Picture this: The sun is shining and a hot wind is blowing here in Santa Tourista. I decided to rest in the hammock out back. Nothing like being in the hammock under the orange tree and next to the night-blooming jasmine, I say. I was just chilling, drinking a large lemonade and thinking about my meeting in New York next week. Well, it’s our meeting in New York. Grams usually does the talking and I have to do is smile and be pleasant and be prepared for many hugs.
Okay, I have a confession to make: she also does all the work. I get all my ideas into the computer, then she fleshes them out. She’s finished a new PowerPoint presentation and she had mouse pads made with my picture on them (that was entirely her idea). The mouse pads are for handing out at our business meeting. She hasn’t printed up my memoirs yet; she needs to get that done.
Anyway, so there I was chilling when I heard the mailman. “Grams, the mail’s here!” I yelled. “So, what happened to your legs?” she yelled back. I was about to say something smart when I remembered those mouse pads and all her hard work. So, I got up and went to get the mail. Well, I rolled over and fell out of the hammock; which is how I usually get out of the hammock.
There was the June 19th issue of the New Yorker. This is one of Grams favourite weeklies. I like the cartoons. People think I’m smart reading the New Yorker, but I’m just looking at the ‘toons. There was also some junk mail and a big envelope for Grams. I could tell that it was from her retina doc. When I told her she came out and opened up the envelope.
“Crikey, Gweeds! Will you look at this!” she said. It was another pic of the hole in her retina. “Hey, this is huge! What’s the deal?” She showed me a sticky note. It was from one of the technicians, “thought you’d like to see this,” It said. Grams shook her head, “I guess it’s a better shot of it.” “Gosh,” I said “it looks . . .” She completed my thought, “terrible, yes, it looks terrible. Of course, at the same time it’s eerily beautiful.” I had to agree.
When Grams went inside, I settled back down with the New Yorker. That’s when I ran across an article by Oliver Sacks. He’s a neurologist and he was writing about what it’s like to not have binocular vision: in other words, what it’s like to see the world the way Grams sees it. I was gobsmacked! I have not idea. I mean, she’s told me, but I never really knew. She lives in a flat world, no 3-D, no depth perception. And yet she gets along. I took the article and rolled over and fell out of the hammock and waddled inside.
After I showed her the article she said, “Yep, that’s me Gweeds. That’s why this hole in my retina is so troubling. If I lose the sight in my left eye, we have no idea if I’ll be able to read again.” “Will you see?” “Oh, sure; but the centre of my vision is gone in that eye and the doc doesn’t know if I’ll get it back.” With that she went back to work on our presentation. Gosh, I never knew.
A dopo e Moochas Smoochas,
Please give what you can to Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders).
And, of course
(hewa ni hataraki: work for peace)