The Day I Was Blinded…Metaphorically, Of Course (BB&B)

May 27, 2009

Have you ever seen something so hideous and grotesque that it became emblazoned into your brain never to go away or recede with time? This is the story of one such image. 

The day started innocently enough with me volunteering to clean my Mom’s car. It was a pale blue VW Beetle and I thought I would be a nice 14 year old kid and polish it for her. 

After washing and waxing the car I figured I might as well clean the interior to match the now beautiful exterior. I started by clearing out a variety of small items in the car and then went about cleaning the windows and such. 

The last item I decided to clean was the glove compartment. This decision would change my life in a way that has never been resolved. I took out the usual items one would expect to find until the compartment was almost empty. In running my hands over the bottom of the glove box, I grabbed what felt like Polaroid pictures. 

Sure enough, that’s exactly what they were. I flipped one over and immediately noticed that it was the photo of a nude woman. Her face was not viewable because the flash from the camera blocked it out. Odd, I thought, that I should find it in my Mom’s glove compartment. 

And that’s when it hit me. The nude woman in the photo’s I was holding was my own dear mother. Maybe for most people, this would be a non-issue. After all, nudity is beautiful in some cultures. Not in my world. For me, the picture seared into my mind like a heat seeking missile. I felt my stomach churn and thought for sure I was going to hurl. What kind of deranged person takes nude photo’s of themselves and then leaves them around for minors to stumble across? 

My vision blurred from the sensory onslaught, I stumbled out of the car like I had been shot. I tossed the pictures onto the passenger seat like hot coals from my hands. Now what? I didn’t dare risk seeing them again by grabbing them and how would I ever face this woman again without that revolting image popping immediately into my brain? 

I grabbed one of the towels I had used to clean the car and threw it over the photos. I then collected them under the towel and threw them back into the glove box. The same glove box I would never open again for the rest of my life. I then put the rest of the stuff I had taken out and placed it back on top of the photos. It took hours before I regained my composure…and vision. 

I probably didn’t look my mother in the eyes for at least a week after that. And even that was not enough time to erase the stain of what I saw from my memory. I never told her about what I found and have no idea what she was doing with them in the car in the first place. Swapping them like baseball cards? 

Parents, consider yourselves warned. Your innocent moment with the digital camera might just come back to haunt you. Worse yet, it might partially blind your child and impair their sanity. I can testify.