What complicates the ways people respond to my height is that I am also blind. I cannot always see the double takes, the astonished gaze sweeping up and down the length of my body – though it is possible to feel these responses, or rather to hear them. A hush tends to come over a room when a blind person enters. My blindness, like my height, makes people see their surroundings differently.
These little shreds of naptha, toluene, xylene, titanium dioxide, other pigments, and a number of possible extenders including diatomaceous silica, are a drop in the slop bucket of tars and oils and plastics that wash down daily as dust, as grease, as snack wrappers, as scum, in cigarette butts and chewed gum.
Postpartum depression is the moon landing, because even though you are like 99% sure people have walked around up there (I mean, we have dirt, right? Moon rocks? Why would science lie about this?), one day some person will come up to you and tell you that it's not real, which means that it never happened to anybody, least of all you.
I have one opinion to give you in this life, and it is this: those flimsy little paper toilet seat covers in public bathrooms are for fools and cowards and you are wasting my time and yours if you use them.
In some ways, camp was an exercise in playing pretend. If we rode horses, went swimming, shot some arrows, and never talked about our disabilities, then maybe we’d be almost normal, almost abled. There wasn’t a chance to wonder if we were just as whole as abled kids and our experiences just as valid. We accepted without hesitation that normal was the goal.
Nintendo was to be my central fasciniche, and more than that: it would be my lantern in the dark, offering me the means to comprehend my existence and the will to try. I had been a boy without a role, trapped in a world I couldn’t understand. But a game gives you a role. A game gives you a world you’re meant to understand. In a game, it’s impossible not to belong.
Prop yourself up in the plaza: dispense optimistic, folksy wisdom to townsfolk whether they want to hear it or not.
Dedicate several hours a day to revenge fantasies/plotting.
Commission a mural directly over your bed so you have something to look at. Make it something you will never tire of. Perhaps a tasteful nude portrait of Peter Falk? You are after all, one classy invalid.
These are facts: three years ago you were 23, you were in graduate school, and you had cancer. This wasn’t always the case, of course, but that’s what became of you over a single Thanksgiving break. Other facts will emerge over time, many will begin to feel as though they had always been a part of yourself, but these three are constants. You hold them close to yourself.