yet another snitch line from big brother!
my growing deafness and fading eyesight continue to offend and embarrass
Sadly, so much business wisdom falls on deaf ears
In a recent business meeting, while staring out the window and trying very hard to stay in my safe space — if you must know, it is under the desk of my Grade Two home room teacher, Miss Ryder (first name Lacey, thereby making her full name something very Ian Flemingish, like “Honey Rider” or “Pussy Galore”) — I registered a sudden abatement in the level of sonic pain I typically suffer during waking hours. After a while I seriously considered opening my eyes, and risking a look at my boss, when I realized: she has actually stopped talking! Here was my chance. I ventured a curt “Well, if that will be all, I’ll be on my way,” and I staggered out of my chair (my legs had wisely decided to fall asleep), down the hall, and back to the relative safety of my cube. A few minutes later my boss appeared at my desk, interrupting my web surfing, and giggled out “That was soo funny — it really looked like you just got up in the middle of my presentation like you thought it was over and just walked out! Everybody’s in hysterics! And the way you almost fell out of your chair — it looked like you’d just woken up! You could be an actor!… Anyway, come on back to the meeting and I’ll take everybody through Part Two.Then we’ll break and do Parts Three and Four over the lunch hour.”
I return to the island to atone for the sin of telling the truth
Yet realizing one has this sort of aural infirmity has its uses – provided you make certain everyone knows you suffer from it. This afternoon I attended Ward Island with my brother —coerced there, actually, in an effort to make amends to the hurt feelings of the crazed Hungarian Zsa-Zsa wannabe whom I code-named Bella Lugosi in a recent post. My brother and I appeared at her cottage door, which she actually opened before he could rap the cast-iron beaver (what else?) which she has in lieu of a doorbell (I remain resolute and steadfast that I will never touch Bella’s knocker(s)). About halfway through the extended explanation my brother was giving Bella for my recent posting (“he’s always had a fertile imagination, as well as a mean streak a mile wide, and not much common sense, and besides, what he wrote wasn’t about you…”) inspiration struck me, just as Bella was importuning me with her plaintive “Is that true, Peter? It wasn’t about me?” I decided to nod my head yes, then shake it no, then gruffly state “Well, if you have to go pee, I’d better excuse myself.” Which I did, with considerable alacrity and total lack of manners.
Later, while lying on the beach and reading a Dorothy B. Hughes novel, my brother caught up with me and began berating me in a voice loud enough to catch the attention of everyone within a twenty-yard radius. Finally I screamed “But she had to go pee! Of course I left. What the hell did you hang around for?”
Later still this brother again interrupted my reading with the latest gossip he had acquired on the sexual peccadilloes of aunts and uncles and all variety of cousins near and far. Because I don’t care about whose fucking who, I decided to push this “I’m- going-deaf-thing” ever further. In an inappropriately loud voice I announced that I was going for a walk, and then strolled up and down the beach, sipping Scotch from a Dr. Pepper can.
Strangely, on the walk I thought I recognized someone whose wife once told me would definitely kill me if he knew he could get away with it. Quite a nice guy, actually, in spite of his avowed hatred of me (and I think he may be the guy who yells “Cunt!” at me when driving past me in traffic). Anyway, I’m not sure if it was this guy or not. I was pretty sure that when he looked at me he smirked and said “Hello, Peter” — but the thing is, I can’t be sure. For all I know, he was someone I had never seen before and had simply asked me for the time, or commented on the weather. Anyone with normal vision and hearing in my position would have seen and heard everything with crystalline clarity, BUT NOT ME! I think it was the former friend’s husband who hates me, but I’ve learned in the last eight months that unless I am within five feet of someone, I really have no idea who they are. It’s gotten so bad I can mistake a life-size cardboard cutout of a celebrity for the real McCoy. However, pride prevents me from wearing my glasses in public. So I gamely ventured a faint smile and nod and walked on, enjoying the waves washing over my feet and the Scotch washing down my throat.
After a while I decided I had better head back, lest my brother steal my wallet or car keys, and I once again passed by the husband-figure, who was lying down and reading — no doubt a technical manual on television placeshifting technology or something equally germane to “the Human Condition,” as Hannah Arendt ponderously puts it.
I made a concerted effort to see if this young man was indeed the hate-filled husband (if it was, I planned on doing the decent thing and leaving the island forthwith, so as not to cause the fellow and his wife any more consternation), but I simply couldn’t tell… the guy looked at me and maybe smirked again, and I began to wonder if it was not the husband at all but just some lonely gay man looking for companionship. As it was, I was now almost out of Scotch, I had no idea if I had just offended or creeped out a blameless person (after all, who can blame him — or anyone — for hating me? I can’t!), or innocently encouraged the attentions of a lonelyheart, so I decided to go back to my towel and read some more of my book, provided my brother hadn’t stolen them.
Well, Bella et alia — including my half-witted brother and the husband or not-a-husband-but-rather-a-gay-man — on the off chance any of you read this — what can I say?
It’s not my fault!
I am going deaf!
Hate the handicap, not the handicapped!
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