Some people can live their entire lives without imagination and we know some of these people. Some people can live their entire lives submerged in their imagination and we know some of these people. Some people can live their entire lives on a limited imagination and we know some of these people. Some people can live their entire lives as products of the imagination and we do not know any of these people.
GSS and I venture out in our own personal blackouts after one day or so we think with the bandages around our eyes. I say bandages because what we wear are more than blindfolds. A blindfold in GSS’s opinion is not a very good word. She admits to the folded portion of the word but not the blind. She can see she said yesterday when we began and I said I can see too and that was it as far as tradition was concerned. We had called up Trenker and explained our difficulty and our plan and our desires and Trenker had obliged us by appearing with ocular padding and gauze and bandages and tape and Trenker is always so helpful and so thorough and so uncurious.
GSS falls down the stairs even though I told her to wait for me to go down first in case she should fall and then I could break her fall and when I tell her this she tells me she thought I had indeed gone down first and I ask her if anything is broken and she says no but she can only speak for herself. I am slow I am moving in swim-like fashion I am all outstretched hands in front of me. I am so very very very aware of every part of my body every inch every joint everything I have I am thinking and naming everything as it moves heel of hand palm fingers on wall knee first then heel of foot then soles then toes everything has a name.
Some people can live their entire lives pretending. Some people can live their entire lives pretending sometimes. Some people can live their entire lives pretending certain things but not certain other things. Some people can live their entire lives not pretending anything.
The ocular padding nestles in the caves our eyes without pressing upon our eyes. The gauze is a trifle itchy and buffers the ocular padding from the bandage. The tape is of the surgical variety and it anchors the gauze and the ocular padding and tugs at the crow’s feet at the tired corners of our eyes. The bandages python around our heads thrice and are clipped into place. We are satisfied. We cannot see a blessed thing.
I case the stairs inch by inch. I sense a great uncertainty in front of me. I know that if I take a spill down the stairs as GSS has that I will probably not meet my death but even that is uncertain as some people can fall down a flight of stairs and survive and some people can fall down a flight of stairs and perish. I call to GSS and tell her not to move and she tells me No problem. I paddle the air. I search for that first step down. I find it and it is toe then toes then sole then heel then ankle and the rest of me moves forward part by part and I do not let go of the wall the dear sweet stable wall the oddly cool and rough wall and here is the right banister the left should be to my left but it is not.
GSS explained to me We have to make this believable. GSS asked if I knew any blind people. I had said no. I said I had seen The Miracle Worker on cable when I was a teenager and I’m sure a couple of other movies had blind people in them since then but I couldn’t think of the names. GSS told me she could walk around with her eyes closed but she would cheat. GSS does not believe in cheating. I recommended the blindfolds. The blindfolds let in light somewhat and we could cheat by looking down for a sliver of sight of motion. GSS told me there are some people who do anything for their craft. I told her I considered us among those people. GSS told me there are some people who always know and knew they were that sort of people. I told her That’s us.
I have an idea and I tell it idea to GSS. I tell her it will take me forever to centimeter down the stairs and it will be faster if I grab the left banister and slide down to wherever she is. GSS tells me to try it. Without losing touch with the friendly wall I bend my knees and lower my ass to the landing. I slide over to where I hope the left banister is by always reaching always swatting at the air until I find it. I hoist myself up onto the banister and suddenly become sick.
Some people can live together and never see each other by choice. Some people can live together and never see each other by circumstance. Some people can live together and never be able to live untogether. Some people can live together.
GSS and I before venturing out spent a formless eternal experimental day in darkness. Not just darkness but blackness. Not just blackness but bottomless void. It was not an absence of light although it was and it felt like an absence of placement as well an absence of grounding an absence a complete negation of relationship. Within minutes it became clear to us that everything in the apartment was now our enemy. Our bodies became more intimate with furniture. GSS asked me why we have all this stuff. I said to her Imagine if. GSS said Yes imagine if. I said to her It would all be arranged differently. GSS said Definitely and less of it.
I call to GSS and tell her I am very sick and she does not answer. I tell GSS that I’ll be right there but am frozen to the spot. I cannot relax my grip to let me slide down the banister. The polished century-old wood is my ice flow my buoy my raft my rock I cannot cannot cannot bear to part with it. I call to GSS that I’ll be right there and she is still not answering. I sense a chasm to my right. I feel that if I move so much as one atom I will go toppling into nothing. I call to GSS that I’ll be right there and I know she won’t answer.
We had decided not to move around so much and confined ourselves to the floor of what we assumed was the living room. We passed the time by searching each other and that was fun for a moment and then it was exciting and then it was arousing and then it was inventive and then it was serious and then we faded to black just like in the movies when two people who have gone from fun to excited to aroused to inventive to serious to sex.
Some people can live their entire lives alone and we know some people like that. Some people can live their entire lives alone most of the time and we know some people like that. Some people can live their entire lives having conversations that go something like this.
I wonder what time it is.
I can’t even guess.
How do people who are like this all the time know what time it is do they even know time.
I don’t know.
It must be late.
It can’t be that late.
I wonder if you can feel time.
I suppose you have to listen.
Listen to time is that what you’re saying.
Listen for time.
Listen to what.
Outside. Street traffic.
So you are saying street traffic can help you feel time if you can’t see time.
I suppose I am saying something like that.
I think I understand. Street traffic is heavier at certain times of the day.
There are two rush hours.
What if you live on a main artery where the traffic is always heavy.
Like we do.
Well maybe you have to feel for sunlight if you can feel light on the floor or heat from light on the floor then it’s day and when you don’t it’s night.
What do you do on a cloudy day.
Where are you.
I’m right next to you.
Farther away than I thought.
I don’t feel any light.
I perspire and the perspiration is cold. I am certain very very very certain that if I try to let myself slide down the banister I will fall something will happen I will fall to my death I will plunge into the greater darkness only I know it is not an empty endless darkness there is something down there more stairs and that will be it for me.
GSS calls Where are you. I tell her I’m right here. GSS says Further away than I thought. I ask her Did you pass out. GSS says Possibly. There is nothing between us for a long time and GSS says Why aren’t you here already.
It had taken us forever to get dressed after our seriousness as we had not taken care to remember where our clothing had gone. We patted the floor. We tried on things that weren’t our own. I ripped something. GSS struggled on the floor like an electrified fish with what I assumed was her pants. We had exhausted ourselves. We were hungry. We had lost track of the kitchen. We crawled on our elbows. We slithered across the floor. We met walls. We met tables. We broke a lamp. We elbowed into the pieces of broken lamp. We cried in pain. We did not give up. We salamandered over every mile of the apartment. GSS said How dirty this floor feels. The floors were cool and gritty and I could somehow taste them in my mouth. We found the refrigerator. We were too tired to open it and begin foraging.
Some people live their entire lives without saying it was worth it. Some people live their entire lives saying it was worth it. Some people live their entire lives not even thinking about worth.
I want nothing but sleep. I want to put my hot cheek on the cool banister. I want to fall.
We were left to ourselves and our bodies and wondered if we had been foolish to wonder how it would be. GSS said We can’t conclude anything yet until we are out in the real world. I said Just say world because real is implied and in here is not the unreal world you know. GSS said We are learning so much. I said It is not happy learning. GSS snaked away. I called to her Where are you going. GSS said To find the toilet and drink. I said Make sure you flush first. A long time later I heard a flush.
GSS tells me You have to come down I can’t seem to get myself up. I breathe new hope. I tell her If you are hurt after all and need help I won’t be of any use because I can’t function and maybe I should we should start yelling for help. GSS says We have to do this for ourselves we have to we need to be self-sufficient. I tell her That’s bullshit everyone needs help regardless of their circumstances. GSS tells me Don’t you dare yell help we are on our own here.
Some people can live their entire lives without anything happening to them and we know some of those people. Some people can live their entire lives without knowing their neighbors and we know some of those people.
Some people can live their entire lives without a scrap of light and we are now those people we are now those people by choice.
I let go.about the author