Banter on Tulips and a Tribe Called Quest, Jay-Z and John Coltrane, Outkast and Othello.


Aww...I'm going to Hell

Okay, so I spent the weekend in Michigan at an admitted law students preview. Yes, it was cold as you know what. Yes the snow on Saturday caused me to imagine hibenating for three years under a mountain of torts books. But, I had a great time. Well, almost...

Once I got to campus, I met cool peeps of every hue. From one guy who worked for years as an engineer to another dude who had started up his own dot-com, these were people who had done every imaginable thing before deciding to make the move to continue their education. One such lady, Caucasian with mousy brown hair, had two masters degrees, one in math, another in some type of organization management, and this was all before thirty. But she traversed the world, and specifically this weekend -- the campus -- in a world of her own, unaware of many of the hidden signals, the quick glances, the unspoken language that comes with sight. It's because she was blind.

We happened to register at the same time and spoke a greeting. The standard "I'm still deciding on a school... don't know about this wintry midwest...unsure about buckling down for the first year...yada, yada" that pretty much everyone had exchanged. The "Where are you from? How do you like the campus so far" kind of thing. Anyway, we quickly became cool. As she couldn't see, I sort of let her seeing eye dog follow me into the main auditorium and sort of guided her around campus and where I walked around to get a feel for the place. I even helped her and the dog back to the admit quarters a few blocks from campus so she could feed the dog before the evening mixer. All of the admits were supposed to attend one event and then split up into others depending on their preference. It was my intention to attend to gathering for the folks of melanin hue (and to get a sense of the brothas...um, hello?! Lol) and so I informed the blind woman...let's call her Kay... that I would be heading out.

It was at that point that she informed me that she would call me when she was ready to be guided back to off campus quarters were all the admits were staying. "Umm come again?", I thought. So, how is it that we're make the jump from "I'm helping you in one instance" to "I'm the personal, perpetual seeing eye guide negress"? But, me, not wanting to incur the wrath of the disabled, replied "Uh... okay." But, all the while I was thinking, isn't it a little bit of an imposition? Don't I have other people I want to meet? Other events I want to attend? Disabled people are in two schools, I thought: the first includes those who don't want to be treated any differently than anyone else, who don't want you to take any special precautions for them, who'd like you to regard them like anyone else-- independent. Then there are those who are more needy, who assume the help of others, maybe sometimes to an extent that's a little presumptious.

So, I hurried out to the black folks event, hung out with a triumvirate of cool bros, my friend S and a few other brown folks till just after 1:30 a.m., and climbed into bed, not thinking one iota about having to be on guide duty. The next morning, on the way to criminal law, S and I saw Kay standing about 15 feet away with her dog and speaking to a Caucasian man who seemed like he was assisting her. "Whoosh", I thought. Glad it's him and not me. I didn't want to get roped in to that again, but I feared she would see me...oops... hear me go past. I asked my friend, S, what to do. "It's not like she can SEE you." she said. Lol. (With Kay's heightened sense of hearing, she probably heard S say that, but I didn't think about that at the moment as we hurried by to the class.)

I wanted the freedom to do my own thing, to socialize without a ball and chain, to hang amongst the folks and not worry about having to guide someone around constantly. Kay found a way to make it around with the young man who guided her (and who from what I could peep from afar was possibly macking too? Lol). I didn't need to feel bad, right? But as we walked past... the guilt set in. How dare I with full sight, in good form shy away from helping someone else? How could I in good conscience sneak by a blind woman quietly holding my breath so she wouldn't hear my voice. Lol. Yep, I'm rolling to Hades... I'm gonna be first in line with a white hat on for "captain". Me and Beezlebub are gonna be playing golf over the Lake of Fire. Yikes. Aww dang... I'm going to Hell y'all.


At March 28, 2006 12:32 PM , Blogger Britjam said...

Girl. you have me here dying when I should be a good little check monkey. Stop it. Hilarious as usual

At March 29, 2006 2:37 AM , Blogger spchrist said...

Doesn't sound like a cruel thing...time is money and you were making the most out of your trip.

At March 30, 2006 1:47 PM , Blogger Maverick said...

Man, you were navigating the boat through Hades on that one...LOL. That is hilarious...you held your breath so she couldn't hear you. You must have thought she was the Daredevil or something...

At April 06, 2006 10:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is it this sorta stuff always happens to you? - P

At April 12, 2006 7:01 PM , Blogger spanky said...

Hey there! Don't worry about it. As someone who has worked with people with disabilities (not "disabled people"; there IS a difference) for years, you were under no obligation whatsoever to change your schedule to accommodate this person. You yourself said she has two master's degrees-- she is obviously a bright and capable woman and I'm sure she didn't trip that you didn't come back to "help" her. She probably wouldn't have turned you down had you shown up; in this way, even though she may not have needed the help as much as people think, she could take advantage of the kindness of a well-meaning sighted person's innocence. I'm glad you had a great time. Don't let it get ya.


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