Susan.

Vi guiding is a two way street. The guide needs to be alert to potential hazards (steps, traffic) and the VI needs to be attentive and trusting.

When it comes to the whole matter of town planning I feel confident in saying that vision impairment was not high on the priority list for the good folk of Sorrento.

Footpaths are narrow and often come to an unexpected end. They are frequently dotted by very ornate but also very large lamppost ‘s, thereby reducing further the already limited walking space. Bushes and trees regularly overhang walls.

Highlight of the day was a visit to the local limoncello outlet. A guided tour of the garden was followed by a very pleasant sampling of the various delights on offer. I can strongly recommend the mandarin.

Day two was a cooking course for some, a free day for others. Given that the good citizens of Marks and Spencer cater for the vast majority of my needs in this area of existence, I felt no desire to enhance my culinary skills.

So it was a free day with my guide for the day Helen. After a pleasant tea and chat with my roommate John and his guide, Catherine, it was off to the beach for a dip in the Mediterranean.

The sea water in Sorrento is warm, clear, buoyant and very beautiful, which made for an enchanting swim.

Day three brought a visit to the metropolis of Pompeii. It all seems a little unfinished in this particularly old town.

I do hope they someday complete all the various construction projects that are currently in progress. Getting around Pompeii, with my guide Jane, was surprisingly stress free. Town planners of Sorrento, take note.

Day four was a free day. With a hint of thunderstorms in the air, myself and John opted for a wander around the pedestrian area of Sorrento with the idea of ducking into a bar or cafe should the heavens decide to descend upon us. Our guides Tracey and Sue took very good care of us as we happily meandered from cafe to church to cafe to shops and back to our starting cafe. The town planners got it right here.

Day five and we were off to Capri. Sue was the lucky lady who had the dubious honour of escorting me around. A short minibus ride, a bumpy sea crossing and we’re there. Tourism is pretty much the only industry in Capri so it was filled with lovely shops and cafes. Highlight of the day was a chair lift across the top of the island with beautiful views below.

Day six was another free day and so it was off to Amalfi After a stopping/starting/horn honking bus journey we arrive.

Energy levels were a little low so it was a cafe day for myself and John whilst the ladies explored the shops. Evening time back in Sorrento brought a very enjoyable evening with the local Three Tenors. A lovely way to end the week.

So there you have it. Sorrento by dusk by Traveleyes. The hotel was quirky, the group diverse. Personal highlights were the ever so slightly liquid lunch with John, Tracey and Sue, and also sharing a room with John. We hit it off and will most likely cross swords again.

So will I go with Traveleyes again? Few things in life are for certain. But I do think I will keep an eye on their website. Just to see what they have on offer.

And lo and behold, I’ve noticed they have a very nice sounding walking trip to the Algarve coming up soon.

All of a sudden, my feet feel strangely itchy.

Brexit and Boris

It started on 23 June 2016. Three and a quarter years ago. It feels like 33 years. Maybe 103. Actually 1003.

Brexit matters. It will affect many people. Jobs will be lost. It may well lead to a return of border controls within the island of Ireland. Something we thought we were forever finished with.

When I was of an age that I didn’t have any grey hairs, the six counties that constitute Northern Ireland seemed like a foreign universe. Regular bombs and murders meant that it was a place which was not on the bucket list of people in the South when it came to things to do and places to see.

The Good Friday Agreement of April 1998 changed all that. It did not completely end the violence but it was a huge step in the right direction.

The three main architects of the Agreement were Bertie Ahern, Tony Blair and Bill Clinton. All three are politicians with questionable legacies. Yet when it came to the possibility of bringing peace to a troubled land, their efforts were unstinting and they got their reward.

Which brings me to Boris Johnson.

Times of crisis require visionary leadership. Boris is the man tasked with providing this leadership. Perhaps he has mistaken the word shambolic for visionary.

Sackings, resignations, parliamentary defeats, not wanting an election at the start of a week, demanding one days later..

The UK is no longer a country of Tories, Labour and others. It’s a country of Leave and Remain.

Every crisis has an inbuilt opportunity within it. Brexit provides an opportunity for a political hero to step forward into the Grand Canyon like divide. Cometh the hour, cometh the man.

Boris Johnson is not that man.

The Dubs and Kerry

I’m a Dub. Born and bred. Lived in Dublin all my life. All of which makes my decision to place a bet on Kerry to win this years All Ireland football final against Dublin seem a little strange.

Sport is one of life’s great inventions. It has the ability to take us out of our day to day existence and transport us off to a different world, where we engage in passionate conversation and debate with friends and strangers alike around the perceived rights and wrongs of any given sporting incident. The beauty of the conversation is the differing opinions that exist. Nothing is absolute.

So why did I place a bet on Kerry to beat Dublin?

It goes to something that I call ‘The Steve Davis Syndrome’.

When I was a younger lad than I am now, the game of snooker was all the rage. It was filled with absorbing characters that I, and many of my friends, identified with.

Alex ‘hurricane’ Higgins, the swashbuckling, unpredictable genius. Jimmy ‘whirlwind’ White the greatest male bridesmaid never to make it to the top table of the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, home of the annual snooker World Championship. Bill ‘beer guzzling’ Werbenuik, Ray ‘dracula’ Reardon, steady Eddie Charlton, Cliff ‘the grinder’ Thorburn (‘grinder’ had a different meaning back then!).

And then there was Steve Davis. The robot. The ice man. He never seemed to lose.

Until one fateful evening in April 1985 when he faced up to one Denis Taylor from Northern Ireland in that year’s World Championship final.

Taylor was good but not great. Davis was the king and when he strode into a 8-0 lead, it looked like it was all over.

It seemed the entire world tuned in as Taylor slowly clawed his way back into contention, frame by frame.

Until the scor reached 17-17.

The deciding frame.

It went down to the very last black ball. Davis had his chance, missed. Taylor stepped up and knocked it in.

The King was dethroned. The underdog had taken the day.

All of which brings me back to Dublin v Kerry, September 2019. Arguably, the current Dublin team are the greatest of all time and have won the last four All Ireland’s.

Kerry, the overall leader in terms of All Ireland’s won, stand in their way.

Dublin are akin to Steve Davis, Kerry are Denis Taylor. Who to choose? My upbringing says blue, my underdog leaning says green and gold. The latter argument won out, so I paid my money, made my choice and I will be shouting for the men from the Southwest come the big day.

Come on The Kingdom!

Liverpool, United, Spurs and the rest

Most Irish soccer fans are happy when the English football team are beaten. Most likely it’s the whole ‘800 years of oppression’ thing, which is actually something of a myth. 400 years is actually closer to the mark. What’s 400 years between friends?

So why is it that Irish soccer fans are so taken by English football clubs?

My own affiliation is with Liverpool. Geographically Dublin and Liverpool are quite close to each other. A ferry service has operated between the two cities for many years in order to transport people and vehicles from one side of the dividing swimming pool to the other.

So maybe this was a factor in my choice. More likely is the fact that Liverpool were doing well when I was young.

The earliest memory I have of my devotion to the ‘Pool dates back to 1976. The final league game of the season, Wolves were the opponents. The mighty Reds needed to win in order to secure the league time.

Out came my old Bush radio as I tuned into the BBC. Medium wave was the way to go back then as I moved between 693 and 909 in search of the clearest reception. Wolves took the lead but Liverpool hit back to win 3-1. Happiness.

The following season Liverpool retained the league title. They also made it to the finals of both the FA and European Cups.

First up was the auld enemy Manchester United in the FA Cup Final. United struck first through Stuart Pearson. Jimmy Case equalised for the ‘Pool. And then a combined effort from Lou Macaro’s boot and Jimmy Greenhoff’s chest somehow contrived to get the ball Ray Clemence for a United winner.

Depression.

Four days later Liverpool lift the European Cup for the first time in their history in Kevin Keegan’s’ final game for the club.

Return to happiness.

And so it goes on. The agony and the ecstasy of it all.

Similar stories can be told by United fans, Spurs fans and fans of all colours and persuasion.

Which brings me back to my original question; why do we do it? We have a League of Ireland here but support for it and interest in it is minimal compared to events across the water. The supposed glamour of the English League is certainly one factor. Irish players in English teams is another.

Whatever the reasons are, it does seem a little odd for a country that fought many battles and lost many lives in order to oust the English to now find itself a little obsessed with English football.

Quite frankly, the whole thing is somewhat revolting. So revolting that I think I might just have a quick peek at the upcoming Premier League fixtures. Always good for a little pub conversation.

Change and adjustment

Along with death and taxes, there is one other thing that is an absolute certainty in life and that is change.

Once upon a time, I was quite a keen golfer. Nothing brilliant, but respectable. On a good day I could get around in the low eighties, on a bad day I might drift into three figures, and probably a pint or two afterwards to ease the pain.

In recent years I don’t play so much, partly due to diminishing eyesight, also to do with my new found love of learning how to play several musical instruments (current count is four, classical guitar, piano, harmonica and clarinet). One man bands on Grafton Street beware, you will shortly have competition.

Until recently my golf clubs were happily gathering dust in my hallway. Then I accepted an offer to play in an Ireland v U.K. match with some friends that I hadn’t seen for a while.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, weekend away, bit of golf, nice hotel, catching up with old friends.

Then I went for a practice round with three of the Irish team and discovered not only how poor my golf was but also how dependent I was when it came to getting around the golf course. All had changed, changed utterly.

Now the whole idea of wrapping an iron rod, otherwise known as a golf club, around the back of your head and then somehow expecting this rod to unwind downwards towards the ground and impact with a small white spherical object, otherwise known as a golf ball, at a very precise angle is something that does seem to be a little nonsensical.

However, it is something that can make a person very rich if you happen to become very good at it. Apparently it is also something that can turn a happily married man into a serial womaniser but that’s another story.

In short my practice round was close to embarrassing. Shots went in directions that I didn’t know existed. Where exactly is east of oblivion anyway? On top of all that spraying of golf balls to various dark corners of the solar system was the dependency thing.

I have become accustomed to increased dependence as my tunnel vision eyesight has steadily deteriorated over the years. I keep wondering what exactly that light of the end of the tunnel actually is. Maybe it really is an oncoming train after all.

What I had not become accustomed to was the high level of dependency on the golf course that I experienced that day.

On the rare occasions that I play these days it is usually with Irish Blind Golf and I have a fully sighted guide to assist me.

This time I did not have my own guide and it showed. Many things became issues; the low sun which reduced my sight even further, overhanging trees and bushes which threatened my curly locks not to mention my besieged brain, low ropes protecting wet areas of the course became trip hazards, even just re-finding my golf bag when walking from a green was an issue. My playing partners were great but it was an eye opener, in a manner of speaking.

The Ireland v U.K. match was played in The Belfry, a famous Ryder Cup venue near Birmingham. It was great to catch up with some old friends and nice to play some historic golf holes.

The Belfry is a very impressive golf venue. The hotel is nice but has a strange sprawling design akin to a maze. Getting back to my room at the end of the night and then to the breakfast room in the morning was not a straight forward operation. I was grateful to my roommate for his assistance at these times. I was not so appreciative of him when it came to sleep time and some strange noises could be heard from his side of the room. I can say without fear of contradiction that sleeping in a hotel corridor is uncomfortable. It would appear that it is also not allowed.

For the record the match was drawn 6-6, with the Irish team retaining the bragging rights as we were defending champions. I assisted in one of the winning points and played a little better than expected, mainly thanks to a golf lesson I received a few days before departure.

The moral of the story? Life, to a large degree, is an exercise in change and adjustment. Every single thing around us is in a constant state of change; the weather, our bank balance, our bodies. I just happen to be very slowly going blind. One of the adjustments I appear to be making is to replace my golf clubs with my musical instruments.

Now where did I leave that piano?

What is with cyclists?

As someone who regularly strolls around the streets of our capital city with my white cane for company, I have come to the conclusion that on one of these fine days, or more likely not so fine days, a cyclist will get me. Take me out. Ambulance. A & E. High dependency unit. Intensive care. Hospital mortuary. Funeral home. Crematorium. Solicitors office. The will . The lot.

In short I feel doomed.

Now you would be well within your rights to tell me I’m overreacting a little or that I have a tendency to see things a tiny bit on the dark side or that perhaps I’ve been having a few too many pints with that Darth Vader bloke (he’s a divil for a pint or two). And that I really do need to get out a little more often.

So here’s the rub: I actually do get out quite often. I am a regular walker on the Clontarf seafront and in the great facility that is the Phoenix Park and an even more regular stroller across town from my apartment near Ha’penny Bridge to Chatham Street, where I have been known to occasionally darken the door of a particular licensed premises on that pleasant little avenue.

And when I venture forth on these epic journeys, taking my life in my hands, making my way across city streets having received the nod of approval from the relevant green man, it is the demonically possessed individuals on two wheels that I fear the most.

The drivers of motorised vehicles, for the most part, appear to me to be in possession of the vast majority of their mental faculties. They give every impression of being quite civilised individuals. At times they even stop when they don’t have to in order to let me cross.The kind of people that I often converse with in my chosen licensed premise, normal people, if such a thing does actually exist. On the flip side of that particular 50 cent coin, exists those strange species on two wheels, otherwise known as cyclists. They are quite a different kettle of shark.

It seems to me they are permanently in a hurry, possibly on the point of giving birth and in search of the nearest maternity ward. Even the men. So why do they do it? Is it actually the case that they really are all pregnant and on the cusp of delivery? Maybe they have gotten wind of some life enhancing event that requires their immediate attendance. Or maybe, just maybe, they feel that traffic laws don’t apply to them. These laws are only for those other law abiding suckers such as drivers and pedestrians.

In a previous life, I was a cyclist. In and out to work in the city centre from Dublin’s northside, and the occasional cycling holiday. Diminishing eyesight meant a change of practice. Often I would miss the occasional articulated lorry when out and about on the bike, so eventually the time came when I put my trusty Raleigh Merlin out to pasture and embraced the wondrous world of public transport. There is only one winner in an argument between an articulated lorry and a bicycle.

These days cycling for me is a spin on a tandem in the Phoenix Park with my friends John and Sandro and a very pleasant coffee in the lakeside cafe at Farmleigh House.

In my day, I was not by any means the perfect, law abiding cyclist. Occasionally red lights at t-junctions were ignored, but for the most part I towed the line. A far cry from the current crop of madmen and women on two wheels. I have lost track of the number of times they have whizzed past my nose when I have the right of way.

There are times when I get a little angry. Times when thoughts of revenge float through my mind. Times when I consider alternative uses for my white cane. Times when I wonder what exactly might happen were my cane to somehow become accidentally on purpose entangled with a cyclists wheel. Not that I would ever do such a thing.

It’s just a thought. An extremely tempting thought.

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