I open my purse quing in Wilkinsons to see if I have enough change. A month of receipts and I.D cards spill out like a magician shuffling cards. All the white paper invisible on the white lino. A woman tells me I drop something, I only see one receipt and she tell me there’s another and another…
I say I can’t see them and she grunts while I am clawing the floor saying to everyone ‘i can’t see it, I can’t see properly.
The entire que become model railway men frozen in their annoyance of me at their feet.
‘I suppose all of you are deaf and don’t understand English?’ I snap to blank stares. They do this a lot, the public. They think she can’t see me just keep out of it.
I get to the till and ask for two £1 scratchcards. I have to choose but can’t see which are a pound or which number they are for the sales assistant to tear off the display.
I don’t know!
Waiting to cross a junction I don’t realise I’m blocking a van waiting to turn in to wear I stand. White Van Man shouts at me like his honourable stereotype.
The bus has a back door, old routemaster. I step on not seeing another girl trying to get out and thinking we both have room I move aside and faceplant a metal hand rail.
The next bus I am gentle held under the elbows by a pensioner to help me on. Why does everyone take my arm? Why will blindness make my arms fall off.
Yesterday I headed fast towards the stairs of Hungerford bridge, terribly lit but climb a decades worth of times. In the black I make out people and pause to let them pass before reaching for the rail. A man grabs my forearm without word or warning. I shout you are hurting my arm!
‘There are stairs infront of you’ he tells my white stick.
Once they have your arm, scaring you half to death they never let go until you bare your teeth. They never THINK how did she get this far? Do they presume blind women pass through the city on a human chain of strangers gripping their sleeves?
This is every day. It’s getting boring.