blind cane

Carried Away: Helping the Blind with Mobility

I hate my white cane and although I had given it a name to help me bond with it, Raising Cane was getting on my nerves. He refused to walk a straight line and insisted on greeting all the cracks and bumps along 14th Street. However, I reminded myself about how much my beloved guide dog Madge deserved the monthly visit to the doggie spa to reward her hard work. I squeezed the rubber grip on the white stick and mentally told Raising Cane that in a few hours, he would go back in the closet. A place I was unfamiliar with, but heard really sucked.

I was preparing to cross the street and paused to listen to the traffic for a few minutes. I was about to take a step forward when I heard a man shout, “Wait! I gotcha!” I smelled citrus cologne and was stunned to feel a pair of very strong arms lift and throw me over a muscular shoulder. I moved my lips but my words were playing hooky and I remained mute. I could now smell the fragrance, which I now recognized as Aqua di Gio. I could also feel his toned stomach with my left hand and was now hoping he would take me home. I sensed him take a step up onto the curb and I knew my ride was about to end. The buff guy placed me on the sidewalk and scolded me, “You shouldn’t be crossing by yourself.” Still mesmerized by the stranger’s physique, I ignored his naïve yet cute comment. I checked the time on my cell and asked, “Will you be here in about a month at the same time?” Although I love being independent, I have definitely learned when to enjoy being helped.

Who is Belo Cipriani?

Belo Cipriani is the Writer-in-Residence at Holy Names University, a spokesperson for Guide Dogs for the Blind, the “Get to Work” columnist for SFGate.com, and the author of Blind: A Memoir. You are invited to connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

Photo: “I Get Around” by Freaktography is licensed under CC BY 2.0

NOTE: This article is available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own website. To obtain permission and details contact info@belocipriani.com

Belo Cipriani View more

Belo Cipriani is the award-winning author of Blind: A Memoir and Midday Dreams. He is a disability advocate, a spokesman for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and is currently the national spokesman for 100 Percent Wine -- a premium winery that donates 100 percent of proceeds to nonprofits that help people with disabilities find work.