Have you ever seen something that was not there? A shadow in the corner of your eye, an outline of a face in a piece of toast or a word on a page that only existed in your mind? Me too. It happens quite a bit with sight loss, like missing objects and only seeing space or vice versa when you see objects instead of space. Well, your mind convinces you that you are seeing something that is not there. With sight loss a lot of the time you see things with a combination of your brain working out what it could be through method of deduction and pure and utter guess work.
Occasionally, this combination can get you into trouble in which I am an expert in. Take the following incident for example.
I was out one night with some university friends (pre-Munch days). After falling off stage in epic style (joys of a black stage raised on a black floor and very little vison), we checked for btoken bones then chatted away and tried to find a seat. There were none available, so we loitered with intent near some tables and chairs that were apparently there (I could not see) and waited for people to leave. As I finished my drink I wondered where I may put my empty glass. My friend told me where to find an empty table so off I went in what I thought was the right direction. All I could see what a pair of white legs flopped either side of a table (at least, that’s what my mind told me). This same conniving brain told me that the positioning of the flopped legs either side meant that there was a table in between these legs, and that this was the table that my friend had described. As I lowered my glass onto this imagined table, I saw the white lines growing closer together until they became a unified white line. It was only as my glass gently touched down on the crotch of a poor terrified man that I realized that there was no table and he had just been sitting with his legs akimbo. The panicky apology that I shouted at him over the blaring music felt a little too late. I really hoped that the CCTV cameras were not working that night.
For me, these incidents are more the norm than a rarity. I still think back to such incidents with a bowed head and chuckling heart to all the mistakes I have made in life. Being led astray by lack of vision and a comedic brain never lets life get boring or stale. Being a little daft is just part of my genetic make up and anything normal just wouldn’t be me. Blundering through life always keeps things lively and guessing if someone has a table between their legs on a night out will never get boring.
The above excerpt was taken from my upcoming book What You See When You Can’t See. If you want to read more cringe worthy tales, the book is full of them, so you won’t be disappointed.