Blind Man’s Staircase, A Lament

Endpoint. Surcease. Equals staircase. Expectation: up or down stairs a goal. Perhaps several. Stairs propose accomplishments. And stairs are blind. Like Tiresias they may know the future.

Unlike him, they’re not talking.

Yesterday I visited the home of people I didn’t know. It was a private affair. A fund raising party for a good cause. The house was modernistic. It had more steps from room to room than any house I’ve ever been in. I said to someone hanging out by the cookies, “this is a blind person’s nightmare…I’ve had dreams like this…where I’m running in a strange house with lots of stairs…and something’s chasing me…”

Stairs are my enemy whether I’m awake or sleeping.

Before I got my first guide dog I fell down a long flight of steeply pitched wooden stairs. I didn’t break anything but for weeks I had a hematoma the size of a basketball on my ass. Couldn’t wear pants. Had to go around in oversized sweats. Limping. Falling down stairs has no merit. Maybe it’s true, stairs propose accomplishments. But they are only a propositional architecture. As a disabled person I have many suspicions about architectures—the untruth of propositions being just one. (There are others—unfairness, cruelty of aesthetics, etc.)

Zen stairs: they are another thing that will never be my friend.

Interview the stairs, they say: “what are we doing coming back here with this pain?”

Climbing the stairs, man and woman, planning to make a child…

Descending stairs, one imperative of art…

The entrenched stairs, where long ago primeval animals stood…

Where suitcases are handed from heart to heart…

Who profits from stairs? Really?


Author: skuusisto

Poet, Essayist, Blogger, Journalist, Memoirist, Disability Rights Advocate, Public Speaker, Professor, Syracuse University

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