Adding a few details missing from the "Yes, I Am" post from a few days ago.
This is my secret - and I've no doubt that I'll regret the words that follow - but here goes...
The missing word from the title of that post is blind. Yes, I Am Blind. Legally blind anyway. It's the sort of thing people don't notice because of the nature of my vision... With correction, I am 20/200 to 20/250, but I fake it to look as though I'm just like everyone else. I fake it because I can. In fact, I've been faking it for so long that sometimes it's hard not to.
The "Yes, I am" post was as much about my vision as it was about other people's reaction to it - though I never got to writing that part of the story - probably because that's the hardest part to write... but here it is in short form.
I was on a date.
I'd met a woman in the fall of 2003 and we had a few dates, but nothing came of it. A year later, as I stepped onto the streetcar, there she was. Of course, she recognized me long before I was close enough to recognize her. We chatted until we reached her streetcar stop. Before exiting the train, she asked me on another date. Truth be told, I really liked her... and now, here she was asking me on a date.
We went on that date and had a lovely time. She asked me to join her and a few of her friends the next Saturday for an afternoon around town. We ended up at a restaurant I'd never been to before. I excused myself from our table to use the restroom. On my way back, I got lost for just a moment, though it felt like an eternity. I actually walked right up to the booth they were sitting in yet still didn't see them, so I turned away - only to return to it a moment later.
I can still hear her voice in my head. She said: "You walked right up to us - standing, like, two feet away, and then you turned around... how'd you miss us?"
I'm sure I made something up... who knows what it was. Actually... hell, I know myself well enough to know what I probably said: "I'd swear I heard someone over there call my name right as I got back to the table..." I'd have said something like that and probably made a joke about having a common name.
Later, after my date and I left her friends, I told her the truth and received a reply I've heard more than enough times before: "Oh wow, I'd never have known... but I'm glad you told me." blah blah blah.
I never heard from her again - a reaction not unexpected.
I'm not judging her though. Believe it or not, I understand.
And that - as Paul Harvey would say - is the rest of the story.