Thursday, August 25, 2011

Missed Connections

I picked the sweater up off the ugly airport carpet. Who cares which airport it was: they all have hideous carpet. You'd never put it in your house. The sweater, on the other hand, was something I would have in my apartment. It was pink and really soft. It had faux mother-of-pearl buttons. I'm a girl who notices those things. Don't tell anyone.

"Miss, you dropped your sweater," but she didn't reply. I put my hand on her shoulder and repeated myself. She spun around really fast. She looked down at the sweater and her face spoke a gestalt moment.

"Thank you very much," she said with soft consonants and sibilant hush. I realize she's deaf and her face tells me my face says so. There's a long awkward pause. It probably wasn't that long. Another wave of shame passes through me. She starts to turn away. I grab her shoulder and duck back into her line of sight.

"I'm sorry. I'm ignorant." Her dismay transforms into a smile. She reaches up, squeezes my shoulder, and winks. She makes 2 signs and adds words to each, "thank-you" and "weird". Thank goodness, I'm not a complete asshole. For the record I only remember the sign for 'weird'.


  1. Your deaf name is "weird" with an "E".

  2. You probably made that person's day. Understanding is an innate human desire, in my opinion. You both were able to connect on this level.

    Humanity get!