At the kickoff dinner for a five-week retreat in the Catskills, I said to my fellow writers, “I suck at being blind.”
This is only partly true. I’m good with the technology that allows me to be a writer, but I’m not so good at the mobility thing, which is where my sighted partner, Alabaster, comes in. I had work to do and didn’t want to waste time getting lost on the way to the dining hall, so I asked if I could bring him. They said yes.
I was the only blind person, the only disabled person, the only person to bring a companion, so it was understandable that people would ask, “How did you two meet?” But it bothered me that my fellow writers were more interested in my relationship than my work. As he and I told and retold our complicated history, we were pushed to the breaking point.
Before the age of 10, I had normal vision, and since my early 40s, I have been totally blind. During the decades of losing my sight, I was visually impaired.