She helped me get to a table - somehow I managed to avoid bumping into anything. I felt quite certain that everyone in the place was looking at me. Strangely, I did not find this as disturbing as I would have otherwise. Since I could not see them, they did not bother me.
"How do you feel?" Jane asked me.
"Fine. A little strange, I guess. It's really strange not being able to see like this."
"I can understand that. I'm enjoying this, though - you seem a lot less hurried when you can't see."
As I mulled this over, I sensed someone approaching the table. "Something to drink?" said a female voice.
"Yes, I'll take an iced tea", said Jane, "do you want anything, honey?"
"I'll take a coke, please." I said. Hoping that I was facing more-or-less towards the waitress.
We say and talked for a minute. I felt odd, and a little nervous about discussing anything personal, because I was not sure if anybody was near us.
A minute later, the sensation of somebody approaching, then the sound of something being put on the table in front of us. Wet sound. Must be the drinks.
"Ready to order?" Came a voice from next to us.
"Cheeseburger for me, please", seemed like a safe bet to me.
Jane ordered, and we waited until the food came. It was a delicate operation, but I slowly slid my hand across the table until I felt a cold, wet glass next to it. Sliding my fingers upwards, I found the top of the glass, and found a straw. Something felt wrong, until I realized that the wrapper was still on the top of it. I slipped it off, and put it on the table.
Jane's hand found mine on the table. Usually, I am not a "touchy" person, but feeling a little isolated from the rest of the world without my sight, I was grateful for the extra measure of communication that a hand provided.
Our food arrived a moment later, and I was pleased to find that the burger was small enough that I could eat it without help from Jane, and without making a huge mess. The french fries were pretty easy, too. Jane asked if I wanted ketchup, but I passed - I was just barely used to the idea of getting dry food to my mouth without making a mess.
It had been probably not more than an hour since she had bandaged my eyes, yet already I was discovering ways to make the world around me work better with my temporary blindness.
"Done yet? I've got the check, we can go now."
I took her hand, and carefully began to follow her back to the door. I could see that this was definitely the most difficult part of not being able to see: Maneuvering in small areas, especially with other people around. I needed to be able to hear to know what was going on around me, and the voices made it difficult.
Carefully, and only tripping slightly over a curb in the parking lot, she led me back to the car, and opened the door for me. It was interesting to note that motions that I made commonly - getting into a car, eating food - did not really require sight, as they were so automatic.
"Do you mind, not being able to see?" She asked.
"Well, I definitely would not like to have this be a permanent condition, but it's a strange feeling. I have to admit I like feeling taken care of by you."
"I like it too. I like having you just a little vulnerable like this - you don't have the habit of walking too fast for me when you can't see where you're going, for instance!" she laughed.
"I know, I know. Can I help it if I drink too much coffee?"
"I suppose not.." she paused ".. I have an idea, I don't know if you'd like it."
"Well, you can tell me. The worst I can do is run screaming for help."
"What would you think of taking a weekend trip, and having your eyes bandaged for the entire weekend?"
"A weekend? That's a pretty long time - no TV, no reading.."
"We could find other things to do, and it'll be far enough away, that I could just explain to the people at the hotel that you had an eye operation or something."
"It sounds like you've been giving this some thought!"
"Well.. A little bit, I guess. But I really do like having you like this."
I nodded, and we held hands. My other hand touched the soft fabric of the bandages that covered my eyes. Less than a millimeter of thin padding covered my eyes - but they were completely useless nonetheless.
A weekend without sight. What would that be like?