Finding Perfection In the Darkness
My body was shaking. What little vision I had was searing hot blackness as I screamed in unquenchable fury at one of my readers for Financial Accounting.
“Don’t you fucking tell me how to behave!” I roared.
“This is a community college, and a certain decorum is required,” she taunted in her dehumanizing, “I’m above you, and you ain’t shit!” tone of voice, even though she had disabilities herself.
“You know what? I don’t give a mother fuck what you think about me, or what anyone at this fucking college thinks about me! They have been violating my God damn ADA rights left and right, and you are letting those motherfuckers get away with it!”
“I have no control over what they do,” she tried to reason.
I was at the elevator, my body shaking in uncontrolled rage.
In about a second, I was ready to beat that fucking bitch until she was fucking bloody.
Thankfully, the elevator doors opened, and I stepped into the elevator and ascended to the third floor.
A long train of dehumanizing usurpations and malicious wrongs had preceded this particular incident.
I had started at this fuckery of a community college the year before.
Despite meticulous attention to detail in designing accommodations, professors were signing the forms yet denying them left and right.
One professor, who emigrated to the United States from Romania in the days of the Soviet Union, had the audacity to tell me that I had to submit everything via paper, contrary to my accommodations.
Then, in a critique of a writing assignment, he misspelled words and used improper grammar, yet stated that my essay failed to meet his specifications.
I had two professors for Spanish who refused to accommodate me, although they pledged to do so.
My first ADA case manager hardly did anything at all to rectify the situation.
I also was engaged in yelling matches with my Vocational Rehabilitation counselor, who was denying me necessary equipment that I desperately needed.
Between collecting e-mails as documentary evidence for what would later result in over 60 pages of exhibits and an ADA discrimination complaint, more than 10 hours a week meeting with my worthless ADA case manager about accommodations, completing homework, studying for exams, and making time for my then girlfriend, I was stressed the fuck out!
The girlfriend I was dating and I eventually married, had a child together, and divorced later, but that’s another subject.
After the complaint was mediated, my new wife suggested that I return to the college.
I was very hesitant, but agreed, because getting into the university would have required more time than I had.
That is when the cascade of epic failures, excuses, and blame throwing by college staff was like hell hath no fury.
Added to my stress was that my wife was pregnant, so I also had to be careful not to stress her out too much so that we didn’t lose the baby.
After my reader was continuously provided with varying instructions on a daily basis that did not originate with me, but with the college staff, notes of critical information that I could not jot down being denied to me, being expected to take notes while navigating 5 windows on my computer, causing it to crash on multiple occasions, and the professor refusing to slow down as he wrote his calculations on the chalkboard with the speed of a Lamborghini I finally could take no more of it.
When I went home later that evening, my wife held me as I cried in her arms.
She soothed me with the warmth of her reassuring caress.
I was still shaking with fury as she held me.
It took me several bowls of marijuana and a dooby to calm my nerves, plus a filling meal and intimacy.
That was how I lasted as long as I did during college.
I woke up and got medicated with a few bowls, breakfast, and Mountain Dew Code Reds before I headed off to classes.
The dehumanizing experiences that I delineated above were not the first to occur in my life, and they certainly were not the last.
I was routinely viewed as an easy target by my siblings, who also had disabilities of their own, but because they were not blind, they treated me as if they were superior.
I refused to tolerate their bullshit and fought back with zealous ruthlessness.
I moved around frequently as a child, which meant varying periods of solitude and bullies, or popularity and friends.
I earned my respect when a gang of six other students decided to bully me on the bus, and I socked the ring leader before engaging in a fierce match between him and all the others.
I was suspended and lectured on how violence was the wrong way to solve problems, but in order to prove your worth as a respectable human being, you may be required to engage in a fight between a gang of six to one.
For the entirety of my life, I have heard the following statements made to me about being blind. These are not all of them.
- “Hey blind ass!”, or “Hey blind ass motherfucker!”
- “He may not amount to anything, but he’ll be the best God damned friend you could ask for.”
- “You’re blind! You won’t amount to anything!”
- “Your blindness makes you unattractive. No one will ever date or marry you!”
- “You aren’t perfect because you’re blind. God wanted you to see. Accept his healing graces and mercy!”
- “You’re fucking worthless!”
- “You pathetic bastard!”
- “You are cursed. Being blind means your parents were sinners. You were born in sin!”
- “You guys are crazy!”
- “I don’t know how you do it, man. If I was blind, I don’t know what I would do.”
- “You are the worst person ever. You’ll never make it being blind.”
- “Nobody wants to hear you rap about being blind. Be like Justin Bieber, make YouTube videos, and you could be discovered like him.”
- “There is no market for you rapping about being blind. Nobody wants to hear that fucking shit!”
I could go on and on with more quotes embroidered in the most venomous hatred for me and my people.
I continue to defy expectations, including my own.
I continue to evolve, to challenge myself, and to launch the rocket ships of my astronomically astronautical thoughts into uncharted galaxies, where they orbit continuously.
With what little vision I have, I glance in the mirror.
I feel the empowering waves of radiance crash over me as I fondly gaze at myself with adoration and admiration, both at the qualities my limited vision can discern, and the ones that remain invisible and intrinsic to the world, but are seen with perfect accuracy in the sunshine that illuminates my expansively vast, intellectually sophisticated mind.
Though I walk in the abysmal darkness of the blackened forests, howl with the owls, and gashes of gaping and bleeding wounds bathe me in the stinging comfort of my own blood, the sun rises and sets on me with the warming affirmation of my stellarly attractiveness and luminescent effervescence.
I am proud of my soul, its nature, its toughness, its exuberance, its ecstatically magnetic and enlightening radiance, its charm, and its irresistible beauty.
I am proud of my body, my authoritatively confident gait, my optimistic, quick-witted, and ready to wage war if need be persona, my skin, my hands, my nakedness, and all that is me.
Perfection is not defined by what society views of you in the light, but what you view in the darkness.
I love everything of who I am. I am grateful for every day that I have to shine my light on the world.
I love being blind.
What society views as an imperfection is my companion, confidant, and refuge.
I found my perfection in the darkness.
I sincerely hope you do too.
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