The Other Guy Had a Box
I could no better articulate to the blind man what the sky looked like than to say it was blue, but not always, or how it came to be that way. I could tell him that a certain cloud looked like a cat, but that meant nothing to him. He asked if it was fuzzy.
“A cat?” I asked.
“No,” he said. “A cloud.”
“Yeah,” I told him, happy to tell such a heart-warming lie.
“Don’t bullshit me,” he said. “I know clouds aren’t fuzzy. I touched a cloud. A Chinaman gave it to me in a box. It was wet, and spongy. It felt like a sponge.”
“There’s a Chinaman with a cloud in a box?” I asked him.
“Not for you there ain’t. He said he’d only let people who could see the truth look in the box. You’re clearly full of shit.”
He was right. The next time I tried to have a profound encounter with a cripple, I would bring a prop. I spent the next hour at the senior center describing to him the breasts of the women on The Price is Right. He listened to me like you would listen to a child describing their play session with the characters from their favorite TV show. Still, I tried to be as faithful to the breasts as I could. Maybe he just always looked like he wasn’t paying attention to you.