When I wait in line at the coffeehouse (or anywhere else, really) and there’s a bunch of people chatting in front of me and laughing and sometimes horsing around, I wonder just what it is that they’re saying. The usual response I’ll get from someone who is hearing is that these conversations that they overhear—or even participate in—are usually unimportant or uninteresting. But this is an unfair way to write off what might actually be valuable to me. To know what is being said, even all the ridiculous and potentially stupid stuff, is to be exposed to the thoughts and ideas and observations of people that I would otherwise not know. And as a writer, I would benefit. As a human being, I would feel added connections to the world around me.
So I miss out, regardless of what you might think of these things you hear. It’s not so much that I want to actually always hear what’s being said, I just want to know. I’d love to be that skilled of a lipreader. Or I’d love to have glasses that caption the world for me. And sometimes, yes, I do want to hear it. It just don’t want to all the time. I think sometimes in the community we think we have to be THIS or THAT. We have to see things one way or it’s opposite. We have to want to be completely deaf and never hear or be completely hearing or always hear. I am not one or the other. I am a person who doesn’t mind being deaf most of the time because that’s who I am, but who sometimes would like to hear.
I went off on a tangent here. I meant what I said, though. I don’t want it always. I’d be content to be a skilled lipreader. While I’d also love if the world signed, opening up communication for us all, I don’t see that as ever being likely no matter how much I’d want it.
For now, I’ll wait in line and wonder. And get my coffee next, sit down, and drink.