We stand looking at yet another painting, and the man next to Paul comments to him. The two strike up a conversation and I try not to look as though I want to know what they are saying. I busy myself looking intently at a speck of dust and when I furtively glance at Paul he immediately tries to explain what they were discussing. I don't really understand what he is saying and as Paul tries to fingerspell it and put a 5 minute conversation into a 5 second nutshell his newfound friend excuses himself and escapes.
At some point Paul has to excuse himself to the men's room and I busy myself with my phone, I have no job and my few good friends know where I am so I fiddle around on facebook when I realize someone is standing near me and apparently talking. I look up with a smile and apologize for ignoring them, and explain I am deaf and didn't realize they were talking. They smile awkwardly and apologize for bothering me. I tell them they weren't bothering me at all and please to go ahead with what they were trying to say. They wave their hand dismissively, smile pityingly, and escape.
Paul comes back with a warm smile and his strong arms quickly wrap around my waist as his lips brush my neck and for just a moment I relax. Right then a girl in a fabulous dress appears right next to us, and I insist Paul asks where she found it. He tells her his wife is deaf but would like to know where she found her dress. The girl pauses for a moment to understand and then with a preschool teacher smile turns to me and tells me where she bought it, and then how beautiful I am. She then flashes Paul a sympathetic smile and escapes.
We walk around amusing ourselves, noting the conversations flowing around us, and both admit to being a bit tired at the same time. We escape...