Wednesday, November 19, 2014

People Who Whisper

There is a colleague in my school who is always bending my ear. He has so much to say. I don't know if he talks to everyone like he does to me. But he never misses the opportunity to tell me some pressing news.

The problem isn't so much that he wants to tell me things. The problem lies in the way he tells me.

He whispers in my ear.

Whispers are one of the sounds that evade my cochlear implant. It just sounds like noise in my ear. I don't know the science of whispering, or why I can't perceive them. I'm sure the answer lies somewhere in the frequencies or decibels of speech. It doesn't really matter. I just know that whispered words aren't comprehensible to me. It's that proverbial mosquito buzzing in my ear.

"I'm deaf, you know," I remind him often. But it doesn't make much difference. He continues to pull me aside and speak imperceptible words to me.

I've learned to smile and nod. Mostly out of kindness. And a little sympathy. It's not so much that he needs me to respond back, I suppose, as it is his need to just say what is on his mind. And he has found a safe venue in me for sharing his secrets.

I mean, who better to vent to than a person who is guaranteed not to share and spread those secrets beyond those whispered words? The deaf lady, of course. She never heard a word.

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