Charlie woke up unusually early this morning.
He didn’t move for a moment and waited in silence to be sure that Maggie hadn’t yet been awake. He felt no movement coming from her end of the bed, so the 83-year-old man crept out of bed ever so slowly and ever so quietly. The minor tosses and turns from Maggie’s side of the bed worried him for a moment that he had woken her up, but the movements would end each time within a moment and so he continued his journey out of bed. Finally after making it to the upright position, he rocked a few times and made it to standing up straight.
The 6’ 2” gentleman smiled to himself and heard no other sounds coming from Maggie. With cat-like tread, Charlie fumbled his way to the kitchen, taking extra care so as to not knock over any of Maggie’s 20-something million knick-knacks on every single end of every single counter, table, or chair that Charlie could put his hand on. He finally made it to the kitchen, opened up the refrigerator, and began gathering the supplies he needed so he could make Maggie the best damn anniversary breakfast she ever had.
The only thing, well- things, in his way were both of the antagonists: macular degeneration had teamed up with cataracts within 6 months of each other to ensure that our protagonist Charlie would be completely blind in under a year; unfortunately, his year was just about up. Of course, this didn’t stop Charlie from getting up early to make his wife some Goddamned pancakes. “Who needs vision to cook?” he thought. “Sound and smell is what cooking’s all about.” he reasoned. So he felt his way through the refrigerator, and grabbed what felt like eggs and what felt like butter and what felt like milk and all the rest. He felt the items safely in his arms and took extra care to not drop a single thing. He dropped an egg before making it to the counter. He froze in his tracks to listen for the sound of any movement coming from Maggie’s room. He realized how true it was that when one loses a sense, the others get stronger.
The trek to the counter had been completed. He relied on his kinesthetic sense to properly guide him to the mixing bowls which were either in the third or fifth drawer from the right. He could never keep up with how meticulously Maggie arranged things, even when he had his vision. After a moment of feeling wooden spoons and pots from the third and fifth drawers, respectively, Charlie discovered that the mixing bowls were in neither of those compartments. Rather than waste time trying to find those pesky bowls, he figured he would skip the middle man and begin mixing everything right into the pot. “What a brilliant thought,” he chuckled to himself. “I’ll make this work and eliminate the need for mixing bowls altogether!”
Charlie's show began. He poured in roughly two cups of flour. Very roughly; the actual amount was 4 and a quarter cups, but who was counting? Charlie wasn’t. His confidence grew as the mixing continued. He poured in a teaspoon of vanilla (actually a tablespoon of vinegar), cracked in the egg (the shell came along), a dash of salt (four dashes, though that was intentional). “Maggie loves salt,” he grinned. In the midst of the show, he got so caught up in making the “perfect pancakes” for Maggie he didn’t realize that she had been standing there for the last two minutes.
“Charlie!” she yelled. Charlie froze in his tracks like a boy who had been caught stealing cookies from the cookie jar. “What the hell are you doing?” she asked. “I’m making pancakes!” he replied, obviously was implied in his tone. There was a long moment of silence. Charlie was blind, but he could see the look on Maggie’s face. He knew he was wrong here, but damned if he was going to be stopped from making Maggie these pancakes. “Alright, well let me help you then,” Maggie said. Without missing a beat, he responded, “I don’t need any help! I’m doing fine here. It’s our anniversary, and I’m making you these pancakes.” He fought the tears that were falling from his fallen eyes. Maggie understood and after another moment, kissed him, not out of pity, but purely of love and appreciation. Her hand took his hand and guided him through the rest of the Blind Pancake-Making Show. They were a bit salty, but delightful nonetheless.