I put off writing this for many reasons. First off, it’s that time of the year when I come home from work too fucking hot to bother doing anything but play something on PS4 (right now I’m going through The Wolf Among Us, assuming you care). Second, I’ve had other things to worry about: family issues, writing projects, contemplating whether or not I REALLY want to quit this job in favor of something closer to home that pays less, etc. Third, and perhaps most importantly, I don’t like writing about my impairment.
I’m pretty sure we’ve been over this before, but just in case you’re joining me here for the first time, I don’t like writing about the blind life. I’m not ashamed of my impairment, I’m not one of those glittery little idiots who stands up and assures everyone that we’re all little snowflakes holding hands under the fucking rainbow. It is what it is, pure and simple. I’d rather focus on the stories I want to write instead of answering the same god damn questions about how many fingers you’re holding up, and how my broken-ass vision works.
Then, about a week ago, it occurs to me I need to make one more thing clear. Something I kind of thought would be a no brainer, but then, while trying to enjoy my post-work-ritual of chewing some 5gum and impatiently waiting for my ride to get there, someone came up to me, and we had to go through the same song and dance with a new twist that I never thought I’d have to dispel. To be fair, though, I never thought Netflix would be giving Daredevil a go. So yeah, I guess I have to add a whole new category to the “shit I have to answer on a regular fucking basis” category.
For the one percent in the world who probably doesn’t know by now, Daredevil is a Marvel comics superhero. Until recently, I’d say he was actually one of the more obscure heroes, but I haven’t paid attention to comics since my right eye went south. Last time I checked, Spiderman was dealing with clones, and I think the X-Men were dealing with some dude named Onslaught. Hulk was in there too. But that’s all beside the point. Daredevil’s big gimmick was that he was blinded by a chemical spill, and the chemicals gave him some weird sort of sonar vision. Or if you follow the Netflix version, he went completely blind, and a guy named Stick taught him how to be a fucking ninja. Frankly, I like the Netflix Daredevil .
Oh, and for the record, I’m in the extreme minority of people who really didn’t think the Daredevil movie was THAT bad. Okay, it’s not great, but when it comes to comic book movies, I’ve seen worse.
About a year after Netflix debuted Daredevil, I’m out there at the entrance of my work, Trying really hard to enjoy my 5gum for the brief time it has flavor (the only real weakness 5gum has), listening to this guy who openly admits he has ADHDMarvel at the fact that I’m a blind guy.
I put up with a lot of people who are impressed with the fact a blind person can do my job. Frankly, I’m not sure if they’re underestimating me, or overestimating just how complicated this job is. Spoiler: a fucking monkey could do this job. They’d probably do it for free. I’m not going to say I feel like a freakshow attraction every time this happens, but it’s definitely a lot more patronizing than a lot of them realize.
This guy then decides to start talking about Daredevil. Instantly, I didn’t like where this was going. Sure enough, it went exactly where I thought it would, and I had to point out all of the obvious bulletpoints.
I’m not Daredevil. I’m nothing like Daredevil. For starters, when I told my mom I wanted to go into law, she wasn’t exactly thrilled with that, considering it cut into her fantasies of her son becoming a medical transcriptionist (don’t ask). Also, I wanted to be a private eye more than a lawyer. I wanted to be like Sherlock Holmes, or the detectives from Indigo Prophecy, or L, or something.
Also, Daredevil was made blind in an accident with chemicals. I was BORN this way, mostly. My right eye got infected when I was eleven, most likely from the local swimming pool really loving its chlorine a little too much. Before then, I just needed two years worth of eye surgeries, and thick glasses. And maybe a magnifier. On the plus side, with only one eye, I didn’t really need the glasses anymore.
Third, and finally, Daredevil is a fucking ninja! I can’t even balance on one foot for long periods of time. I kind of know how to box, I’m a green belt in taiquando (though I forgot most of what I learned fourteen years later), but I’m not jumping from roof to roof. They say blind people have heightened senses… But considering I’ve been like this my entire life, I really don’t know any other way. Sometimes, I’m actually quite befuddled to realize I can hear things that most people can’t, but even then, it’s nothing like Daredevil.
I know the guy’s trying to be flattering, and I really want to give it to him. Considering the only OTHER blind person in popular media was that one-shot blind girl from Family Guy… Ugh, don’t even get me started. On that episode, or Family Guy in general.
I’m not saying Daredevil is bad. Far from it. I’m just saying that the moment you start assuming we’re all Daredevil is probably the moment you might want to club yourself in the head. If that’s really what it takes to get that notion out of your head.
I’m probably more irritable about this than I ought to be. Sue me: it’s fucking hot, it’s a Monday, I have no time for your nonsense, and I really wish I could drive myself places so I wouldn’t have to have this conversation while having to wait here in the hot sun after a long hot day at work that was hot as shit. Did I mention it’s hot? Because that’s kind of important.