I'm in a Shitty Mood

I'm in a shitty mood. It's two days since I returned from NYC and still can't get up to par. For the noise really does kill me. I'm sick and tired trying to describe what I have to the same fucking people. Repeatedly. They just don't get it; they just don't want to get it. And that's the crux of the story. Fucking insensitive asswipes.

Their refusal to accept what I tell them about my neurological deafness is comparable to the inability to comprehend Jewish holidays that many non-Jews seem to have in NY. There are more Jews in NY than in Israel.

"What's the name of that funny-sounding holiday in the fall?" asked a former boyfriend's mother. Even though I'm totally irreligious with a subpar religious education, that woman made me the resident authority on Judaism. It didn't matter; she barely gave a shit what I had to say. I admired her in a perverse way: she could drink any man in the tri-state area under the table. And had three good teeth in her head. My boyfriend adored his mother.

"Thanksgiving?" I responded.

She sneered. "Very cute. The rush yum one."

Her sister's daughter married a Jew sixteen years ago and converted. The entire family on both sides converged to celebrate every Jewish holiday. The son-in-law was a multi-millionaire and had mostly catered affairs for his mixed goy/Jewish family at the 5-story mansion he built for his beautiful shiksa wife. You'd think, after sixteen years, this anti-semitic bitch would remember ONE fucking holiday name after gorging on all that free gourmet food? I mean, the frigging newspapers write about each holiday over & over & over & over. Even mass media has segments with subtitles, etc. and they ain't too keen about Jews.

I sighed. "Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur."

"What are they again?" she asked.

At this point, my boyfriend had to hold me back. This woman may not remember an iota of the most basic knowledge of Jews and Judaism, but man, she knew her Muslim holidays flat. Which goes to show...

I noticed lately the look of disdain crossing some people's faces the few times they interact with me since I contracted this fucking weirdo deafness. Over a year ago, I described what occurred to me in great detail to a man who holds a lot of prominence in my small community. He didn't hear a word because he subsequently commented, "Oh, I've the same thing. I'm deaf in my left ear," and waved dismissively at me.

Stunned, I retorted, "You mean to tell me that you, too, contracted a rare neurological symptom? Wow. Imagine in a town of 200, what're the odds that 2 people have this?" The odds were greater than winning the Lotto. Only 4,500 come down with SSNHL every year in the US and 4,300 get their hearing back. I'm the lucky few - even more luckier to have it in its most acute form.

"No, I'm DEAF in my left ear," he yelled with insistence.

"You must be. Because you didn't hear a fucking word I said. I'm not 'deaf' in the traditional sense. My brain doesn't TRANSLATE THE SOUNDS IT HEARS!" I shrieked. "I rely on one ear and lip reading."

"I read lips as well," he smugly responded. Total one upmanship.

A month later, I bumped into him. "Hey, haven't seen you around lately," he said. "Don't you hang out at the saloon anymore?" The saloon is a local venue, upscale for our community.

"No can do," I responded. "It's too loud for my ears. My head gets clogged up and man, I suffer."

He shot me an incredulous look and pulled his glasses down to peer into my eyes.

I shook my head. "I can't contend with sound," I lamely finished.

The man's convinced I'm a bullshit artist. That I garner attention from a 'fake' deafness to appear different than the norm. Yeah, I'm doing a good job. I rarely leave home, only go out socially once a month and can't attend any concerts or shows or movies. I have to cherry pick my events because I suffer. Each trip into NYC results into being a human vegetable for 2 days. I can't spend more than an hour tops at any local social get-togethers. I can't even have anyone around me because, unlike most people, listening's an activity that saps my energy.

Yep, that solitude and reclusiveness distinguishes me all right from the common bear. As if I really like being alone all the time.

I bumped into him two more times over the past four months. Needless to say, it was an instant replay of all the earlier conversations where he dismisses what I've to say because he thinks I'm clearly full of shit. I look healthy, I'm happy, I mountain bike. Yep, I'm full of shit all right.

Although I want to throttle his little neck, the sad part is I really like him: I find him funny, interesting, intelligent and entertaining. Yet, I can see how he can't stand me, more than likely believing I'm playing some game on him with my 'deafness'. The last time we interacted, he could barely contain his enmity.

During the past winter, he introduced me to a local storytelling group where we read our own stories to the community for free in Sullivan and Delaware counties on a monthly basis. We've got quite a crowd following us.

The last one I didn't participate. I didn't feel so hot after a giant shift in my hearing. However, as support, I did attend and wore ear plugs. They're quite huge and resemble antennae. Even so, the acoustics in the place affected me, so I stood outside to listen. Every time he caught my eye, he'd shake his head. Yes, I go the whole hog in attracting attention to myself. Yet, I kinda dread the next time we meet. I feel he may belt me out of frustration.

In a way, what I have developed into a good shit detector. I can tell by the way certain friends react whether they really are friends or not. If I have to repeat what I have over and over and explain endlessly why I can't attend certain events, then I strike them off my list. Because they put their needs above mine. And I'm selfish as well. No one's worth the high volume of tinnitus in both ears, the listlessness, the clogged feeling, nausea, vertigo and imbalance that results when I extend myself. As far as I'm concerned, they can de-fuck themselves.

It doesn't make me a better person. Actually, I behave just as badly as the people I complain about. A few weeks ago, I met a young fellow who relocated to this area. New, young people are fresh meat for the majority of people where I live. We're bored with each other, so we're like cannibals, ready to feast on their flesh in so many ways. He introduced himself and sat down to talk to me outdoors where I lurked because the inside of the building killed my ears. Within two minutes, I heard enough and tuned him out. His ego exceeded mine.

"Do you know my name?" he asked several times.

"I'm sorry, I wasn't paying attention," I responded.

"I said my name eight times in the course of talking to you in the context of my story. That means to me that you're not interested."

I looked at him. "That's true, I'm not." And I laughed. "Also, I've a rare neurological deafness that requires intense concentration to listen."

Insulted by my 'lie', in thorough disgust, he got up and walked away. I spotted him talking to the man in my community who believes I'm full of shit. No doubt, he talked about me. Great, now I got two fans.

And so it goes...

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This blog and all its posts are a work of fiction. Names, character, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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