Blind For An Hour

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I once lived with an individual named Aleks, who was… well… overly emotional about certain things… he also liked to drink. We both liked to drink.

One night we had a small party and started rapidly drinking our Poncho Villa tequila with my girlfriend Becca, Aleks’ girlfriend Jeneca, our friend Jeremy, and a half dozen others.

Soon Aleks’ glasses went missing and he began having a little flip-out session as he searched for them, complaining louder and louder of his inability to see. With every passing moment, he became more angry and insistent that everyone else stop what they were doing to help him search. For the most part, everyone was helping look, but still, Aleks became more and more upset, concluding that someone had stolen them out of hatred, to humiliate him.

But as his roommate, I wanted to calm him down, so that he wouldn’t anger any neighbors or break up our party. I tried to convince him that he would be capable of dealing with a little difficulty seeing for an evening. Even if his glasses were permanently gone, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. But he just shouted about how I couldn’t understand what it’s like to have such difficulty seeing or how hurtful it is that someone would put him in that situation.

On a whim I told him that I would close my eyes, and keep them closed until he found his glasses. For a few moments this calmed him down and he seemed to relax, but as he went back to searching for his glasses, I realized that now I needed to keep my eyes closed, possibly for the rest of the party.

So I felt my way back into the living room, explained my promise to my guests and had someone make me a drink, sitting down on the couch with my eyes tightly closed. Soon I realized the foolishness of what I had promised, because now I could not help search for the glasses. But instead I wandered carefully around my apartment, being the blind party host, directing others to change the music and mix the drinks and asking for updates on the glasses search.

After a time I resolved myself to keeping my eyes closed for the whole rest of the night, and wondered if Aleks still hadn’t found his glasses by the time we went to bed, would I be able to remember to not open my eyes when I woke up?

But after nearly an hour, I heard the voice of our friend Jeremy behind me. “Hey, what’s this?” he said, and I felt a hand on my back, slipping into my sweater pocket. “Hey, it’s Aleks’ glasses. Hey look Dude, I found your glasses. Kalin, what were they doing in your pocket?” But something didn’t sound right to me, like he was holding back laughter.

“What?” I asked, still keeping my eyes closed, assuming he was joking. “You serious?”

A moment later Aleks confirmed, “Yeah those are my glasses.”

“You’re sure?” I asked, not wanting to accidentally break my promise if it turned out he was wrong.

“Yeah,” Aleks replied happily. “I can see again!”

I opened my eyes and saw Jeremy staring at me, very concerned. “Where did you find those?” I shouted.

“They were in your pocket,” he replied. “I saw them hanging out. Why the fuck would you do that to him?”

And suddenly everyone seemed to be glaring at me and I looked back at Jeremy, somehow seeing a falseness to him that I was certain of. “You son of a bitch,” I said, and in my drunken anger, threw the only real punch I’ve ever thrown. He blocked some of my momentum but I still connected with the side of his head.

Fortunately Jeremy’s a bit of a pacifist most of the time, so he simply backed up, waved his arms and shouted, “Dude, I didn’t do anything!”

“You fucking did this to Aleks and then tried to frame me!” I shouted.

“Dude! I wouldn’t do that.”

“You’re saying I did?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he replied. “All I know is his glasses were in your pocket.” He asked some of the others to confirm and they all nodded, that yes, they had seen him pull the glasses straight from my pocket.

But now that Aleks could see, he was even more angry than before, not knowing who he could trust, and both Jeremy and I spent some time trying to convince him that we were innocent as he stared suspiciously at everyone at the party.

An uncomfortable air hung over the gathering for a time after that, but still people stayed and continued drinking, and the only topic of conversation was the glasses fiasco.

After nearly an hour of suspicious finger-pointing from all sides, I found a moment alone with my girlfriend where she admitted that she had slipped the glasses in to my pocket, not recognizing what an issue it would become. “Jeneca took them and gave them to me because Aleks wasn’t paying enough attention to her,” she told me.

So I immediately got up and told Aleks who quickly started yelling at Jeneca who simply shouted back about how she was his girlfriend and he owed her a certain amount of attention and consideration and if he wasn’t going to give it to her voluntarily, she had every right to take it.

Their fight continued for half an hour or so until finally she became so angry that she left, vowing to walk home, which was across town, what we figured would be about a five hour walk. Aleks seemed glad to see her go, and was finally able to calm down a little bit.

About half an hour later, Jeneca’s older sister Julissa showed up and the drama started all over again when she found out we had let her sixteen year old sister walk across town alone after midnight. Almost immediately she demanded that Jeremy and Aleks pile into the back of her pickup truck to go looking for her.

So I was left at home with Becca and a few other friends. Thirty or forty minutes later, Julissa returned, followed closely by Jeneca.

“Have you guys seen Aleks or Jeremy?” asked Julissa.

“No, we thought they were with you.” we replied.

“Shit,” she replied. “We need to go back out looking for them.”

“What did you do with them?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” she said. “I wasn’t really paying attention. They were in the back of the truck most of the way, then I looked back and they weren’t there any more.”

So Julissa and Jeneca turned around and drove off again looking for them.

Twenty minutes later, Jeremy and Aleks came through the front door, both limping dramatically, and both with bloody scrapes across their hands and arms. They told a story of Aleks daring Jeremy to stand up in the back of the truck, Jeremy telling him he was a fool, and Aleks grabbing him to drag him to his feet, just as Julissa buzzed through a stop sign and turned a sharp corner. They both had tumbled out of the truck, fortunately just a few blocks from the house. They had tried to wave Julissa down, but she hadn’t been paying attention, so they had limped slowly home.

By the time they were done washing their wounds, Julissa and Jeneca returned, relieved to see Jeremy and Aleks alive.

Then we sat down, took a few shots of Poncho Villa, and all was forgiven.

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