to page 1 of conversation
Michael: So you
spend more time alone and, I assume, indoors. Let me pry a little
further. I know you like good food, and that you're a good cook.
I'd think that both cooking and getting out to restaurants would
be more difficult now. Do you do a lot more of one or the other?
|Joel: I still prepare
my own meals, and only go out to eat socially. There are changes,
sure. Fewer new recipes tried on a whim because browsing through my
cookbooks is impossible. Also, for safety and convenience, I cook
less on top of the stove, and more in the oven and microwave.
You recently took up with an old friend: the steel-string
guitar. Does that have something to do with the loss of vision?
loss wasn't my main inspiration for getting a guitar again.
It was about aging. I just wanted to recapture the blues and
folk music I learned in my twenties. I can't see my fingers
clearly on the frets, and have to grope around a bit, but
it's coming along.
on relearning the guitar
Michael: One more
thing: you've been a bit of a gym rat at times - do you still keep
in good physical shape?
|Joel: I work out
at home now, three times a week. Stationary bike for aerobic exercise,
plus free weights and situps. I lost patience with the stress and
time that commuting to the gym by bus was costing me. And I don't
have to adjust all those machines by feel anymore.
|Michael: Any other
significant change in how you do things?
Joel: The most
profound daily adjustments don't involve the practical challenges
I can master alone, but those I can't. Having to ask for help constantly.
No more slipping through a supermarket to grab a few items, exchanging
greetings with the express lane cashier, and getting right back
out in the world again, because I can't see the products clearly,
can't read the labels. I have to locate the shift manager, get someone
assigned to accompany me, and have an interaction I'm not always
in the mood for. To shop for clothes or attend a concert, I have
to find the appropriate and available friend. There's a lot of delayed
gratification, feelings of helplessness, and fear of excessive dependency.
Much balance is required, sought, and sometimes even achieved.