Writing a story for the first time. It's beginning will be slow, and the length of chapters will more than likely not be very steady. I'm not one for much proofreading, but I have confidence in my grammar and spelling. Any mistakes are entirely my fault because of this. This chapter is just a small intro, a back story to the main character and sets the stage for coming chapters.
All major plot related events take place in current years. Most musical devices mentioned will therefore be more recent. I'm not saying that everything is exactly precise, because I don't know the full extent of how some machines are used. Please read this as it is, a work of fiction. Not being blind myself, I doubt I will ever be able to accurately describe events from their perspective, but I have consulted with several blind fellows and done some research.
I hope you enjoy.
Being blind since birth hasn't necessarily been a bad thing. People ask what I see all the time, and the only way I can respond is by saying,
“I see nothing at all,” to which comes the typical reply,
“So you see black?” At this point I just shrug my shoulders. When your born without knowing colors, and someone wants to know if you see a color, you wont be able to adequately give an answer. Many times, someone will try to describe a color to me, and I just don't get it.
“Think of something that's really dark,” they'll say, but that isn't enough. Then again, your typical middle to high school student wouldn't be able to give you a decent enough description in the first place.
Because of this, music became very important to me, almost a medium that allowed me to see color. Figuratively, of course. The songs of troubled times, of troubled people are called the blues, a color. And I began to relate sad things with this color. I would soon learn that this is only one facet, one shade of the color blue, though.
Red was the color of anger, the sound of a singer screaming into his microphone as guitars roared in the background.
Yellow was the color warmth, the sound of a summer tune.
So many more sounds, so many more colors that related to one another. Early on in life, I thought that there were only a few colors, only a few sounds because I was only exposed to what was thought appropriate for me. And back then, I didn't get it, I was blind, why wouldn't I be allowed to listen to what I want to, in order to compensate for the sight I was lacking. Looking back on it, though, it makes sense. A mother, a father watching after their blind child wouldn't want them listening to the slur and expletives that shot out of a rapper's mouth, the suggestive language in rock.
My hair, my eyes, my skin. I couldn't tell you what shade of color they are. I asked years ago and I was told I was white with brown hair and gray eyes. But that didn't mean anything, brown wasn't a color to me then. If anything, I made me feel bad. Gray was a color of sadness to me, and white was the color of a blank sheet of paper, as I'd been told. It made me feel as though I looked sad to everyone around me, despite the smile I knew I always wore.
I never felt as though I was missing out, even with my lack of vision. Sure, I feel that little twist of jealousy when someone will go, “Look at this,” forgetting I'm present, or if I'm within my well developed hearing range. When people realize that I may have overheard, they're quick to apologize, but I'm always ready to forgive them.
My friends don't really extend beyond the length of having them since middle school or so. In elementary, no one wanted to be associated with the “blind kid.” It didn't bother me, because teachers were always there to talk to me and keep me company. And it forced me to mature much faster than those around me.
Never did I feel lonely, either. Even when teachers weren't around. I could hear the people around me, even if they thought I couldn't. I first thought it was a super power, being able to hear the girls in kindergarten whispering to each other like they were sharing the world's biggest secret. And later on, I found out that because of my lack of sight that my body compensated. My hearing was exceptional, my sense of smell was sharp, and I could feel very slight vibration within close proximity of myself. I'm not saying I was able to whip around and greet people like I could read their minds, but if someone was coming, I'd be able to at least tell from what direction.
In middle school, their were what you'd call “cliques,” but as far as I knew, it wasn't some social hierarchy, but just people who got along well, with similar interests. I soon fell in with the music crowd, and I was introduced to many different genre of music. By music crowd, I don't mean the band, or the punk rockers, or the metalheads, or anything of the sort. I was just friends with people that had an interest in music as a whole. It got to the point where if there was a dispute over a song, I was the go to guy. People often asked me when a song came out, who sang what, or what were the lyrics to a certain part.
Just because I was deep into music, doesn't mean I played instruments, though. I tried and was never good at what people considered the “cool” instruments. So I just listened more and more, open to whatever someone was willing to throw my way.
Because I was blind I never really noticed it, but the crowd that I drew was by no means limited. When freshman year in high school rolled around, I realized just how many different people actually were able to hold conversation with me about music, no matter the type. I could switch from conversing about country to hip-hop just as easily as I could breathe. And people took notice of it. I still don't understand how I, a blind kid could draw such a crowd, but I never let myself dwell on it too long.
And here we are, sophomore year in high school. People told me I was tall, they'd say around six feet. I never was and probably never will be able to truly understand what that meant, what it looked like, but I took their word for it.
“Mark, you gotta listen to this, man,” I heard a friend of mine, Will, call out while I waited for class to begin. He grabbed my hand and placed a pair of headphones in it. I slid them on over my ears as music began to play.
What I felt as the beat assaulted my ears is nearly indescribable. If music was color, this was damn near a rainbow. People often said that rainbows were all the colors in a band, but since I related color with music, I never got it. And suddenly it almost made sense. No words were said as the music played, just the sound of drums, the sound of bass as it strained the cheap headphones Will owned. I could hear the crackling static as they struggled to keep up with the music.
“Hold on,” I had Will pause the music as I pulled out a pair of my own headphones, V-Moda Crossfades. Expensive, but much better than what Will had me listening with. “Alright, go ahead.” At this point, I could only assume Will had a big smile on his face, glad he'd introduced me to this new music.
The sound oscillated from ear to ear, complex in that so much was going on at once, even if it was just one or two sounds as they changed. Slowly, gradually the pitch increased, borderline painful for my ears until, unexpectedly, the sounds all at once dropped, the bass becoming prominent. I felt chills run down my spine, and a wide grin split across my face. I knew this was the music for me almost immediately.
“Do you have anymore of this?” I asked Will, knowing full well he probably had an arsenal of songs that he could rattle off for me too later look up. I could hear people whispering off in the distance, talking about what had just transpired. It wasn't often that people were able to bring a new genre of music to me, seeing as I was the one that introduced others to it.
I soon became aware of what I was listening too, dubstep. It became one of those genres that you either loved or hated. I loved it. It became an obsession as I soon loaded up whatever music playing device I had with a multitude of songs that, without fail, brought shivers down my spine and raised the hair on the back of my neck.
Dubstep didn't completely take over my musical library, it just became the majority. And it began to surprise me who else was liking dubstep, just like myself.