Gael Hannan on If I Were a Hearing Person

November 21, 2013 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

If I Were a Hearing Person….

By Gael Hannan, 11/19/2013
See more of Gael’s eloquence at www.hearinghealthmatters.org

When trying to remember a time of not having hearing loss, I can’t. That’s beyond the edges of remembering.  But I can dream…

If I were a hearing person….

I would wake in the morning, and immediately connect
With the sounds of house-life around me
Husband breathing, cats playing, cell phone vibrating
There would be no noiseless pause as I reach for the jar
Where my hearing aids have slept through the night
And then, once they’re in, even the silence has a sound.
If I were a hearing person….

I would not have to stand at the door of a party
Stomach clenched as I prepare for conversations
Saturated with the overwhelming din of the crowd
Not catching the names of strangers or the words of friends
I wouldn’t have to copy the smiles of others,
Which are the only things I can understand in this noise.
If I were a hearing person….

I would dine in a gorgeous, dimly lit place
With one romantic candle lighting the face of my handsome husband.
I would understand the server, and maybe order for both of us.
My husband might lean over and whisper in my ear
And I wouldn’t need to read his lips.
If I were a hearing person….

The captioning would be off, not covering up
The feet, the faces, the hands and the places
Because these are words I can hear and don’t have to see.
At the movies I would follow the action
And not poke my partner with “What did he say?”
Or maybe he’d ask me what a character just said,
And I would never say, “Sshh, I’ll tellya later.”

 

If I were a hearing person….

Talking on the phone would never have caused
A problem like the one on my very first job,
I answered the phone in the hospital clinic
And said, “Who is this, please – I’m sorry, it’s who?
Oh, I’m afraid Dr. Scott is not here, I’m sorry, he’s not.
What’s that you say? Oh, YOU’RE Dr. Scott!?

 

If I were a hearing person….

I would have heard my partner say, “Let’s get married”
Instead of seeing his soundless lips shape it.
What man proposes at 6 (in the morning!)
When she’s scarcely awake, with no hearing aids in?
He probably just considered it a practice
But I saw and said yes, before he could retract it!
(Don’t mess with a speechreader.)

If I were a hearing person,….

I wouldn’t wear hearing aids that start giving feedback
When you’re in a silent elevator ride with strangers
That wouldn’t cost some people 1 or 2 or 3 months’ salary and which need batteries that die on the one day your spares are in your other purse.

 

If I were a hearing person….

I would not have to fight for the right to access – so that I can see a movie, watch TV, understand a lecture, get an education, receive health care, sit on a jury, and do my job…just the same as all the hearing people.

And if I were a hearing person – I might wonder what it would be like to have hearing loss.

Am I asking too much from this dream-hearing-person?  In a dream, you’re allowed to be anything you want, and this is just anoccasional dream – an escape from a bad hearing day.  But I’m not a hearing person and really, that’s OK.

 


Distributed 2013 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030; www.nvrc.org; 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax. Items in this newsletter are provided for information purposes only; NVRC does not endorse products or services. You do not need permission to share this information, but please be sure to credit NVRC.  This news service is free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.