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Last night was the night

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Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 18:18:03 +0100
From: Nicolas Graner
To: SJU Retinitis Pigmentosa and Other Degenerative Retinal Diseases List <RPLIST@SJUVM.BITNET>
Subject: Last Night Was The Night

I did it for the first time last night.

I was terribly excited. I had been thinking about it for months, and I knew it would happen around this time, but when it really happens... wow, thrilling!

I had long prepared for it. Psychologically, I mean. I knew I could do it. But nobody can tell what will happen at the last minute, right? You can always chicken out. Until you've done it, you've not done it.

I had read quite a bit about the proper technique, the do's and dont's, and all that. I knew roughly what to expect. But it's never the same when you do it yourself. It's not the kind of experience that can be described in writing.

I also knew I wouldn't do it quite right the first time. But I managed all right. Not great, but all right. I know mine is a little short, it makes things slightly more difficult. But it didn't hurt a bit. I wouldn't say it gave me pleasure, no, but... thrill, that's it. A sort of excitement I had not experienced before.

I had carefully selected the place and time, as one should. It happened in the street, not far from my home, at 10pm. The night was quite dark, which was good. The sidewalks are being resurfaced in that street, and all street lights were off. I didn't want to be seen. Not the first time. I know, when I'm more experienced I won't mind. I know people who do it regularly don't mind doing it even in broad daylight. But not me, not now. Not the first time.

I knew someone could come up and see me at any time. I was prepared for the possibility. I knew what I would say, how I would explain. But still, I'm glad it didn't happen. Another time, maybe.

There was a risk in choosing a street near my home, too. I could be seen by someone who knows me. How embarrassing! And the next day... "oh, I saw you doing it last night!". Scary. But I had to take the chance, right? And I wanted to do it in a place I knew well, where I'd feel comfortable. I wanted to be as relaxed as possible on my first time. An unfamiliar place is no place to relax, especially at night.

I know I'll do it again. Sooner or later, maybe tonight, maybe next month. When you've done it once, you can't just stop and pretend it never happened. You're never quite the same again. I've entered a new community. I can share my experience with others who've done it. I can talk about it, I can brag about it. And inevitably, sooner or later, I'll want to do it again. To do it better. Many of you know exactly what I mean. Many did it once, got hooked to it, and couldn't live without it now.

Oh, well, enough rambling. I know nobody's interested in my private life. I just had to tell someone, you know. So, why not you all? Well, that's the story. Last night, I did it, for the first time.

Last night, I used a white cane.

-- Nicolas

© Nicolas Graner – 1994

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