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Blind Job Interview – Blind Alien Nation 3

Another installment from my bitchy essay about blindness. It should be noted that this incident I’m describing, and the writing about the incident, took place before I took organic chemistry and discovered that it was my academic subject soulmate.

Blindness_blogIt affects everything. As a blind person, you quickly learn all the coded ways that potential employers dress up, “I won’t hire you because you’re blind,” or the coded way potential dates dress up, “I don’t want to go out with you because you’re blind.” It often doesn’t matter how well you present yourself, how positive and open you are about discussing your blindness and showing that you do and feel and are the same things as other humans. There are still countless ways that people deny your full human dignity.

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Blind Dating – Blind Alien Nation 2

This section directly follows the first segment from this essay.

Color-Blindness-Image-Google-Images-ArchiveA few months ago, a similar thing happened to me. I was out at an event with some friends, including a guy I had a met few times, had lots of great talks with, and who was, that evening, flirting with me. To some extent he knew me, knew about my blindness, had seen me at several different events and get-togethers before this. That night, our group took a bathroom break and the guy asked me, “Do you need help in there?”

The crazy part? This was not a total anomaly. It’s happened before this particular instance. And will probably happen since.

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The Simple Things in Life – Blind Alien Nation 1

cristina-blind-man-descending-stairsA few months ago, I was talking to a blind friend and mentor. She’s a practicing naturopath who teaches seminars for other naturopaths about thyroid conditions, depression and biochemistry. I asked her if she ever got sick of people making a big deal about how amazing she is to have gotten where she is while being totally blind. She said no. She said it was a big challenge, a career that’s challenging even for people who are fully sighted, and she had to work hard for it. “What does get to me,” she said, “is when people make a huge deal about me doing things like climbing a flight of stairs without falling. I’ve been doing stairs my whole life.”

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Miss You, Love

Our talk turns to crushes. “I just miss that feeling, you know?” I say. “Like when you’re just so alive that even when it hurts you’re just glad you can feel. I miss the excitement.”

Jillian says, “My friend Emily calls it the ketchup phase.”

“Catching up with what?” I ask, uncertain.

“Well, because it’s like, when you first fall for someone, they’re all you think about. No matter what the subject, it reminds you of them. Someone could say, ‘pass the ketchup,’ and your first thought is, oh wow, my guy likes ketchup too.”

I sigh. “Yes, that’s what I miss, the ketchup phase. I hope I’m not too old or numb.”

~~~

A tiny little conversational snippet from Moonchild. It took place almost fifteen (!!!) years ago, this talk, but the funny thing is that I feel a little bit of that at the current moment, too. And wow, the topic of passion, in so many different forms, keeps coming up in the manuscript. It may be more of an underlying theme in Moonchild than I realized.

Check out other Samples, Published and Early Work!

~EJ

All of Our Rubbish Dreams

hsbguitarplayingSome moments are crystallized in memory, even if they are ordinary.

I remember one early evening in the springtime of ninth grade, I was sitting on the arm of the couch, which Mom hated, and wearing my Hole t-shirt with the heart logo, probably the band I loved that Mom hated most, and she stood by the stove getting ready for dinner. I was watching MTV–this is when they still played videos all the time–and singing along. Low spring light came in from the window near the TV and left big fans of light on the rug that stretched all the way to the kitchen where Mom stirred frozen vegetables in a pan.

“So, Emilia,” she said, and I could tell by the way she wasn’t turning towards me, the way she was trying too hard to sound like a thought just occurred to her, that whatever was coming, she’d worked herself up to it. But I didn’t move my gaze from the TV. “What do you want to be when you’re older?”

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When You’re Eighteen with Crippling Writers Block, Music Can Set You Free

EMindexInstead of sitting down to absorb the album, I let it trickle in, play it over and over while I read my astronomy textbook, when I doodle in my journal hoping to come up with story ideas for my creative writing class, when I’m on the phone, when I’m reading books and when Jillian comes over to chill.

One night I sit on my inflatable chair writing away in my journal with half my mind on the page and half with the music. As I try to think up story ideas, a song called “Moonchild” starts, launching me into the ether in its intro. Something about the words, the singing, though I don’t know it by heart yet, makes me feel at all like my old vibrant self, or at least its shadow. By the time I get to the bridge, the song stops me in my tracks, using my foot absentmindedly against my bed to rock my chair. I have the seed of a story idea.

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When You’re Eighteen with Crippling Writer’s Block and Rehashing Old Relationships

writers-block21I try to have crushes, because it’s one thing I’ve always done without much prompting, and if my most recent breakup shut me down, then what better than infatuation to open me back up. I don’t care if I get burned. In fact it might be better that way.

I rehash all the things I told myself when Nick and I started going out. I thought then that I was enlightened, that all my previous pain was acceptable because it helped me get to that precious present moment. Nick was very practical. When I had problems with my parents—which I wasn’t supposed to have because I was enlightened, but which I did, because I always did, and because I was a teenager and they still treated me like I was twelve—we approached it in very rational, spiritually advanced ways. I wasn’t supposed to get mad, or let it bother me much or dare dwell on it, Nick kept reminding me.

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