Kyle Minor

First everything went yellow and then Yelvington couldn't see. Xanthoptic cataracts, the opthamologist said. Rapid onset. "How can I kill myself if I can't see?" Yelvington said. "Ha ha," the doctor said. He spoke of the English romantic poet Thomas Chatterton, who killed himself with arsenic in 1770. They were old friends and had always spoken this way. Yelvington knew jokes about all the genocides, and the doctor knew all the jokes about the uses of women. When they were younger they wore black POW-MIA shirts and marched and waved signs. "I am a monster," Yelvington said now. "I'm like those blind guys who sat in the front row of my classes with their ugly girlfriends and their guide dogs and the yellow stains on their teeth." "So you'll get special privileges," the doctor said. "So now you can sue under the Americans with Disabilities Act because the curb is an inch too high off the street. Look at you. You're a rich man in waiting." They talked this way for awhile, then the doctor told the receptionist he felt ill, and he cancelled all his appointments for the rest of the day. They went out the back door. Yelvington put his hand on the doctor's shoulder. They went to the bar and did not chat up any women. They sat in a corner booth and ordered shots. "Let's drink till we're both blind," Yelvington said. Their talk grew louder and louder, but no one came by and told them to be quiet. "Nobody wants to tell a blind guy to shut up," Yelvington said. He felt the tears at his eyes. "Hey," the doctor said. "Nobody wants to see a blind guy cry." They were both crying a little, and the doctor said, "Cheer up. Soon we'll both be dead." It made them both feel better when the doctor said it. He went around to the other side of the table and put his arm around Yelvington. "The world will be better off without sick fucks like us," he said. Yelvington did not say that he was only half-joking about suicide. But being with the doctor made him want to live awhile longer.