The Day I Lost Sight

It was a Thursday afternoon. As I was waiting (im)patiently for the bus, I noticed a man next to me, holding a white cane. He was standing dangerously close to the road, though surprisingly relaxed, smiling. We stroke a conversation about the bus being late as usual.

Out of curiosity, I asked him if he had always been blind. He hadn’t. He was a veteran who got assaulted on his way home late at night many years back, in that same neighborhood of San Francisco.

A punch on the head had left him blind, “all this for 20 dollars in my pocket!”, he shot.

He had to learn patiently the way between his home and the food store, the only route he could take alone, counting each step. He wanted to learn to use a phone. His earplugs had gotten stolen in front of him, and people tricked him regularly, taking advantage of his handicap.

But he was not sour, and had found ways to enjoy life despite the terrible consequences of that one night. “That’s life”, he concluded. He had no anger, no need for victimisation. He was genuinely happy, enjoying the little moments, like this conversation with me, and the sensation of the sun on his skin.

A beautiful life lesson for me who was anxious over a late bus, five minutes earlier.