Revolving doors at office towers might as well be called “blind-person milling machines.” Try finding the bottle of vitamins you want on a CVS shelf or minding the gap on the S train at Times Square without plunging to the tracks. Beijing, where I currently reside, is a death trap for the disabled. Every time I cross a chaotic street, I fear I’ll end up like the often-unfortunate amphibian in the old video game Frogger. I’ve thought of writing a James Bond movie script in which the bad guy is blind and intent on destroying the world in order to rebuild it to suit the disabled.

Short of that, I’ve been forced to foist certain responsibilities onto others, most of all my wife, who is stuck with me more than anyone else. She has to fill out paper forms for me and locate the right pair of pants at a Uniqlo. Sometimes when I’m home alone, I drop something and can’t find it. “Somewhere on the kitchen floor is a grape,” I tell her upon her return.

I have little choice, but the feelings of guilt persist, making me reluctant to seek help. Flying on my own has become a trial. I dare you to find your suitcase on a baggage-claim carousel blindfolded. But I can’t bring myself to request assistance from the airline. I still assume I’ll figure it out along the way. My wife, worried I won’t, contacts airlines for me.

She’s right. I’ve been thinking about this the wrong way, insisting on a faulty mental construct—the myth, that is, that we should all be independent. None of us is, really. We rely on one another all day long, in all kinds of ways—parents taking turns driving their kids to soccer practice, a daughter escorting her elderly mother to the doctor, office workers contributing to a team project. So I need help finding a Dunkin’ Donuts. What’s the big deal?

Read more in The Atlantic.

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