I have a good friend that I talk with regularly, but whom I haven’t spoken with in many years. Her name is Lacy. Her (now) husband Scott and I played Soccer together at Portland State, and I got to know her when we would both walk down from Goose Hollow to our respective jobs in Pioneer Place Mall (hers answering phones and providing customer service at
Saks Fifth AvenueNordstrom, mine working as a stock manager at Victoria’s Secret).
Lacy didn’t need me to walk her the ten city blocks, which she made expressly clear the first time I accompanied her, but I was welcome as long as I stayed out of her way. This might sound a bit harsh, but there’s another detail, Lacy was born without functioning optical nerves. She is utterly and completely blind.
A few years after we all left college, Lacy was fortunate enough to be selected for partnership with a seeing-eye-dog named Justice, but at the time she was making her way confidently down Salmon Ave to the rhythmic tapping of her cane, counting off the streets, and listening for the crossing signal at every intersection. It was a point of pride that she didn’t NEED anyone to get where she was going.