I took a different route home last night, not my usual tram, another one that stops a few extra blocks from my home. Off the main road I headed down a pavement that runs between a small triangular park and the back fences of some houses, so there was no useful street lighting. The pavement was of white concrete, I'd walked this way once before during the day so I knew it was a pavement, but with my lack of visual perspective it could have been anything white, a wall, a garage door, a portal to another universe. I simply had to have faith that it was a pavement, believe myself, my memory from my previous trip.
I was wary, walking in the dark, people with poor vision tend to map their regular routes subconsciously, recall obstacles without thinking. Something in the back of my mind was telling me to be careful, I couldn't see any reason for caution, it was just a pavement, I just had to have faith. My left foot scraped the white pole in the middle of the pavement first, then my right knee and pelvis crashed into it in turn.
So much for faith.
There was some cursing, I'll admit, but I'm accustomed to laughing at myself, I walk into less stuff than I should so I consider myself fortunate. I then realised how lucky I'd been, a taller pole would have connected with my head, a shorter one would have copped me in the nuts. Silver linings and all that.
I am waiting on a stem cell surgical procedure that will change my life, the hope of that maintains the laughter and the perspective, all this undignified bumping into will be a memory in a couple of years.
There was no one around at that time of night, nobody to ask if I was o.k.? I was glad. Kindness can be a burden. Some days I feel like an old person who needs a hand up. I'd rather not feel that way. Kindness is a more fragile creature than most know, it needs to be handled gently, few have the knack. I know a couple of friends who could have made the right joke, given the right touch. You can be sure that a person you can accept kindness from is a true friend.
These incidents occur from time to time, I don't usually recount them here, or anywhere, not many laughs in a man walks into pole story, not unless the pole does cop him in the nuts.
People talk of faith, every step I take at night on an ill lit pavement is an act of faith. People talk of hope, I live in hope of a successful surgery, know the odds, hope just the same. People talk of kindness, most really don't know what it is.
Man with failing vision walks into pole, wakes up with stiff knee and sore back, not a huge story in the overall scheme. Man accidentally finds way of explaining how he feels about faith, hope and kindness, that's a good story.