To See Is To Believe


[CLICK]download (2)

[Man’s voice]

“Testing, testing…1,2,3,4….testing”

[CLICK]

“Okay, it’s back on…”

[Sound of tape whirring]

“Okay…My name is Tyler Kenney and I’m making this recording for my girlfriend, Pam….It’s September 2nd, 2014….3:22 pm”

[Sound of screen door slamming…crickets chirping close by]

“Okay, here goes…for posterity, or future kids……and maybe a huge mini-series contract”

[Chuckle]

[Sound of beer can opening]

[3 second pause]

“Awww…..tastes better than it looks…”

[Voice turns from microphone]

“Remember when I saw mashed potatoes for the first time, Pam!?”

[Pam’s muffled voice]

[Voice mumbles]

“….Asapragus almost blew my dang mind…”

[3 second pause]

“Don’t mind your future father, future kids….plural.”

“[Whispers at tape] “Don’t tell the future Mom what I’m telling you…”

[2 second pause]

“Anywho, I would have liked to write it down, but since I was blind for the past 36 years, I never learned how to write or read, at least not read with my eyes.”

“I say “was blind” because I was, ever since I was born.”images

“For 36 years, 3 days and 13 hrs I was as blind as blind could get, at least that’s what my eye surgeon, Dr. Patel told me right after the operation.

“My dick-friend Chuck says I was blind as a bat; but since I ain’t never seen no bat, up to that moment, I couldn’t argue with the douche bag.”

[Pam’s muffled voice from background]

[Voice turns from tape player, shouts]

 

“Ha, that’s funny; You probably don’t even know what a “real” douche bag looks like either you skank!”

[Pam’s mumbled filthy mouth from background]

“Ha ha, yes I do, I know what it’s supposed to be for, but in my short-sighted life I ain’t really had the opportunity to become acquainted with one…thank ya Jesus!”

[Voice turns back closer to tape microphone]

“I know what a leaf bag looks like though…now….dammit”

[5 second pause; dishes clinking in background]

“The surgery was one year ago, today.”

“Nothing fits in my head like it used to…all these colors and shit…..like….hell, I can’t remember what names go with what things…like a washing machine or a dryer, I know that spins around! Yeah, colors and shit tumbling around in my head like a washing machine!”

[5 second pause]

“I mean, that’s how it is…being blind forever, then being able to see; I mean, at least for me…at least it was, I should say.”

[Voice closer to mike]

“There ain’t no way to explain it…seeing for the first time…I mean, when you’re an adult, and know what things are, but not what they look like….”

[Sipping sound]

[Voice whispers close to mike]images (1)

“It’s like…….like…playing pin the tail on the donkey forever, in the desert”

[5 second pause…frog…somewhere]

“Like the rest of you, I can speak slang, bullshit, insults and, every now and again, I might even have a thoughtful insight.”

 

[Sound of tape player being set down, a rustle of clothing, then a deep sigh]

“I had no idea what would happen if I were able to see one day; I was fucking nervous as hell….scared shitless…..but, well, I had thoughts in my head I guess, but I didn’t have pictures to go with names, everything I knew was what I touched, smelled, tasted or heard…but no….what’s a way I can put it for you to understand…?”

[3 second pause]

“Now, you see, I have pictures to go with most things that I’ve seen, but they get all jumbled up together, it’s weird….I ain’t figured out how to even tell a lot of stuff apart…I still gotta touch it or smell it or taste it…”

“Like the other day for instance, I think it was about the second day I was outside in the hospital park; I saw some woman with a dog and cat, they was about the same size….Shit, I didn’t know which was which by just looking at them, Pam had to tell me!”

[Sipping sound, small burp]

“Lady thought I was crazy…”

[2 second pause]

“No, I didn’t lick them…” [Chuckle]

{Sound of can being set down next to tape player, can opening….long sip]

“I still have to close my eyes sometimes and just…feel stuff….listen…..smell……to calm my nerves; you know?”

[3 second pause]

download (3)“It’s overwhelming….kinda scary……really, really kinda scary.”

[2 second pause]

“Here’s a quick reference test for y’all…”

“Okay….close your eyes….”

“You see anything? Light….any light?” “If you can, close your eyes tighter until there is no light coming thru, if there still is, put your hands over your eyes until it goes away”

“Now, you would call that black, right?”

“I didn’t know what black was until about a week after the surgery”

[Voice gets louder, closer to tape player]

[3 second pause]download (4)

[Can bumps against tape player, lips and voice obviously leaned closer to the mike]

“They started showing me some colors on cards and they told me which one the black was and I had to close my new-seeing eyes to make the connection between the visual representation of black and my personal so-called mind representation of black, you know what I mean?”

“I told them, Yep…that’s what’s in my head…black, huh?”

[2 second pause…voice moves back]

“You see…?” “I know everything you know….sounds of traffic, airplanes taking off, dogs barking, food cooking, music playing, people laughing…I can tell a playground from a mile away…I still can’t tell who farted though….”

[Chuckle, sip, belch]

“How can I put this….The senses that I had all of those 36 years had pictures of their own in my head…like touching stuff in my head, you know?…Textures and smells….tastes sometimes…..”

[5 second pause]

“I mean, like this; I can hear a basketball bounce, I can feel the ball’s texture in my hands, I can smell the leather and feel the shape in my hand…but there’s no picture file in my head for it”

“I can dribble the damn thing perfect, but don’t throw the bastard at me. Ha ha ha!”

“Hell, I flinch at cars driving by or flags flapping…It looks like everything is coming at me!”

[Pam’s laughter from the background]

“Hmmp…looks….wow….”

“I can….see……”

[Silence, tape whirs]

“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it…”

[Tape player makes a skipping noise]

“Not to get off the subject too much, but try to imagine being blind in a Super Walmart…or a huge mall….”

“Scary as hell, man…all that noise and different smells….all clamor and confusion”

[5 second pause]

[Voice turns from mike, shouts]download (5)

“I actually passed out when they took the eye pads off, remember honey, the freaking light knocked me out’’’!

[Pam’s voice in background…muffled]

“Yes it did, it knocked me the fuck out…BAM!”

[Dishes clattering in background…dog barking from somewhere]

“I didn’t even know what a damn dog looked like a year ago…kinda disappointed”

[Crickets chirping….a frog…somewhere]

[Pam’s voice from the background]

[Voice turns from tape microphone again, shouts]

“How in the hell would I have any idea what a damn dog would look like, Pam!?”

[Pam’s muffled voice]

[Voice closer to mike again]

“I don’t know if I’m a qualified judge on what ugly or beautiful is yet, but that dog stunk like hell!”

[5 second pause]

[Voice turns from mike, shouts]

“Thank God, you’re gorgeous honey, I don’t think I could take an ugly, fat chick, Ha ha!”

[Pam’s muffled voice]

[Voice answers]

“You’re not ugly honey!

[Pam’s muffled voice, a little closer…at the screen door maybe]

[Voice back to mike]

”No, I didn’t mean that you was fat either…”

[Pam’s muffled voice, harrumps in contentment]

[3 second pause]

[Voice close to mike]

”You know, I had never, ever, ever seen light before….can you guys imagine that, I mean really…? Try to guess that you ain’t never had NO IDEA what light “looked” like…

download (6)

[Hushed voice…closer to tape microphone…whispers]

“It scared the shit out of me….”

[Pam’s voice in background]

“No, honey; I was just checking the tape…”

[Voice turns away from tape player, shouts…]

“The first thing I ever saw in this world was a fat Pakistani…that was fucked up, huh Pam?!…Ha Ha Ha!”

[Pam laughing in background]

“Picture that shit!!!” [More laughing] “I wanna see the next ex-blind persons face when they lock their new eyes on Patel!”

“I literally shit myself!!!”download (1)

[Laughing uproariously]

[Beer slurping sounds, spitting and laughing]

“…oh crap, the tape…”

[CLICK]

 

“Okay…we’re live again from New York City”

[Pam snickers, sounds closer]

“Yeah I can laugh about it now a year later, but when I first saw him….I thought, WTF!?!? Put ‘em back out, put ‘em back out HA HA HA!!!””

[Voice and Pam laugh like hell, dog barks louder]

[CLICK]

[Voice returns]

“Here’s a funny one…” [Chuckle] “Pam jumped my bones the first night that I got the bandages off…Man, that woman is a monster, Ha ha ha!”

[Sound of towel snapping]

“Ow, stop! I said…ha ha…I said…; [Voice turns from tape]….Quit, Pam, honey punkin’!”

[Voice turns from mike, shouts…lovingly with tenderness and guile]

“I’m trying to make a record for our young’uns one day, crazy woman!”

[3 second pause]

[Voice closer to mike]

“….crazy ass…”

[Pause]

[Voice clears]

“Hmm, hmm….Well, I remember looking down and seeing her “business” and said, this is funnier than shit; Oh my hell! Is that what that damn thing looks like!!? I ain’t touching that!!!”

"Well, it felt bigger..."
“Well, it felt bigger…”

[Chuckle again…Pam’s voice in background again…muffled…chuckle]

[Screen door opens then slams]

[Sound of slap, then a sloppy smooch]

[Voice turns to mike]

“Be gone woman demon!”

[Sounds of smooching, then hand patting on….maybe a shoulder or upper back]

[Pam’s voice]

“Come to bed, baby…it’s getting dark.”

[Screen door creaks open then slams shut]

[10 second pause….tape whirring]

[Voice closer to mike, sipping sound}man's fear

[5 second pause]

[Voice whispers]

“I’ve seen dark, baby…..”

[3 second pause]

“This is a whole heap better than dark…”

[Voice breaks….]

“I’ll start again tomorrow, future kids, and try to explain what it’s like to be in the really real dark…”

[Whispering closer to mike]

“What it’s like…to live in sound and smells…and not know what color black is…”

[5 second pause]

“I know what blue is now…”

[3 second pause]

[CLICK….]20130928_120909

[Off tape comment]

“I couldn’t even tell what they meant about the passing of time for people until I could see it….but, I still can’t believe it….”

2 thoughts on “To See Is To Believe”

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