In a Crowded Space

I’m walking along an airport terminal. Or down a city sidewalk. Or across a large lobby. Any concourse will do. The floor is relatively flat, but my white cane will identify pesky unevenness. I walk with ease next to my companion until other people move into the space, too.

From any direction, to any direction. Phones, bulky baggage, and strollers distract those near me. It’s chaos. I switch my white cane stance to the pencil grip rather than extended to prevent people around me from tangling in my sweep. I might even drop behind to follow my companion, using him as a blocker to my running back. Fake left, go right.

A fair amount of the time, my white cane parts the pedestrian masses like Moses and the Red Sea. But the more cross-traffic I encounter, it’s likely I won’t be noticed–people will bump into me or even try to squeeze between me and my companion. Seriously. They see daylight and they go.

A solution? I take the elbow of my companion–so I can anticipate directional changes rather than be dragged around if my companion were to grab my arm–and together we form a discreet but larger object that others stop trying to split. We glide through the congestion with less hassle. Airport terminals, city sidewalks, and busy lobbies will still be chaotic, but I will find a way through.


Check out the Tips category on the right sidebar to find more tricks and tools on living with low vision.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. I know that feeling very well. My cane does help when I need the space to keep from falling.

    However, I’d rather not the grab by the elbow, where I feel uncomfortably close, or doesn’t work when people are not close to the same in height. I prefer simply holding hands, so that I am less likely to trip, and have more than half an inch of movement if need be. Also, if I do fall, my husband can reach and grab me easier than if I am holding his elbow at about my eye level.

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