Monday, March 21, 2011


I'm surrounded by people and uncomfortable in a pair of heels I can't really balance in anymore. I try not to lean on Paul too much and comment to someone near us about something random, drawing them into a conversation. They say something, I tell them I am deaf and try to read their lips, but generally they look to Paul and he then explains to me what they said. My smile tends to be unharnessed and my mouth moves a slight beat quicker then my thoughts, so I enthusiastically reply and notice the person has a slightly confused look on their face. I remember to draw my volume from my stomach and not my throat and try to speak clearly, but they smile at me wanly and glance at Paul, waiting for his explanation. He tells them what I am trying to say and then we all stand awkwardly for a moment before they smile and escape.

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...


Courtney said...

I have no clue about the marriage aspect, but I know what you mean with the social part. I find I've become more and more quiet the last few years.I just don't see what I'm putting that energy towards and yes, it does get lonely, but unless the person is 'readable' immediately or willing to write, I just don't see the point to interaction.

Anonymous said...

You have so much strength and such a grand heart. You hold your head up high through everything you have been through with courage and determination. You live life to the fullest and do not settle for less. You are such an inspiration to all. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

Olivia Hernandez said...

Thank you whoever wrote anonymously, that is so kind to say.

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