COCKEYED: A MEMOIR by Ryan Knighton (Penguin), 263 pages, $25 paper. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Rryan Knighton's memoir is the least bitter piece of humour I have ever read, despite the paranoia and that smell on his hands.
At 18, night blindness and tunnel vision put the brakes on new independence, and Knighton is forced to deal.
When it comes to damage to Dad's car, retinitis pigmentosa is clearly a better excuse than daydreaming, but it still ain't easy.
Using his natural charm to stay afloat among sighted people, Knighton seems to have no pretensions. His is an unusually honest account, covering awkward situations but leaving out serious trauma and hardships.
We never feel sorry for him. In fact, we're left with the impression that life isn't so difficult after all.
Fortunately for Knighton, his sighted partner, Tracy, is a big part of the story, acting as his strongest connection to the world. Her ability to explain the mysterious "feces" really just fishies doesn't hurt either.
Blindness is more than a matter of coping with change. It's also about figuring out what's real cockroaches, for example, are. Imagine being unable to stomp on them because you can't see them.
Cockeyed is a fun summer read that just happens to be about a blind dude. That experience might embitter some, but in Cockeyed, Knighton's dark side has been Febrezed.
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