“Did you hear what I said?”
How could I: I am deaf.
“Speak up, boy!”
Why, you are not deaf, I am.
“I am not going to say this again!”
Why not, I did not get it the first time.
“Were you talking behind my back?”
No, I was signing out your sight.
“Oh, don’t worry, they did not say anything important.”
Tell me and let me decide what is important or not.
“Ag, Shame, he doesn’t talk, he is deaf.”
And you cannot sign.
“Listen up, you have to….”
I have no idea how anyone can ‘listen up.’
“Open your ears!”
I am still looking for the ‘on’ switch
“Speaking for myself…”
So, if I say nothing, no one takes me in account.
“He can talk the hind leg off a donkey.
I see mouths moving, so there must a three-legged donkey somewhere.
“I am all ears.”
And I am all eyes, so look at me: sign to me.
“We need to talk.”
You doing the talking and I am supposed to listen, how? Where is the ‘we’?
“He is all talk but no action.”
Ah, that makes sense to me, but he does warm up the room.
“I ll tell you later.”
Are you ignoring me again?
“He has a profound hearing loss.”
Oh no, where did you leave it last? Let’s go find it.
“Watch your tone, with me young lady.”
How do you watch something you cannot see?
“She has verbal diarrhoea!”
I think I’ll stop there, you get the idea…
These are some of the words that invade my life of silence,
And these are the subtitles of my thoughts.
You see, I cannot hear you, but I can see you:
Can you hear me when you see me?
And do you see what I am saying?
When I see you and you see me there are no more subtitles.
Guy Mcilroy 2013