That’s the number of times most people tolerate being asked: “Could you repeat that?”
Then conversations come to an abrupt halt, like a telephone line gone dead.
No one likes being hung up on, so I pretend to understand when I don’t.
I shake my head “yes” when the answer should be “huh?”
Being hearing impaired is like filling in the blanks of a Wheel of Fortune puzzle.
Ca_ You U_de_s_a_d _he Wo_ds Comi_g out My Mou__?
My ears are constantly tuned to a station with a weak signal.
Broken radios are considered throw-away items, so I hide my affliction.
It wasn’t always this way.
At first, I tried different techniques.
I asked for specifics: “Could you repeat the last THREE words?”
I gave instructions: “It helps if you enunciate and pause between the words.”
And when that didn’t work, I asked, “Could you just write it down?”
I glanced at the paper and pen pushed back at me, the backs of those who hear well as they walked away, and wondered what seemed so unreasonable about exerting ½ the effort I did.
I have a memory. It is of walking down the street with a friend.
He is on my right and we are talking.
He places his hands at my waist and they guide me to the right. He shifts to my left.
He knows I can hear better that way.
When I still don’t understand what’s said, he repeats himself a 3rd time.
It isn’t just the words I hear.
It is in moments like these that I know -
Even with these defective ears -
I am able to hear everything that’s really important.
© Camisha Jones, 2012
|1935 Zenith radio|