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'.