Writing Blind

Yesterday, for perhaps the seventh or eighth time, I read Raymond Carver’s masterful story “Cathedral,” one of whose main characters is a blind man. This blind man, early on in the story, is an object of scorn to the story’s narrator. And the blind man’s blindness is an object of mockery. The reason for this is the narrator feels great jealousy toward the blind man. Because, once upon a time, the blind man touched the narrator’s wife’s face. And, afterward, she wrote a poem about it.

The wife ends up sharing the poem with both the blind man and the narrator. And here’s the narrator speaking about his wife’s poem:

When we first started going out together, she showed me the poem. In the poem, she recalled his fingers and the way they had moved around over her face. In the poem, she talked about what she had felt at the time, about what went through her mind when the blind man touched her nose and lips. I can remember I didn’t think much of the poem. Of course, I didn’t tell her that. Maybe I just don’t understand poetry. I admit it’s not the first thing I reach for when I pick up something to read.

Although the narrator speaks about the poem, he never shares its contents with the reader. Which leads us to today’s prompt:

Write a piece of prose or poetry about the experience of a blind person touching your face, or a character’s face. Write from the point of view of the blind person or the person being touched. What are you feeling? What are you thinking about? What are you hearing? What are you remembering? What are you imagining when you’re touching or being touched?